Website design is such a subjective area that it is impossible to definitively say what makes a good design or not. However, there are some good design practises that help make a website more enjoyable and user friendly.
Before we go into specifics about what does actually make a good website, lets first take a step back and get down to the key factor in website design – that being you and your business! A fantastic floral design with beautiful colourful detailed pictures of plants is wasted on a car mechanics business brand! The key to a good website is marrying the customer’s business brand with designs that are visually appealing, good clear navigation and specific attention to usability, which will generate your conversions (a conversion is an action you would like a customer to achieve – e.g. an enquiry, or purchase of a product)
Visitors to your website make decisions very quickly about your site. Do they like and trust the design? Can they find what they are looking for? Are you legitimate? All this happens within the first 3 seconds of viewing your site. Keeping this in mind, the visual appearance of a website will be the first checklist item a new visitor will tick (or not) when they visit your site. Just think of how many times you didn’t go into a restaurant because it didn’t look nice from the outside. Win the customer over with an appealing attractive visual design and you are on your way to making a conversion on your website. Take a step back now, is your website visually appealing, with attractive and/or functional designs?
Usually badly designed website have something in common, they lack good clear navigation. It can be very frustrating not being to find what you want and you don’t want to lose customers because of this. Navigation and site structure is vital to getting your website working correctly for your customers.
There are some good design rules to follow for navigation and they are:
- Make sure that the top level navigation is clear so that if a customer knows what they want they can instantly navigate to it.
- Make sure that visitors know where they are on your website. The use of breadcrumbs and menus that indicate the menu item that they are on are very informative to customers.
Once you have a nice functional designed site that looks great and works well it doesn’t stop there!
One of the really great things about working on the web is the amount of information you can get about your customers. If you have a retail premises, imagine if some came up to you and said, " I can tell you exactly how many people came in to your shop today, how they found your shop, how long they stayed , what they looked at, and what order they looked at the stock". Google Analytics can give you all of this information. Installed as standard on all our websites it’s a free service that requires you to install some code on your website and set up an account.
This is just a small amount of information about what makes a good website and a good design. A lot of good design and usability comes down to experience and making the best use of the latest technologies. That said please don't get lost on the technology or the fancy design. Keep your end customer in mind and don't be afraid to make changes to your layout to get that design process working for you.
If you need help with any aspect of your design then please contact us (0845 388 5863) and we will be happy to help and advise you on your best options.