When you go on a site, what makes you want to stay and what makes you want to move on? What makes you take a site seriously and what makes you think that it is not worth your time? How can you tell if your site is going to be useful to someone, and will be profitable to you as a site owner?
Website design has often been a point of contention between SEOs and Web Designers, primarily because one wants simple functionality, and the other wants eye-catching pizzazz with bells and whistles on it. What both may not realize is that, in order for a site to be useful to anyone, and lucrative to the site owner, certain factors have to come into play from both of them. It has to be great to look at but it also has to be simple enough to understand and navigate. It has to be eye-catching, but it should not be too complicated and intimidating for the user. It has to have good content and a well thought out structure, but should also be appealing to the eye.
Good website design is actually more than just a good-looking website, as what most people may think. It is a combination of functionality, ease-of-use, how appealing the site is, and what you see at first glance. If a person visits your site and understands what you are offering, then easily finds a way to check out what you have for them, then you have a website that works. How do you get a website that works? Here are some factors you need to consider:
The colors you choose for your site play a big role - Use colors that your market will be attracted to and that shows them what kind of company you are. Color psychology can actually help your site get the kind of traffic it needs, and can also help show people what your business stands for. Some companies use the color red to show people they are exciting and bold, others use blue to show they are trustworthy, and still a few more use green to depict peace and growth. Find your colors when having your website designed by consulting with a color chart which shows what emotions and perceptions are made when people see these shades.
Flashing lights, bells and whistles may scare people away – if you over-complicate your site, you are likely to drive a lot of people away. Yes, some design elements may be needed to rope them in, but too much can overwhelm and confuse your site visitors. Think of it in terms of dressing – you do not wear a sparkly gown, heavy jewelry, sparkly shoes, trinkets to your elbows, and heavy make-up in order to be called elegant and glamorous. You wear a few select pieces of accessory if you have a sparkly dress, or you wear a lot if your dress is simple. You do not overdo or it will make you (or your site for that matter) look very silly.
Make navigation smart and simple – for your site to be easy to use and to navigate, logic is what is needed. Simplicity and reduction of clutter is also required. Your landing page (or home page) and other pages for that matter, should be devoid of too many elements that will confuse a person what to click next. There are ways to de-clutter your pages, while still giving people options for finding what they need easily. These include menu filters, drop-down options, and a refined search function.
Try to keep pop-ups to a minimum – if you can avoid having pop-ups on your pages, all the better. There is a reason why blockers for these are made and why such blockers are integrated into browsers. If you annoy your site visitors with pop-ups, no matter how good your product or service may be, they may not continue on with your site if you have such annoyances on it.
Good website design is not just in how it looks, and what flashy eye-catching features it has when a person arrives at it. It is also about simplicity, functionality, and features that make it easy-to-use. You will also need to integrate SEO into your design ideas, but that is another story.