Essential Elements to Keep in Mind While Designing a Website - The common questions that may pop up in your mind while designing a website are "What should I be including in the website?”, “What are the critical elements that I cannot afford to ignore?”. Even the best designers in the industry are confronted with these questions while designing a website. So, it is better to have a checklist so that you don't forget anything.
Essential Elements to Keep in Mind While Designing a Website
By John Ward
Nov 14, 2014 - 7:26:03 AM
The common questions that may pop up in your mind while designing a website are "What should I be including in the website?”, “What are the critical elements that I cannot afford to ignore?”. Even the best designers in the industry are confronted with these questions while designing a website. So, it is better to have a checklist so that you don't forget anything.
Here are some essential elements that you need to keep in mind while designing a website.
Navigation and accessibility
The ultimate goal of the website is to provide visitors with the information they are looking for. Visitors should be able to navigate easily through the website and find the information.
Make sure that the navigation menu is easy to identify and is easy to use.
Don’t overwhelm the users with too many tabs – the top navigation should have not more than ten tabs.
It should be easy for users to know where they are in the site – use breadcrumbs.
Users should be able to access all important pages from each page of the website.
Make sure that the links are easily visible. It is better to differentiate them using a blue color.
Theme, colors and fonts
Make sure that the theme, colors and fonts are consistent across the website. This will not only allow your readers to identify your website/brand, but will also help build your credibility among them over time. An appropriate theme and colors help render your website a professional look.
When it comes to fonts, use the standard ones as they are accessible through all browsers. Using non-standard fonts may impair the design in some browsers as they choose a default font to display your text.
Choose the colors wisely and be creative in combining colors.
Use colors that complement and contrast.
See to it that the theme and colors in your website match with those in your physical store/marketing material.
Use standard fonts such as Times, Georgia, Arial, and Helvetica.
An effective way to enhance the aesthetics and readability of your website is to use the white space wisely. Space does not have to always be white. Space refers to the absence of elements, and could equally be a background color or the texture of the surface.
See to it that the spacing is consistent across the website – the spacing between similar elements like the lines, paragraphs, images, etc.
An image or a piece of text surrounded by space will appear larger and more important than one that is crammed into a smaller space.
Unique and high quality content with relevant images
One of the common mistakes many people commit while designing a website is to copy the text and images from other sites. This makes their job easy. However, not only will it reduce your credibility, but will affect your website’s search engine rankings as well. Search engines consider text, images or videos copied from other sites as duplicate content and reduce the rankings.
Create quality content that is relevant and unique, even if it takes time.
Make sure that there are no spelling, grammar and punctuation errors in the content.
See to it that the content is presented in small paragraphs, and not in big chunks of text – online users won’t read each and every sentence, they just scan the webpages.
Customize images for your website. It is better to use the images of real products and people.
'Call-to-action' buttons where ever required
Call to action is one of the important aspects of a website’s design. Without these buttons the main purpose of the website will not be met – making a sale, gathering or providing information. Call to action buttons should be obvious and easy to identify.
Use contrasting colors to call to action buttons like ‘Buy Now’, ‘Join’, ‘Download’, ‘Sign-Up Free’.
Give space to highlight them.
Social media buttons
Social media provides a great opportunity to make your brand/content go viral. Social media sharing buttons are without a doubt one of the best ways to get your brand/content shared.
Optimize the social media buttons at a prominent place of your webpages to make social sharing easier for your visitors.
If not all, try to optimize at least the top three social media buttons – Facebook’s ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons, Twitter’s ‘Tweet This’ button, Google’s ‘+1’ button.
About-Us and Contact-Us pages
The content in these pages is more important than you might think. These pages tell your visitors what you do, who you are and how to contact you.
You can outline your company’s philosophies, mission, vision, or goals in your About Us page.
See to it these pages are personal and unique.
If possible, upload a photograph of you and your team.
Mention address, email and telephone/mobile phone number in the contact page – it boosts trust of your audience in your business/website.
Incorporating a footer is one of the best ways to provide your visitors wealth of information without getting in the way of website design.
You can include sitemap, about us, contact us, services, and other important pages in the footer.
Don’t clutter the footer with tens of links – use only the important ones.
Keep it simple and easy to use.
Your website is the gateway to new opportunities on the Web. Be it your business or personal site, you need to bear in mind these points while getting it designed.
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