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For anyone interested in engaging an online following or interest, a website is a portal to an audience. It can help you connect, it can represent your business in a certain way, and it can provide a channel for consumers to find you and do business with you. In the wake of constantly changing search algorithms, web design is now more important than ever in ensuring a high rate of repeat visitors and making sure you deliver an informative and pleasant browsing experience.
1. Keep things clutter free
Sometimes less is more. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm your visitors with unnecessary effects, fonts, and colors that make the website load longer. Make sure visuals complement each other, colors match, and your images are optimized to display quickly. Organize your information into pages, categories and have main points of focus on your homepage as ‘calls to action’ on your website. These focus points should be concise and clear and ‘above the fold’ – this is the area people land on and are greeted with without the need to scroll.
2. Rich content in web design
Although your page needs to be concise and load quickly, that doesn’t mean it can’t be interesting. After all, you want to pique the interest of visitors and have them coming back as often as possible. This involves publishing fresh content, keeping the language lively/informative, and creating interaction with visitors through comments. The more interaction you provide, the more you can ‘connect’ with your audience.
3. Consistency in web design
It may sound like a given, but it’s surprising how many websites mix things up when it comes to web design. Consistency is important, particularly if you’re considering setting up a business and want to maintain a certain tone or brand representation. It’s all well and good keeping the same language tone but if your web design alters from page to page, the colors shift and the layout moves, it’s going to look unprofessional and be harder for your audience to navigate. Keep fonts bold and consistent where necessary, make sure your menus and page link geography remain the same and keep everything the same color and tone.
4. Sticking to what you know
Quite a lot is standardized in web design and there’s a reason for this. Visitors are familiar with certain elements such as finding RSS feeds and social media links represented by their respective logos. Because of their familiarity they gain more attention and people are far more likely to click on them and support your blog or business. Being alternative and using non standard links in your web design may mean that important features get missed by your audience or that they simply aren’t drawn to them. Stick with what you know your audience are familiar with.
5. Make sure you web design is browser friendly
Many people forget to take into account the variety of browsers that people use on a daily basis. From Chrome to Internet Explorer, Safari to mobile platforms, there are a few to choose from. It’s important to thoroughly test your website during and after the web design process to ensure that you have maximum compatibility with each one. Web design should incorporate usability test to ensure that you aren’t unknowingly freezing out a large chunk of your audience.