Category - Web Design
One of the most important aspects of your online marketing is your website. Your design makes an instant impression on site visitors and impacts your bounce rate and conversions. Coming up with a design that is current but timeless isn’t an easy task. You must meet the needs of your users, provide a positive user experience (UX) and create something aesthetically pleasing — all at the same time.
Web design is a far-reaching concept and covers a lot of different topics that make up an overall experience for users. Some of the more common elements of web design include layout, content and the user journey.
Find a Purpose for Your Website
A big part of your overall web design is understanding the purpose of your site. An informational one differs from an e-commerce website, and each has a specific objective. Once you know the point of your website, it’s much easier to create a design that points the user toward the appropriate action.
Each visitor who lands on your page has a specific journey to complete, and knowing the steps in this process helps you create the best calls to action (CTAs) for your buyer personas and optimizes your conversion rates. Make sure this path is clear and easy to understand so users don’t get discouraged and bounce away to a competitor.
What You Need to Know
As a web designer, there are some things you need to know to create a functioning site in the format right for your needs. Although there are software advances that allow you to create a website without knowing how to code more easily, it’s still smart to have a grasp of the language of HTML and know when to use PHP.
You’ll also need a firm understanding of basic design principles. Designers must factor in everything from proportions to how elements interact with one another. Understand how to draw user focus to the most essential things and dig into what a typical site layout and hierarchy look like. For example, most website designers place the most important points in navigation at the beginning and end of the list. People pay the most attention to these two locations and also expect to see specific items there, such as the home button or a contact option.
Speak to Your Specific Audience
In addition to understanding the basic elements of design, you must learn how to research a specific audience segment and build a buyer persona who represents the typical site visitor. There are around 1.7 billion websites on the World Wide Web, so if you want visitors to stay on your site with many other options available, you must grab them from the minute they read your headline until they take the action you’d like.
Learn more about your audience by digging into your site’s analytics and polling current customers. Use heat maps to see what visitors are looking at and clicking on and what areas they ignore. Over time, you’ll see patterns that allow you to narrow the focus of your pages and keep customers on your website longer.
Does Your Site Meet Your Needs?
Understanding the purpose of your site and learning the best design practices takes time. Test different elements until you find the ones that work best with your visitors. Stay on top of trends by reading blogs such as this one and trying out new techniques. Even though the basic principles of good design remain the same over time, new methods and tools can make your site easier to navigate and more cutting edge, which is what you need to stay ahead.