A quick Google search will bring up pages and pages of results all promising to share the 8, 9, 10-and so on-principles of good website design. Why so many? Because ‘good’ is subjective. The truth is that there’s an almost never ending list of considerations that you may want to take into account when creating a new website, and it’s exactly this that has made web design the complex area that it is today.
And this complexity isn’t helping anyone. Instead, it’s doing one of two things. It’s either deterring organisations from building an online presence (it’s reported that just 64% of small businesses have a website), or even worse, it’s resulting in the creation of websites that completely miss the mark. So it’s time to forget about the 10, 20, 30 principles of good website design and start making things much more simple.
At its core, there are just two aspects that make a good website design:
- Content and features that work for you
- Content and features that work for your visitors
A Website That Works For You
There are many, many different potential purposes that a business website could have. It could aim to attract more customers, to share information, to increase sales, and soon. But ultimately, there’s one purpose that is more important than everything else: your website should be successful at promoting your brand, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Therefore, a good website design is one that facilitates this promotion through both boosting online brand visibility and by communicating effectively with audiences.
SEO plays a vital role here, with a good website design being one that naturally incorporates relevant keywords and phrases that help Google-and other search engines-to not only recognise your website, but to include it as a potential answer to user queries through its position in the SERPs. The benefits of SEO also branch out into communications, with combination of high performing keywords and tone of voice enabling websites to speak on your behalf, conveying your message digitally.
A Website That Works For Your Visitors
All customers want something different from the websites they choose to visit. Some want to find business information. Others want to be entertained through great content. But ultimately pretty much all visitors to your site will be looking for one thing: usability.
Usability is a complex and comprehensive area of discussion, but it can really be boiled down into two core aspects: navigation, and load speed. A good website design is one that makes it easy for users to a) find what they’re looking for, and b) access this information. Many good websites adopt an F-shaped design strategy which ensures that the information a user is statistically most likely to be searching for on the website is positioned in the parts of the design where the eyes naturally scan during reading.
A good website design that works for your visitors is one that manages to successfully walk the fine line between engagement tools such as visuals and interactive media, and simplicity. Engagement tools can have a significant impact on time spent on site,yet they can also reduce load speed. Research shows that almost half of all web users expect a website to load in two seconds or less, while 40% say they will abandon a website visit if loading takes too long. Finding the middle ground is key to good design.
The Importance of Good Website Design
A website that’s well designed should achieve two things: it should promote your brand while simultaneously guiding your visitors through the customer journey. By maintaining high levels of online visibility and generating digital authority, businesses can gain a competitive advantage. However, while we’ve looked at the basics of web design, it’s important to remember that every business-and every audience pool-is different.
Building upon the basics of good web design-such as introducing the right colours,typography, images, layouts, and so on-can help businesses to target the right people,at the right time.
If you’re ready to have a website that works for your business, contact us now.