Whether you are designing your own web pages for the first time or whether you utilizing the services of a Toronto web design company, it’s always useful to learn a few effective web design tips. So, read on:
1. Keep it simple and clutter-free
You may know all those cool effects on Photoshop and Fireworks, but that doesn’t mean that you have to use them all on your web page. Users are put-off by designs that seem totally cluttered. Design a simple and appealing web page by:
- Creating visual focal points where vital information is provided to the user
- Organize information in the page so the user can easily find what he is looking for
- Text and visual must complement each other and one must never overpower the other
- Make sure the images are optimized for faster downloads
2. Communicate visuallyDon’t just use visuals to grab eyeballs. Use them to effectively communicate to the user.
Use colors to project your website’s image. For example: You can use green if you promoting bio-degradeable products; pink if you’re selling little girls’ shoes; or restrict to using your regular corporate colors if you are an established company trying to take your business online
- Use visuals for highlighting. Use buttons to highlight links, so navigation is much easier. You can also use thumbnails in place of a text link to a graphic image.
- Direct the user to updated content or important links using visual cues like arrows or bold text or scrolls
3. Keep it content-rich Focus on providing interesting content if you want users to come back to you, time and again. Visuals may get the user to say ‘wow’ the first time, but it’s the content that keeps them coming back.
- Keep updating as users are always looking for fresh content
- Provide informative content in an interesting fashion
- You may keep the tone conversational and lively
- Keep it short. Users don’t have time or patience to read reams of content
- Ask users for feedback and comments. Interact with users and they will come back to you
4. Keep text narrowKeep the text layout narrow. You don’t want your readers to scroll sideways to read every line. They may eventually get bored and stop reading after all. This is the same reason that newspapers also have short columns. Narrow text columns are easy-to-read and visually more appealing.
5. Be consistent
Be consistent in design across all pages of your website. Users may feel overwhelmed and may face difficulty finding vital information in your website.
- Try to use the same color schemes across web pages
- Maintain consistency in the location of key links
- Avoid using a wide variety of fonts across pages
- Consistently use easily readable fonts
6. Gratify user needs instantlyThere are several million websites on the internet today. Users are overloaded with information and chances of them coming back to your website time and again are, realistically speaking, minimal. BUT, you can get them to become regular visitor, IF, you gratify their needs – and gratify them instantly, every time. You can do this by:
- Providing immediate access to information. Don’t test user patience by making them search for what they need. Provide it instantly
- Updating and providing fresh content on topics that interests them
- Consistently delivering valuable information
- Interacting with users and making them feel valued
7. Adhere to conventionConvention is not really a bad thing when it comes to certain aspects of a web page design. For example, users are used to finding the twitter link, the RSS Feed link etc., in a certain way across most web pages. If you try to do it differently, chances of them missing your link are very high. After all, would you be comfortable if somebody placed your coffee mug in a different place each morning?
8. Make navigation easy
Make navigation crystal-clear if you want users to stay longer in your website. Make it easy for them to find important links. Check and re-check to see if all links are working just fine. There is nothing worse than a frustrated user who decides to go to your competition simply because he was unable to find the appropriate link.
9. Check for browser compatibility
Check to see if your web page is opening up right across all browsers and not just IE. Clear up all resolution issues. Work out technical issues pertaining to the use of several design software. Ensure that your website is up and running in peak form without any technical glitches.
10. Test and re-test for usability
You may think that you’re website looks fantastic; it’s really easy-to-use and so on. But does the user feel this way. Test your website for usability. See what’s working and find out what’s not working. Make appropriate changes. Re-test your web design from time-to-time. Most successful web design company portfolio is built on testing and refining to enhance usability. That’s because people’s needs and expectations change. Make sure your web design keeps up with changing.