Your website is your corner of the Internet. You want it to reflect who you are as a business, and allow you to show prospective customers what you can offer them. A great website doesn’t just come to be. To design a great website many things must be taken into consideration. Here are 5 things to consider when designing a website.
Things to Consider When Designing a Website
Who your audience is can drastically change the design of your website. Start by deciding who you are making the website for. This should align with who define as your customer. Once you know who your site is targeting, you can design your website so that it appeals to them. Here are some questions you should ask yourself in regards to your audience:
- Who is our audience?
- What are they looking for?
- Why are they visiting our website?
- What do they want from us?
- How can we enhance their experience?
Essentially, your website should aim to improve your customer experience. By focusing on who your audience is, you can design a website that meets their needs and expectations.
Your website can serve many functions. It can simply be informative, it can generate leads, and it can generate sales. Understanding the functionality that you want is a key part of the web design puzzle. Designing without defining how you want the site to function can cause delays and end up costing more. Here are some things to consider when determining your website’s functionality:
- That is the purpose of our website.
- What is our audience expecting?
- About the customer experience from start to finish.
- What elements do we need to have on the website?
Different functionality requires different web design elements. For instance, if your main functionality is to sell, you will need elements such as a shopping cart and credit card processor. On the other hand, if your functionality is to generate leads, you’ll need elements such as a contact form, newsletter signup, etc.
There is nothing more frustrating than going to a website and being unable to find what you are looking for. This is why it is essential that you carefully consider your navigation when designing your website. You want your visitors to be able to quickly and easily find what it is they are looking for on your site. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to your website’s navigation:
- Make getting ‘home’ easy. Link your logo to your homepage. Doing so will help your users get back to the beginning and save them some frustration.
- Use a basic menu. Users want to be able to find what they are searching for. Avoid using fancy names for you’re ‘About Me’ page and other category and page names. Another good rule of thumb is to put items in order of importance from left to right and to keep the menu in your header.
- Have a ‘Back to Top’ button. This will help your visitors quickly get back to the main menu at the top of the page.
- The most important info goes “above the fold”. Keep the most pressing information high on your webpage so that visitors see it without having to scroll down.
- Watch for clutter. Having too much information can make your website overwhelming and hard to navigate. Don’t be afraid of empty space; it can actually help users process the info on the page.
4. Clear Call to Action (CTA)
When you are designing your website, you need to decide what action you want visitors to take. Do you want them to give you their email? Want them to make a purchase? Do you want them to learn more? Do you want them to leave a comment? Decide what it is that you want customers to do when they are on your website.
Not only do you need to decide what you want customers to do, but you also need to make it plain as day. Here are some ways to make it obvious to customers what you want them to do:
- Use a contrasting color for CTA buttons. This makes the button stand out and keeps them from just blending with the rest of the info on the page.
- Use phrases that create positive action. “Click here,” is the worst! Instead, opt for phrases like “Download Now,” “Get Started,” “Learn More,” etc.
- Practice consistency. Keep your CTA design consistent throughout your website. This will make them easily recognizable.
- Keep CTAs visible. This is especially important with longer pages. You want your customer to be able to quickly know what to do, so make sure you include multiple CTAs on the page.
- Put CTAs on each page. Customers are always looking for what the next step is, so providing a CTA on each page gives them this guidance. Another important reason for this is that customers may enter your sales funnel at different points. By having a CTA on each page, the customer will know what you want them to do no matter where they enter the funnel.
Here’s a fun fact: 81% of Americans own a smartphone. This means that having a mobile-friendly website is an absolute necessity. There are a couple of ways that this can be done. One way is by using a responsive theme that is designed to work on desktops, mobiles, and tablets. Another option is to actually make adjustments to website elements. Some of the things you can focus on while designing your website include:
- Avoiding Flash. Not only is Flash bad for SEO, but it is also a major drain on load time and it simply doesn’t work on many browsers. If you can, it’s best to avoid it altogether.
- Use the Viewport Meta tag. This simple piece of code communicates with the browser, adjusting the width of your webpage to the width of the screen it’s being viewed on.
- Choose large buttons and fonts. Having bigger buttons and large font sizes make your site that much more user-friendly on mobile devices.
- Compress your images. This will help increase your load time, which is essential to function well on mobile devices.
- Allow visitors to toggle between mobile and desktop views. Sometimes users would rather use the desktop version of your website. Giving them this option to switch between the two easily is a small way to make their experience better.
Consider Before Designing
Designing your website can be fun and exciting. However, you must think about what your actual needs are, your timeline, and your budget, before moving forward on a web design project.
We’ve all seen websites that fail to meet our expectation or whose design was cringe-worthy. This is often the result of failing to think first. On the other hand, some websites have clearly put careful consideration into what they needed before they designed. One such site is Marble.com. This website highlights their CTAs with a contrasting color, has a responsive site that is easy to navigate whether it is on mobile or desktop, and functions just as a consumer would expect.
Final Words To Consider While Designing
When you’re ready to start designing your website, keep the considerations listed in mind and you’re sure to end up with an incredible site.