What is important in the design of a website?
On the one hand, the webpage should stand out and grab your visitors’ attention at once, so its appearance is a matter of considerable concentration. On the other hand, think of the main purpose why people would visit your site. Some web pages contain a lot of text that should be read, while other sites may present their content in images, presentations, or even diagrams.
Also, there are e-commerce websites that should give their visitors a possibility to find products or goods quickly and order them quickly, but safely. Undoubtedly, the mentioned sites will include different ways of presenting the content. You have to remember that if customers have difficulties looking for what they need, they are likely to leave your site and opt for your competitors’ webpage.
So, your task is to combine a smart attractive look with easy-to-understand operational effectiveness. In pursuit of these, you may get into a trap of applying some elements that seem to be trendy but will turn to be inessential or useless.
Now, let’s look at the main risky web design trends and the ways to avoid them.
The layout is the first thing that people see when your webpage has loaded, so the arrangement of elements plays an important role in making the first impression. To make your webpage look unique, you may experiment with the layout, but be careful with it. Sometimes experimental layouts simply create an impression of chaos, instead of attracting your customers’ attention. Moreover, if you want your company to look serious and significant, playful details and unaligned blocks can spoil people’s impression, as they will make the page look less businesslike.
Stop this, please: Yale School of Art
– Asymmetrical elements may look good, but make sure that these elements don’t overlap.
– Apply hierarchy of elements, split any necessary parts to create visible areas between various elements and to make the perception of information easier. Blocks can save your space and help you arrange information logically, so think of possible ways to group your content.
– Additionally, if you have a lot of content, avoid using unbalanced designs, as it will be more difficult to discern information.
– Try to use the template. By the way, you could find a wide range of OpenCart, Shopify, Magento, PrestaShop and BigCommerce themes for your Store, something like this:
Colors, as a layout, influence your visitors’ visual perception the moment they open your site. Using too many colors or colors that are too bright will strain people’s sight significantly. Moreover, there’s a risk to move attention from really important elements to less important ones if you apply colors wrongly. In addition, sometimes glaring colors do not match the company’s general style and create an unfavorable impression.
As an example: Blinkee.com
– Think of the main color of your background that will not be too bright and will not distract your visitors.
– Choose additional colors that will point to any necessary elements.
– Remember that the text should be clearly seen and shouldn’t seem blurry.
– Don’t overuse colors, i.e. try to reduce the number of colors that you apply on one page. If you like minimalist design, you can effectively create a powerful website by simply using black and white.
Typography, or fonts, is often used as a decorative element on the sites. Surely, fonts are a great tool to express your style and draw attention to certain pieces of information, but if your website includes too many different fonts, the effect will be quite opposite. You will not get your visitors’ interest; vice versa, they will be distracted and lose the interest in reading your information.
Another risk is to use fonts that are too small. This is usually true for the pages that try to include much information in the limited space. However, little typography can be very hard to decipher, and people will skip reading it, totally, thus missing important facts or thoughts.
– Avoid using small typography if your visitors have to scan the information.
– Apply typography wisely, thinking of styles and associations. Fonts can cause different associations, even if the latter is unconscious. For instance, Gothic fonts make us think about the old days in history, while bold typography can evoke an impression of strictness. If you don’t mean to add any connotation, select more neutral fonts.
– Refrain from using fonts of many different styles and sizes on the same page not to distract people’s attention.
– If you have a possibility, hire a professional who will develop your company’s custom typography and logo. It will make your webpage look consistent and outstanding.
4. Details and Information
If you deal with e-commerce and describe something, you may wish to present as much information about each product as possible, making it look more attractive. There’s no need to do this, as too many details in a window will make your webpage look messy and confusing.
– Exclude unnecessary details, choosing the most valuable information. Learn to find out what really matters to people when they are looking for a particular item.
– Make your details relevant to the content.
– Keep in mind that your headlines, product categories, and announcements should be easy to see and even easier to read. People can find out all the details if you provide them with a link to follow, and they are sure to do this if they are interested in that information.
5. Navigation and Scrolling
This is a part of your site’s functionality, so the more comfortable people feel while browsing your website, the more likely they are to stay on your webpage. In other words, everything should be organized in such a way that people don’t even think of where to look for certain elements.
Not to distract your visitors’ attention from the main elements, you may have a chance to include navigation buttons that are too small and too difficult to see at once, so people will struggle in finding them. If you deal with e-commerce and have lots of elements to present, you may create a menu with multiple categories and subcategories that will look too complicated. At the same time, you may be tempted to use the one-page look of your website, to avoid complex menus, which can lead to people’s endless scrolling to reach the end of the page.
– People should be able to find their way around the site easily, including the way back when they need to return to the previous piece of information.
– If you need a carefully organized menu with numerous products or services, a drop-down menu will be your perfect choice, because it gives a possibility to add items into categories and subcategories. Bear in mind the necessity to keep your menu logical and clear, so avoid creating unrequired subcategories.
– Choose an anchored menu if it doesn’t prevent your customers to see the information.
– Include buttons, such as ‘Back-to-the-top’, to facilitate navigation.
6. Pop-up windows
Pop-up windows are a good way to draw people’s attention to different kinds of information, including promotions or sales. However, don’t test your customers’ patience by making them close pop-up windows all the time! It really irritates people, especially when the information that appears on the screen while they are scrolling the page is not relevant to them. Moreover, people should have their time searching for necessary items before a robot appears suggesting help. Remember that not all the people are fond of communicating with robots or are eager to call your site’s workers before they even look through the list of search results.
– Pop-up windows should include really important information that can make people interested.
– Don’t be too persistent in suggesting anything, including help, with pop-up windows. It feels as if you were intruding into the process of somebody’s reading or investigating something.
With contemporary technologies, creating animation is not a very difficult and demanding process, so you can use it to catch your visitor’s eye. However, if your site is overloaded with animation, it will have an opposite effect and distract your users’ attention. Moreover, it can slow down the process of loading the site. As people value their time, they are likely to quit a slow site, and, as a result, you will lose customers.
– Include one or two videos that represent the most necessary information about your goods or services if you think this is the best way to showcase your company.
– Avoid using large background videos that slow down the webpage.
– Subtle animation, such as logo animation, will be appropriate and make your website memorable.
To impress people when they open your website, you can apply a Parallax effect. It does create the sense of full immersion into the site, and moving elements trigger your customers’ desire to scroll down the page. Still, if you overdo with Parallax, people can have motion sickness and a negative attitude to your webpage.
– Making people engaged with Parallax, remember that visual effects should be applied only to draw attention to something more important. Moving elements are not definitely the thing that people come for when they were searching for some information, so don’t make them forget their main aim with too many visual effects.
While saving your visitors’ efforts and time to find the button to play audio or video, autoplay can be a very annoying element of your site. What if the sound of a person’s device was too loud and the person didn’t expect any sounds to be produced without their intention? The person is likely to get frightened and, possibly, to shock others around. The chance is that the person will leave the webpage as soon as possible to stop that unexpected noise.
If your website includes audio or video, switch off autoplay for all multimedia elements. If people have a possibility and a desire to listen and to watch something, they should be able to play a video or audio themselves. So, simply make sure that your viewers will not have difficulties in finding the way to play the element.
Firstly, you may wish to include photos of the best quality, especially if you are creating a model’s portfolio, to showcase information to the best advantage. Of course, high-resolution pictures are a must in this case, but they may make the loading of your website slow. As people don’t want to lose their time, they can skip your site.
Secondly, there is a temptation to use stock photos to save time and money. In this case, your visitors can have encountered similar pictures on other websites, so your page will not look singular.
– Before using high-resolution photos on your site, make sure that your webpage is optimized for that. Retina-ready sites are a good choice for uploading pictures of the best quality without worrying that the site will lose its functionality.
– When you are choosing pictures, try to make your page unusual. It is really worth having unique photos to make your page memorable. Also, keep in mind that your visitors are people who can feel different emotions, so engaging photos that evoke positive feelings will improve the impression from your website.
In conclusion, while designing your webpage, remember that it should be a combination of attractive use with effective functionality. First of all, the visual impact that your visitors get is the first thing that will make them wish to stay on your page. Choose an appropriate layout, group elements and apply blocks to structure the page. Additionally, avoid using too many details and unnecessary elements, and don’t overdo with bright colors or extraordinary fonts of different sizes. Apply animation, Parallax, background videos very carefully not to make your visitors distracted and not to slow down your website.
Secondly, facilitate your customers’ navigation around the site, arranging items into logical categories and subcategories, as well as structuring the menus without making them too complicated. Don’t irritate people with long scrolling or hidden elements that are difficult to find.
To summarize, have a look at infographic: