Responsive design has become the new web standard. Many companies have accepted the challenge and have created specific design solutions (such as mobile only) or have attempted to address the issue cross-platform. In this article we look at several tips to help with your design process and make it more efficient.
- Before you start designing your website, you need to figure out who your target audience will be and what their expectations are. Make sure you build a website that fits their needs and not one that targets everyone. If you build a website that targets everyone, your conversions will never be as high as when you build a website that specifically targets your target audience. Find out who your competitors are and analyse their websites. Find out which parts of their websites are good and keep those parts in mind when you design your new website.
- When you’re designing a new website, it can be very tempting to use color after color simply because you can. However, it is not recommended to use more than two to three colors on your website in order to simplify your web design and keep it visually attractive. When you use more colors on your website, the design will start to look chaotic and visitors will get distracted. If you still need to use more colors, it’s recommended to use different shades of the two to three basic colors. That way you can use more colors, but still stick to the basic two to three colors and avoid a website full off different distracting colors.
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- Your logo is probably the most important item on your website, since the logo is a major part of your brand and will be a point of recognition for the people visiting your website. Always make sure that you use a high-quality logo that has a prominent position at the top of every page on your website and make sure it links directly to the homepage of your website, so that visitors can at any point easily navigate back to the homepage.
- Why do you think books always have pages with white backgrounds and black text? Because you need to be able to read the text properly. The same goes for websites. Since the beginning of the internet, websites have changed a lot. One thing that didn’t change much is the presentation of text and making sure texts have an optimal contrast.
- A lot of designers forget that the space they reserve for a piece of content may be too small to fit the actual content. For example, when you create a website design in which you reserved space for five menu items, but the client suddenly needs space for eight menu items, you’re in trouble. Always make sure you keep in mind that you or your client might need a lot more space than expected in the first case.
- It is important to start every design you create at the same point and go through a certain design process to achieve long-lasting designs with optimal conversions. Investigate the target audience, analyze the competitors, create multiple sketches and drafts and ask your client’s opinion about them.
- Preferably use a 12-colum grid. This will allow you as a designer to create a website design that is well structured, logically ordered and aligned, and will at a later stage allow you or the developer to use that grid layout when he creates the layout.
- Keep things simple and make sure you only display the most essential elements on your website. A lot of websites have their essential elements scrambled between the un-important elements of the website which lowers the conversions dramatically. Remove all those un-important elements or hide theme somewhere at the bottom of your page or somewhere on a sub-page so your potential clients won’t get distracted.
- Websites change all the time. What was hot last year, may become old this year. If you’re a web designer it’s definitely recommended to follow the latest web design trends so you don’t design websites for your clients with techniques that were hot 10 years ago.
- Once you’ve finished your web design and are ready to throw it in front of your audience, it is important to test it thoroughly. The smallest change can result in major positive or negative results. For example, when Microsoft was testing several shades of blue, this resulted in a $80 million annual revenue. Now this might not be a realistic example for your personal or company website, but you get the idea. Give your website multiple tests and when it is live, keep testing. Run A-B tests on and on to strive for the perfect website with a conversion rate which is as high as possible.