While we all have differing tastes and opinions, there are some websites out there that just nail it. They are the sites we continue to visit, sometimes daily, because we enjoy the experience. While there are many factors that go into designing a website, there are few common themes that separate the good sites from the bad sites. Today, we’ll explore the factors to take into consideration when designing your website.
1. Target Audience
Your website should be designed with your target audience in mind. While that fancy fly out menu might look cool, if you’re targeting a demographic that isn’t tech savvy, it may be confusing for them. The needs of your users should be your main focus when designing your website. Put yourself in their shoes and determine what they want.
What do you want your website to do? A solid understanding of the purpose of your website will help you determine the content that should be included on it. Are you looking to sell products? Educate people? Get people to pick up the phone and call you? Figure it out before you start designing.
By now, you probably know that having a mobile friendly design is crucial to your success. But responsive design doesn’t automatically mean accessibility. There have been plenty of times we’ve tried reading websites on our phones and simply couldn’t because they were littered with ads, loaded slowly or weren’t designed with mobile in mind.
Accessibility on mobile devices is just as important (if not more!) than on a desktop, so it’s important to give your users a good experience. Make sure your mobile navigation makes sense and remove any unnecessary design elements so your users don’t click away.
Navigation should be a primary concern in a website design. People need to be able to find what they are looking for easily. Again, keep your target users in mind when structuring your navigation. What might be visually appealing to you isn’t always the case for your end users. Make it easy for them to find what they want.
Photography will make or break a website. Remember those sites that we all love? They all used photos purposefully in their design. Images are a huge component to good design. They help determine the overall feel of the site and help to showcase what you’re selling.
While we’ll always recommend hiring a professional to handle your website photos, we understand that’s not in everyone’s budget. Luckily, stock photo sites have come along way over the years and there are plenty of places that offer free or cheap photos you can use on your site royalty free. If you’re selling products, it may be wise to invest a few hundred dollars into a DSLR camera and setup a DIY photo studio for your products. Whatever may be your case, taking the time to make sure you have high quality images on your site will help tremendously.
There is a lot to think about when designing a website, but we think the 5 factors above are some of the most important things to consider if you want to make your website great. Want help with improving your website? Sign up for our free website evaluation!