When asked why he thought businesses should have a good web design, our founder, Mathew, had this to say:
A good-looking, user-friendly and professional website should be the first thing your visitors see when they find your business online. A poorly designed website, or a site that doesn't consider the user experience, could leave a sour taste in their mouth and lead to lost business, amongst other things.
So let's take a look at Mathew's top 10 tips for a good website.
1. Hold off on the pop-ups
There are three main reasons why you should avoid using pop-ups on your website:
- They are annoying for the user; at the end of the day, the user has come to your site to do a particular task. If you're making it hard to do that task by blocking them using a pop-up, the user will become annoyed and may even leave your site.
- They can distract and confuse your visitors, especially if they are irrelevant.
- They can lower your user experience and search engine optimisation rankings, especially if the pop-ups are slowing your site down.
Because of the frustration experienced by users, Google has also stepped in to reduce the search rankings on websites containing pop-ups that block content.
2. Be consistent across your site
If you have a specific colour scheme you're working to, stick to it to make sure that your website is in line with the rest of your branding.
But consistency doesn't begin and end with branding; you must look at your placements. For example, if 90% of the pages on your site have the logo in the top left of the screen, but then 10% of your pages have it in the top centre of the screen, this is inconsistent. Users like to see consistency when they are browsing a site. So keep this in mind when you are designing your site.
3. Your site should reflect you
Not in the way that you should use your favourite colours and only talk about your hobbies. But in the way that if your business is playful, there's nothing wrong with having a playful website. In the same way, if your business is corporate and professional, your website should be corporate and professional.
Just remember that your website should always reflect you and should be instantly recognisable as belonging to your business and your industry.
4. Make it beautiful, but don't sacrifice functionality
You want your website to be visually pleasing for your users. If it doesn't look nice, visitors will be quick to leave.
Just make sure you're not sacrificing the primary function of your website.
If your users visit your website for a specific purpose, for example, to learn something new, or sign up for a newsletter, ensure they can easily complete the action.
5. Less is more
You don't want your visitors to feel overwhelmed when they visit your site. You want them to leave after accomplishing what they set out to do.
One simple way to achieve this is by remembering that when it comes to websites, less is more.
If you want your users to fill out a specific form, only have that form on the page, rather than 3 or 4 different forms for them to choose from, as well as a button for them to contact you directly.
Lead your users in one specific direction, and they should follow it to your end goal.
6. Make sure your content is easy to read
No one will stick around and read a solid wall of text, break it up a little.
If it's possible, use paragraphs, bullet points, numbered lists, and images. These make the content easy to read while ensuring your readers don't get stuck with a long wall of solid text.
7. Try and avoid slang or jargon
While you want to seem knowledgeable to your audience, you also want to ensure your audience knows what you're talking about.
Having jargon can make your content hard to read and only appealing to an audience that already knows all of the terms you're talking about.
Roseblade Top Tip: if you can't avoid using the jargon, fully explain what you mean by the term in plain English.
8. Keep important bits above the fold
When a website visitor first loads your site, they should be immediately impressed by what they see on the page without needing to scroll further.
This content is what's known as above the fold.
A number of website owners will find that users don't always scroll below the fold, so you need to have your important information above this cut-off point.
9. Don't let your users get lost
Easy navigation is essential for any website. You want your users to be able to find the information they are looking for without needing to look too hard for it.
This is where easy navigation comes in.
If you have a page on your site, make sure that it's labelled clearly in the navigation and contains information that the user would expect to find on it.
For example, if you have a page for web design, make sure you label it in the navigation as web design rather than search engine optimisation.
10. Buttons should say what they do
Have you ever loaded a website and had no idea what the button under a form does?
It's been helpfully labelled as "Awesome! Thank You!" rather than saying what they do, which could be something like "Subscribe to newsletter".
If your visitors are left confused by what the call to action is, it's less likely that they'll carry it out. The clearer you can be about what your website is doing, the more likely you are to satisfy your visitor's needs.
These have been Mathew's top 10 tips for good website design. If you take these on board, you'll be well on your way to having an awesome-looking website that's attractive to your visitors.