Studies conducted by a popular web analytics service called Chartbeat have found that the average internet user does not spend more than 15 seconds on the landing page. The content, format and design of a website should not only make it look good, but also allow it to function as desired. Given below are some of the most popular principles for web design:
A website should be intuitive
One of the most basic reasons that a visitor leaves a website is that it is difficult for them to find the information they are looking for. When you are creating a website for yourself or for your business, its purpose should be obvious to the visitor. If a website’s architecture and navigation is not intuitive, it gets very frustrating to use, and you end up losing internet traffic.
It should not take ages to load
Many web designers try to use a huge amount of content on their landing page to make it look impressive, but they are inadvertently increasing the time it takes to load for the average internet user. It goes without saying that a more simple design offers quicker loading times. You may try to optimize the content to speed up loading.
It should be compatible with smartphones
There are more than an estimated 2 billion smartphone users around the globe presently, and this number is set to increase due to the advancements in technology and cheaper internet connections. More and more people are accessing websites through their mobile device, and if your site is built only to be viewed through a desktop, it becomes difficult to use on a handheld device. You may create a dedicated mobile version of the site or rebuild it to incorporate a responsive layout.
Balance the content
Every website aims to communicate to the audience effectively and you can use text, images or videos in any way possible. But a haphazard design can be disorienting and difficult to navigate. While including content for your site, you need to ensure that the structure is simple and consistent. The readability of your text should be balanced with symbolic, expressive images and videos so that the page is not cluttered with too much information.
Keep it conventional
There are millions of websites online that are vying for the attention of the internet user. So if you offer something different, you are bound to get noticed, right? Not really. Internet users are trying to gather information through your website, which means that they will not appreciate an unconventional design if it forces them to take the effort to find out how to navigate it. Try to stick to conventional designs as it eliminates the need to learn a new set up. However, if you have an unconventional set up which seems to help visitors more than conventional designs, you should try to use it as an advantage.
Test, learn, improve, repeat
No matter how much effort you have put into designing your website, there will always be some unforeseen minor issues that the first users will face. Ensure that you test your designs early, and test it often to make sure that it is working as required. Remember that the cost of fixing errors keeps increasing as time passes. Have it tested by independent testers who will be able to provide a fresh perspective and maybe even point out major design flaws that you failed to consider. Consider it to be an iterative process that needs to be repeated over and over again until you have a functional and attractive website.
Designing a perfect website takes time and patience, and it is almost never achieved in the first try. Make sure that you continue to improve the features of your website even when it is attracting a respectable number of users, so that you can minimize loading time and optimize the format for your audience.