5 Things You Need to Know About Website Design
Today web design is not only about choosing the right fonts, playing with icons, and structuring the elements correctly. While these are the must-haves for a designer, the very field goes much beyond the visual part. A good web designer should have an understanding of the shouldering niches like marketing, including knowledge of the audience and their needs, product or service they are designing a website for, and last but not least learn network and security basics to protect personal and client’s data.
WordPress makes the design much easier due to the availability of multi-purpose themes, plugins, and other tools that facilitate the process. Yet, you still need to use your creativity and tailor it to specific needs to make it look elegant and catchy.
The visual trends are frequently changing, but there are some things that remain valid over time, so if you are approaching your website powered by WordPress, here’s what you need to know:
It’s not a secret that the mobile-first approach is leading the industry as traffic from mobile devices is more than 50%, and these stats keep growing. That’s why it’s critical to make sure that your website is adapted for mobile devices. So when choosing a WordPress theme, check if it’s responsive. It’s not only about correctly resizing elements and structure but also about the page size of the mobile version. The main aim is to reduce loading speed because if your website takes more than several seconds to open, users will not wait. It’s also worth checking the demo of the theme because some design items may have different behavior, and it should be convenient for mobile users (like swiping the gallery, presence of side burger menu, and adjusting the size of clickable elements to avoid misclicks). Luckily there are tons of them in official e-stores.
Every page should serve some purpose and you expect visitors to take some action, that’s why you need to make this action clear and add a CTA button that will be catching users’ attention. It may be “Contact Us”, “Learn More”, “Buy”, “Subscribe”, and others. Designing a website mind the golden rule of keeping one CTA per page. Otherwise, several buttons on one page may have an adverse effect and add confusion. So, users will be leaving without completing any action negatively affecting the bounce rate. Thus, before releasing the website to the audience, make the CTA audit.
In attempts to make the website functional, it’s easy to get carried away. The desire to add as much functionality to your website as it’s possible and stuffing the pages with many different products, buttons, description boxes, and other elements may have a negative impact on the website. Great web design is not about a perfect aesthetic look, but about usability in the first place. So the key thing in designing your pages is making them simple and easy to use. Design the website having the user intention in mind and get rid of all the elements that complicate its structure. The great way to achieve this is starting with prototyping everything schematically and assessing the general concept prior to the actual design. It will help you to eliminate all extra points that are not making the user experience better. Another option is to show the prototypes or mockups on the later pages to someone. It can be a potential user, friend, or colleague from another department. Ask them to take a look at the structure of your pages and see if they can guess the flows or functions of this or that element. This way, it’s possible to shift the focus and see how external users understand the concept and what is preventing them from effective interaction with the website design.
When designing a website make sure to think about your users first. Think about different scenarios applicable when a user lands on your page because they hugely impact the design decisions. Here are points to consider:
- How users enter the page?
- Users may enter the landing page first or come to any other sub-page (e.g.blog post): where do you want to lead them next?
- For shops: where will you place the “recommended goods” sections, and what if a user wants to modify the order on the final stage
- Where should you place the FAQ section so that it’s accessible?
- What will be your main menu items?
One of the most common mistakes during website design is missing out the growth and not taking into account the need to add certain elements, growing menus, and other visual changes. For sure, there are cases when a complete rebranding happens, but usually, they are steadily growing adding feature by feature. It may happen that at some point the design that was looking great at the beginning becomes clumsy. It’s possible to avoid it by considering future elements and how they can be placed in advance, before releasing the first version. Doing so, there’s always some room for maneuvering and organic placement of the new elements. So when working on your website take into account at least the approximate features you want to enhance your website with after publishing. It will help you to save a lot of time and money later, keeping the design as much effective as it was during the first iteration.
To achieve success, many factors should coincide starting with the quality of your product, and marketing, to the economical situation. But when it comes to building your online presence web design is no less important than its loading speed, presence of the core plugins, and website architecture. The reason behind it is that web design is literally building the face of your product. Thus, the more well-thought and attractive it is, the more chances are to turn a visitor into a loyal customer.
Stewart Dunlop looks after content marketing at Udemy and has a passion for writing articles that users will want to read. In his free time, he likes to play football and read Stephen King.
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