As websites provide both static and dynamic content, some aspects of the user
Users don’t read, they scan. Analyzing a web-page, users search for some fixed points or anchors which would guide them through the content of the page.
Web users are impatient and insist on instant gratification. Very simple principle: If a website isn’t able to meet users’ expectations, then designer failed to get his job done properly and the company loses money. The higher is the cognitive load and the less intuitive is the navigation, the more willing are users to leave the website and search for alternatives. [JN / DWU]
Users don’t make optimal choices. Users don’t search for the quickest way to find the information they’re looking for. Neither do they scan webpage in a linear fashion, going sequentially from one site section to another one. Instead users satisfice;
They choose the first reasonable option. As soon as they find a link that seems like it might lead to the goal, there is a very good chance that it will be immediately clicked. Optimizing is hard, and it takes a long time. Satisficing is more efficient.
Don’t Make Users Think #
According to Krug’s first law of usability, the web-page should be obvious and self-explanatory. When you’re creating a site, your job is to get rid of the question marks — the decisions users need to make consciously, considering pros, cons and alternatives.
If the navigation and site architecture aren’t intuitive, the number of question marks grows and makes it harder for users to comprehend how the system works and how to get from point A to point B.
A clear structure, moderate visual clues and easily recognizable links can help users to find their path to their aim.
Don’t Squander Users’ Patience #
In every project when you are going to offer your visitors some service or tool, try to keep your user requirements minimal.
The less action is required from users to test a service, the more likely a random visitor is to actually try it out. First-time visitors are willing to play with the service, not filling long web forms for an account they might never use in the future.
Let users explore the site and discover your services without forcing them into sharing private data. It’s not reasonable to force users to enter an email address to test the feature.
As Ryan Singer — the developer of the 37Signals team — states, users would probably be eager to provide an email address if they were asked for it after they’d seen the feature work, so they had some idea of what they were going to get in return.
Ideally remove all barriers, don’t require subscriptions or registrations first. A user registration alone is enough of an impediment to user navigation to cut down on incoming traffic.
3. Manage To Focus Users’ Attention #
As websites provide both static and dynamic content, some aspects of the user interface attract attention more than others do.
Obviously, images are more eye-catching than the text — just as the sentences marked as bold are more attractive than plain text.
The human eye is a highly non-linear device, and web-users can instantly recognize edges, patterns and motions. This is why video-based advertisements are extremely annoying and distracting, but from the marketing perspective they perfectly do the job of capturing users’ attention.
The site has 9 main navigation options which are visible at the first glance. The choice of colors might be too light, though.
Letting the user see clearly what functions are available is a fundamental principle of successful user interface design.
It doesn’t really matter how this is achieved. What matters is that the content is well-understood and visitors feel comfortable with the way they interact with the system.
5. Make Use Of Effective Writing #
As the Web is different from print, it’s necessary to adjust the writing style to users’ preferences and browsing habits. Promotional writing won’t be read. Long text blocks without images and keywords marked in bold or italics will be skipped. Exaggerated language will be ignored.
Talk business. Avoid cute or clever names, marketing-induced names, company-specific names, and unfamiliar technical names. For instance, if you describe a service and want users to create an account, “sign up” is better than “start now!” which is again better than “explore our services”.
Strive For Simplicity #
The “keep it simple”-principle (KIS) should be the primary goal of site design. Users are rarely on a site to enjoy the design; furthermore, in most cases they are looking for the information despite the design. Strive for simplicity instead of complexity.
From the visitors’ point of view, the best site design is a pure text, without any advertisements or further content blocks matching exactly the query visitors used or the content they’ve been looking for.
This is one of the reasons why a user-friendly print-version of web pages is essential for good user experience.
Don’t Be Afraid Of The White Space #
Actually it’s really hard to overestimate the importance of white space. Not only does it help to reduce the cognitive load for the visitors, but it makes it possible to perceive the information presented on the screen.
When a new visitor approaches a design layout, the first thing he/she tries to do is to scan the page and divide the content area into digestible pieces of information.
Complex structures are harder to read, scan, analyze and work with. If you have the choice between separating two design segments by a visible line or by some whitespace.
It’s usually better to use the whitespace solution. Hierarchical structures reduce complexity (Simon’s Law): the better you manage to provide users with a sense of visual hierarchy, the easier your content will be to perceive.
Communicate Effectively With A “Visible Language” #
In his papers on effective visual communication, Aaron Marcus states three fundamental principles involved in the use of the so-called “visible language” — the content users see on a screen.
Organize: provide the user with a clear and consistent conceptual structure. Consistency, screen layout, relationships and navigability are important concepts of organization. The same conventions and rules should be applied to all elements.
Economize: do the most with the least amount of cues and visual elements. Four major points to be considered: simplicity, clarity, distinctiveness, and emphasis. Simplicity includes only the elements that are most important for communication. Clarity: all components should be designed so their meaning is not ambiguous. Distinctiveness: the important properties of the necessary elements should be distinguishable. Emphasis: the most important elements should be easily perceived.
Communicate: match the presentation to the capabilities of the user. The user interface must keep in balance legibility, readability, typography, symbolism, multiple views, and color or texture in order to communicate successfully. Use max. 3 typefaces in a maximum of 3 point sizes — a maximum of 18 words or 50-80 characters per line of text.
9. Conventions Are Our Friends #
Conventional design of site elements doesn’t result in a boring web site. In fact, conventions are very useful as they reduce the learning curve, the need to figure out how things work. For instance, it would be a usability nightmare if all websites had different visual presentation of RSS-feeds. That’s not that different from our regular life where we tend to get used to basic principles of how we organize data (folders) or do shopping (placement of products).
With conventions you can gain users’ confidence, trust, reliability and prove your credibility. Follow users’ expectations — understand what they’re expecting from a site navigation, text structure, search placement etc.
A typical example from usability sessions is to translate the page in Japanese (assuming your web users don’t know Japanese, e.g. with Babelfish) and provide your usability testers with a task to find something in the page of different language. If conventions are well-applied, users will be able to achieve a not-too-specific objective, even if they can’t understand a word of it.
Steve Krug suggests that it’s better to innovate only when you know you really have a better idea, but take advantages of conventions when you don’t.
10. Test Early, Test Often #
This so-called TETO-principle should be applied to every web design project as usability tests often provide crucial insights into significant problems and issues related to a given layout.
Some important points to keep in mind:
according to Steve Krug, testing one user is 100% better than testing none and testing one user early in the project is better than testing 50 near the end. Accoring to Boehm’s first law, errors are most frequent during requirements and design activities and are the more expensive the later they are removed.
testing is an iterative process. That means that you design something, test it, fix it and then test it again. There might be problems which haven’t been found during the first round as users were practically blocked by other problems.
usability tests always produce useful results. Either you’ll be pointed to the problems you have or you’ll be pointed to the absence of major design flaws which is in both cases a useful insight for your project.
according to Weinberg’s law, a developer is unsuited to test his or her code.
This holds for designers as well. After you’ve worked on a site for few weeks, you can’t observe it from a fresh perspective anymore.
You know how it is built and therefore you know exactly how it works — you have the wisdom independent testers and visitors of your site wouldn’t have.
The first step in winning over more customers is to understand the essential elements that should go into every homepage.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, draw inspiration from 31 top homepage designs so you can find out what will work best for your business and your audience.
The Benefits of a Well-Designed Homepage
A simple homepage design welcomes your audience to your site, tells them what you want them to do next, and allows them to explore your site in more depth.
You can add complexity to a simple homepage design, but you don’t want to start with a cluttered mess and have to selectively prune it. Always begin with the basics.
What do you need on your homepage? What will your audience expect? And which elements take priority?
When you can answer those questions, you’ll have the information you need for better homepage design. In web design, homepage elements have very specific purposes.
Helping your target audience get to know your business
Many of your website visitors will find your homepage first. With that in mind, you need to make a solid first impression.
Your homepage should provide a sense of your company’s values, unique selling proposition (USP), and purpose. You’re more likely to lure in potential customers if you can effectively communicate this information.
Improving the user experience on your website
Consumers visit your website with a purpose. It could be to check out your product line, read your blog posts, or find out if you sell a particular type of service.
Regardless, you want to direct that consumer to the appropriate page. Your homepage design should facilitate this transition by providing intuitive navigation and a sense of how your website flows.
Accruing more conversions
You want website visitors to convert, but they won’t if you don’t give them the necessary incentive and opportunity. Maybe you want to build an email list, but if visitors can’t find a signup form, your database will remain empty.
By making this information easily accessible on your homepage, you will see an uptick in conversions.
Another way to boost conversions is to create a strong first impression with your homepage. If visitors enjoy their experience on your website, they’ll also be more likely to remember it in the future. Maybe you won’t make a sale today, but that customer will return days or weeks later and buy from you.
Improving brand awareness
Make your company memorable by allowing your brand image and messaging to come through on every page. This is especially true when it comes to your homepage design because the homepage serves as the gateway to the rest of your website.
Your logo, tagline, and purpose need to take center stage. In fact, you might even want to add a form or statement to the very top of your homepage — preferably in a large font — that gives your visitors a sense of what you do:
What problems do you solve for your customers? How do you improve your clients’ lives — whether personal or professional?
Don’t force your website audience to have to figure out and guess what it is you do. Make it clear from the get go.
How to Design a Website Homepage
Now that you know the four goals to motivate your design principles, ask yourself three guiding questions: What do you absolutely need on your homepage? Who is your target audience and what will they expect? Which elements take priority?
Once you have the answers to these three questions, you can begin plotting out how best to improve your homepage.
Remember to tie each of your design elements to one of the four goals listed above. Most importantly, don’t worry about getting it perfect. Website optimization is an ongoing process!
The Best Homepage Design Examples (And Why They Work)
There’s no better teacher than an example. I’m going to show you some of the best homepage design examples that I’ve found, and I’ll tell you exactly why they work so you can apply those same tactics on your own site.
Ecommerce homepage design can get tricky. Do you introduce the business, show off your flagship product, or overwhelm your audience with tons of products or categories?
Hopefully, you don’t do the latter.
In thredUP’s case, the homepage goes for a seasonal approach.
Apparently, boho style is in (at least for women), so we see a custom graphic that advertises lots of boho fashions available. The navigation is hefty but cleanly designed, so visitors can easily find the categories that interest them.
What is a website layout?
A website layout is a pattern (or framework) that defines a website’s structure. It has the role of structuring the information present on a site both for the website’s owner and for users. It provides clear paths for navigation within webpages and puts the most important elements of a website front and center.
Website layouts define the content hierarchy. Content will guide visitors around the website, and it must convey your message as well as possible to them.
Why should you choose one layout over another?
You should carefully make a selection. This is why:
A good layout keeps users on the site because it makes important information easily accessible and intuitive to find. A bad layout frustrates users which then quickly leave the site because they can’t find what they are looking for.
For this reason, it’s best to take as long as you need to find a good layout because users won’t give you more than a few seconds of their time.
There’s a strong relationship between the layout and the engagement of users with the website. It determines how long they dwell on the website pages, how many pages they browse, and how often they come back to the website.
So, besides overcoming the problem of split-second choice, a good layout comes with additional benefits. Engaging visitors can be a rewarding effort.
When selecting a layout, it might be useful to also consider the Gestalt law of closure. It says that, even if an image shape is not complete, the human eye tends to fill in the visual gaps and recognize the image as a whole. How can this be of use to you?
You won’t pay attention to details, rather focusing on the global view of the pages forming the website; users will find themselves the meaning path.
You pay attention to details, using some additional seconds to grow the engagement exponentially.
You intentionally won’t pay attention to details, letting originality speak for itself; users will find themselves the meaning path, and they will keep a strong memory of your website.
Getting familiar with the layout design best practices
To spend a fruitful time selecting a layout design, it’s important to get familiar with some basic notions related to website layouts. We’ve gathered a bunch of concepts that’ll help you get oriented into the abundance of predefined website layouts.
Visual weight and negative space
Visual weight is perceived by people when some objects on the website carry a stronger visual force. This visual force can be induced in specific elements through different techniques. Amongst them, negative space is the one that interests us directly here.
Negative space (space that is devoid of any elements) drives the attention towards elements outweighing the rest through visual force concentrated on them.
Create Vietnam Design for Eye-Catching Stimulating Layouts
Balanced website layouts
In balanced web design, the elements that make up the layout are supporting one another so that the user sees the text content with equal importance. In addition, the elements are easily scannable in a layout that efficiently presents them all. The design gives the impression of stability, and it feels really pleasing, from the aesthetic point of view.
One of the most popular balanced designs is symmetrical balance, where, similar to a mirror image, a visual element will look the same on either side of the center.
You’ve probably felt it too when looking at the architecture of some buildings, gardens, and even at the wings of a butterfly.
Do not focus too much on the interface when designing:
Aesthetics is a factor to evaluate a professional website, but it is not the most important issue because the view of beauty is different one person and no website can satisfy all. everyone. The most important thing is that you need to know the target customers come to your website, information, products, images, presentation ...
So a website needs to achieve both scientific and aesthetic elements. The aesthetic element of the interface is well appreciated if the colors are not too showy, the effects are not confusing influenced the market value and the viewer's eyes.
High Quality Images – Having beautiful photography can elevate any site. When images are grainy or stretched it’s distracting and can lose credibility with the users.
Get Started On a Brand New Website
There’s no question a new website can be a reset for a floundering digital marketing strategy. You can spend a lot of time and money getting users to your site from PPC and SEO campaigns.
But if they finally get there and it’s too confusing to navigate, they can’t find the answers they are looking for, the site doesn’t load fast enough, or they can’t understand the product you’re selling, you’ll lose that customer and the marketing dollars used to get them to the site will be wasted.
What are you waiting for? Reach out to the team of experts at Results Repeat for a consultation today and we’ll thoroughly evaluate your site for you, examining any pain points, if a full site redesign is necessary.
Maybe you just need a bit of a face lift to compete with your competitors. We have years of experience in web design and development and would be happy to help you get your site on the right track!
Designing your own website seems pretty daunting, doesn’t it? Navigating all the right tools and being a whizz with layout and positioning. You want the good news? That’s total garbage.
In fact, you don’t need to be a genius at all in order to get around designing a website, and that’s exactly what we’re going to help you out with in this easy-to-follow guide. Web design is all about creative freedom, so let’s take you through:
Defining your site’s purpose and strategy
Researching the latest web design trends
Choosing your platform
Deciding on your branding
Adding in and optimizing content
Research the latest web design trends.
Web design evolves quickly, but there are some more prevalent trends you can learn from. At this point, it’s important to note that just because a web trend is current, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right for you.
48% of people cite design as the most important factor of a website, so it’s important to take your time and look at what competitors are doing. Each sector will have different styles, so it’s vital you know whether you want to fit into your industry, or disrupt it.
Alex Vasili – a leading brand expert – believes you should always research by industry, rather than age or gender. When speaking to us about web design, he said:
Why web design is important
As you look into redesigning your website, you may wonder the importance to website design. How does it impact your audience and your business? Let’s look at five reasons web design is important.
1. It sets the first impression
When your audience visits your website, it gives them their first impression of your business. They will judge your business within seconds. In these first few seconds, you want to make a positive impact on your audience.
If your website looks unappealing or outdated, your audience will immediately have a negative impression of your business. They won’t find your website appealing, which deters them from your page. You’ll miss out on leads because they’ll leave your page for a competitor’s page.
Web design is important because it impacts how your audience perceives your brand. The impression you make on them can either get them to remain on your page and learn about your business or leave your page and turn to a competitor. A good web design helps you keep your leads on your page.
2. It aids your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy
Many web design elements and practices influence how you publish content on your website, which in turn affects how search engine spiders crawl and index your website.
This is one thing you cannot afford to mess up. If your on-page SEO fundamentals are not up to snuff, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle for visibility from the start.
Aside from how content is published on your website, certain web design elements can directly affect SEO in and of themselves. Web design can be difficult to understand if you’re not familiar with how it works, but to put it simply, your code needs to be SEO-friendly.
The best way to ensure proper web design practices (and subsequent search engine visibility) is to partner up with a web design agency that knows what they’re doing.
3. It sets the impression for customer service
People can judge how you will treat them by looking at your website. Your design gives them insight as to how you view your audience. If you don’t put any effort into your website’s design, your audience knows that you won’t put effort into helping them.
Your website is like a customer service representative. If your website is bright, modern, and inviting, your audience will feel more welcome on your page. You’ll give the impression that you are open and welcoming to new people who visit your website.
On the other hand, an outdated and unappealing site makes your business appear cold and aloof. People don’t want to check out a business that doesn’t value them enough to make a good first impression.
Think of your web design as the digital face of your business.
If someone walked into your physical location, wouldn’t you want a friendly face to greet them and make them feel welcome? An updated and modern web design is the equivalent to a friendly face greeting your new visitors.
Important elements of quality web design
Now that you know the web design importance, it’s time to start looking at elements that make a quality design. Here are seven key elements you’ll want to incorporate into your web design.
1. Solid navigation
When users access your site, they want to access information quickly and easily. If you want leads to remain on your page, you must implement a navigation that is easy for your audience to use.
Your audience doesn’t want to struggle to find information. They want to access your navigation bar and easily be directed to the information they need. If your navigation is poor, you’ll discourage your audience from engaging on your page.
Visitors’ attention spans are short. If you want to keep them on your page, you must help them access information quickly. A properly designed navigation will help them get to the information they need.
With the growth in mobile devices, responsive design is more important than ever.
Your audience will access your site from a multitude of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. If you want these leads to remain on your site, you must ensure that each person has a positive experience.
Responsive design ensures that your audience has a good experience on your site, regardless of the device they use.
Your website will adapt to the device to ensure that your website is sized appropriately for their device. This is valuable for keeping leads engaged and interested in your site.
Responsive design keeps leads engaged on your page longer. If you want to have a successful website design, you must integrate responsive design.
Your style guide is the basis for how you want your website to look. You decide the color, format, typography, and more, for every page on your website. This ensures that every time someone adds an element to your site it is consistent with other pages.
You’ll help your team creates consistency across your website, too. They can reference your style guide anytime they add an element to your site. It makes it easier for different people to work on your website and add elements to it.
When you have a consistent design across your website, you create a more cohesive site.
Your audience will engage on your site longer and build brand recognition. This will help you earn more conversions down the line.
4. Purposeful visuals
Companies are quick to integrate visual elements because they help improve engagement on a website. In fact, customers are 10 times more likely to interact with a video than text.
While visual elements are great for engagement and breaking up text, some businesses go overboard with the images. Their sites are crowded with photos and videos. It makes the site feel overwhelming and cluttered.
You may think that it’s great to integrate and abundance of photos and videos to increase engagement, but it can become overwhelming if there are too many.
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