Design and layout play an important part in a website. The overall layout should be easy to understand and easy to use for the visitors.
You could say that the graphics go hand in hand with the content. After all, how else would users read your great content if they can’t navigate your website?
In order for your website to stand out, the layout should be customised according to the nature of your business. But no matter how radical the web design, there are still design principles that are best followed. Let’s look at the top tips:
Utilise white space wisely
If you’re not familiar, white space is any blank area of the page (Note: it doesn’t necessarily have to be white). This can be used in several ways. A perfect example would be Google’s own homepage. It only contains the search engine’s logo with the search box underneath. Everywhere else is simply vacant space.
In this case, the surrounding white space helps put the focus on the search box and logo. You could also apply this tactic to other parts of the site.
For instance, if you are designing a blog and the color scheme is mostly dark, then you could apply the white space on the articles. This way it will be easier for users to read your content.
Insert calls to action in strategic areas
Ideally, these sentences or phrases should be short and simple. To make them more effective, always include a verb. Some examples include “Subscribe now”, “Click here”, or “Sign up.“ Of course, your calls to action should be relevant to your business.
Usually, these words or phrases are placed in buttons. One way to generate more clicks is to incorporate psychological cues. For example, you can induce certain moods with the help of colours. Yellow for optimism, orange for friendliness, red for excitement, purple for creativity, blue for credibility, green for tranquility, and grey for harmony.
This strategy can also be applied to hyperlinks in articles, newsletters, and other relevant content. Wufoo uses this to great effect on their site.
Design user-friendly and eye-catching headings
Just like your content, your headings should reflect your company. More importantly, they should answer what your viewers are looking for.
This makes your site more user and search engine friendly. In fact, search engines actually prioritise headings over content.
However, once visitors land on your site, you also have to make sure that they stick around for a while.
Aside from making the headings look presentable, they should also be understandable. Remember, they will help users navigate around your website. A perfect example of this would be from here.
Create a mobile-friendly site
These days many people use mobile devices, including tablets, to surf the net. Whether you create an app for your business, or simply make your site responsive so it will adjust to the screen size, accessibility is important. You want users to visit your site however and whenever they choose. Mobile-friendly sites are crucial, and Google has already started penalising those that aren’t. Find out more here.
Find the 404 pages
Users find non-existent pages misleading. This is one of the leading causes of high bounce rate. You can detect these pages with the help of Google Webmaster tools. Once you spot these pages, you can either delete them or simply leave a temporary message for your users, saying that the page is still under construction. Follow this link for an example of cool 404 pages.
These strategies are all designed to be easy to implement, but following these design principles is just one of the crucial steps to retain users.
You still need to provide relevant content in your site. Not only will this make your site user-friendly, but also boost its marketing potential. Great content is very attractive to search engines. If you rank high in Google, Yahoo, or Bing, you could draw in more traffic for your site.