Website Designing is a challenging task, specially for a client. Expectations of many stakeholders are to be kept in mind while planning and executing this project. Obstacles are ever present and act as a hurdle towards emerging of new idea.
At times, as a web designer you lose perspective about the need of target audience. Working on the website, it often helps to take a step back and think about how to make it better.
Below are some tips, tricks, shortcuts and suggestions for creating a great website design.
Create a wire frame
Make it a non negotiable step to create a wire frame or blueprint prior to the visual design. This gives you an overall view and feel of your website. the wire-frame is a skeleton of your website.
Doing this will ensure that your website will not be a “over-designed” one and will help you to create a neat and clean layout.
Prototypes are crucial and helps users to get an overview of the website. It involves designing the navigation, color scheme and other details of your website.
Photoshop is not only the ways to create rapid prototypes of web pages, landing pages, call to actions or other web interface elements. An online repository is also available, here you can find anything and everything from user interface design templates for wire-framing, prototyping and testing mobile and web apps in keynote.
Add Web fonts
Web fonts are trending, your corporate style guide needs to have it. This will ensure that your website have the same governance that corporate documents and collateral have.
The correct place to start your search for a web font would be Google Fonts. Get a suitable web font and define usage in your corporate style guide and use it consistently online.
Placement of Social Media
When you place social media icons in the header which definitely is a prominent position, you are giving the visitors an option to leave from your website. Bury the icons in the footer, somewhere not so easily visible.
When someone visits the website, he should stay, learn and perhaps inquire about the services you provide, not just browse through the picture gallery. Social media should be used to get people to your website, not the other way round.
Ditch the slideshow/carousel
Slideshow/image carousel when introduced, was a way to give lots of information on the first page of the website. However, not all visitors stay on the first page long enough to browse and experience all of it.
Idea is to promote that one thing that solves the purpose of visitor, Why is he visiting your website? Target the bull, put images only about what the company does, ditch the rest!
The more options you give to visitors, the more they are overwhelmed. Keep the number of links on every page to minimal and let there be curiosity.
Avoid use of drop-down menus and specially multi-tier drop-down navigation. These navigation are not very user friendly, only skilled mouse users navigate effectively through them. Take the navigation a step further and reduce the number of links in the header of your website.
Sidebars, has been an extremely popular web design trend since last decade, especially on blogs.
However now the trend has changed, a recent study shows increase by 35% with respect to clicks on the call to action graphics if the sidebars are removed. They work as a distracting tool for the visitors.
Use flat colors
Color scheme of a web site, is the engaging factor for a visitor. Too bright or too sober colors tend to discourage visitors. Perfection is the key here, which definitely is not an easy task.
When stuck, refer to mother nature. The color palette of nature is huge that you are bound to find the perfect shade. Select from your own clicked pictures or take it from the web, use color picker to pick the exact shade and start creating.
Use paper or whiteboard
The first step towards a great design is great planning. Getting your ideas down on paper or on a board will help you iterate through a design, polish it and modify it as you go along. When designing with the team use whiteboard, this will enable others to give inputs and the design process will be more synergetic.
Also editing is easy with paper and boards, all you need is either an eraser or duster. This makes the editing quick and in turn results to immediate visualization of the suggested change. Now that you have a detailed project, snap a photo on your mobile phone for reference.
Websites of the company is what defines it, make it creative and unique. The more time a visitor spends on your website, more are the chances of him converting into a customer.