Web design is tricky. Currently, it is taking with it a lot of things into account when designing the website, from the visual appearance (how the website looks) to functional design (how the website works).
The following are some of the short views into the main principles, heuristics, and the approaches that can help you and the designers to create a great user experience for your website. This includes the global aspects like the user journey all the way to the individual pages.
The user journey is actually defining the structure of the website and the individual pages which are the main considerations during the web page design.
“Information architecture” (IA) is used mostly by people when they mean the menus on a website. However, while menus are a part of the IA, they are only one aspect of it.
IA is about the organization of information set in a clear, logical way. It is to help users navigate a complex set of information. A good one is set to align with users’ expectations. They can happen only after a good and proper research and testing.
Information architects also need to access the results of usability tests to see whether users are able to navigate efficiently.
Card sorting is a simple way to figure out how best to group and organize content based on user input. Tree testing is a reliable method of finding whether users can work with the proposed menu structure.
Navigation is very important. It doesn’t matter how good your website is if users can’t find their way around it. Navigation on your site needs the following principles.
In Simplicity, navigation should be designed in a way that gets visitors where they want to go with the fewest clicks possible. Clarity means it should be self-evident to visitors and that there is no guessing on each of the navigation options.
Consistency means the navigation system should be the same for all pages on the website.
Choose a navigation pattern based on users needs. It should accommodate the needs of the majority of your website’s users.
A target group always expects a particular type of interaction with your website. Make this expectation work in your favor.
Prioritize navigation options by assigning different priority levels (high, medium, low) to common user tasks. Make the layouts to paths and destinations prominent enough.
Links / navigation options
These are the key factors in the navigation process and directly affect the journey of the user. Users expect different behavior for internal and external links.
Make it a point that all internal links should open in the same tab. (This gives the option for the users to use the “Back” button).
Change the color of visited links. If they don’t, users might revisit without intention the same pages.
Double-check all links. A user can get frustrated by clicking a link and getting a 404 error page. When they search for content, they expect every link takes them where it says it will.
The second most popular UI control in the browser is the back button.
When a user follows a link on a page and then clicks the “back” button, they expect to return to the same spot on the original page.
It’s no surprise that users get frustrated quickly with no proper “back-to-position” functionality.
These are contextual links that functions as a navigation aid in websites. This usually shows the use’s location on a website.
However, don’t use breadcrumbs as a substitute for primary navigation. The main navigation is the element that leads the user, whereas breadcrumbs are only support for the user.
Users come to a site to look for one particular item; they don’t want the navigation options. They type the text in a search box, submit their search query, and expect to find the page they’re looking for.
You can put the search box where users expect to find them. Display search prominently because it can be the fastest route to discovery for users.
Place the search boxes on every page because users will try to use search wherever they are on the site.
Arguably, the most important thing in content strategy is to focus the Brisbane website design on page objectives. You need to understand the aim of the page and then write the content according to the goal.
The other guidelines include the prevention of information overload. This prevents the users from making decisions or taking actions because of too much information.
Chunking, the breaking of content into smaller chunks to help users understand and process it is one common technique of minimizing information overload.
Avoid jargon and industry-specific terms because of how the users will receive it, especially those who are not familiar with them. It is safe to write for all levels of readers and pick words that are clearly and easily understandable to all.
Cut down on long sections with lots of details. Experts tend to agree that for comfortable reading, most sentences should be 20 words or less.
Make the structure predictable. Align your design to user expectations. Use patterns that your target audience is familiar with.
Use a layout grid. The grid divides a page into major regions, and defines the relationships between elements in terms of size and position. With the grid, it is easier to combine different page parts together.
Cut out on clutter. Clutter overloads reduce comprehension. Every added button, image and line of text makes the screen more complicated.
People tend to quickly scan a web page than read it. Visitors tend to scan a web page until they find where they need to go.
Designers can help by designing a good visual hierarchy. A proper visual hierarchy makes it easy to scan the page.
Visual hierarchy refers to the arrangement or presentation of elements in a way that indicates importance (that is, where visitor’s eyes should focus first, second, etc.).
A persistent myth among web designers is that people don’t scroll. Users scroll site pages.
Despite the fact that people usually start scrolling as soon as the page loads, content at the top of the page is still very important.
What appears at the top of the page sets the impression and expectation of quality for visitors. People do scroll, but only if what’s above the fold is promising enough.
These buttons are vital to creating smooth conversational flow.
Buttons are vital to creating a smooth conversational flow. It’s worth paying attention to these basic best practices for buttons:
You need to label buttons accordingly on what they do. The users will be more comfortable if they know and understand that the actions of a button initiates.
These are some very important elements in website design. There are many more elements that can be treated differently to make your website design unique, professional, appealing and profitable.