Functional Web Design | What Has Your Website Done For You Lately?
Functional Web Design | Much like fashion, web design is constantly evolving, with trends and fads coming and going. When it comes to creating a website that will make a professional impression, you will always do well by keeping everything up to date and on trend.
44% of consumers start product research on a major search engine like Google or Bing. Having a business website is key to being noticed by nearly half of your future clients. Your website needs to catch and hold the visitor’s attention, and then prompt an interaction, be it in the form of a sale, comments on a forum, or sharing via social media platforms. In order to achieve this, you need something that will inspire your target audience, and present the right image of your brand. Websites that are not designed well tend to perform poorly and have sub-optimal Google Analytics metrics (e.g. high bounce rates, low time on site, low pages per visit and low conversions). So what makes good web design?
Purpose | Functional Web Design
Good web design always caters to the needs of the visitor. Are your web visitors looking for information, entertainment, some type of interaction, or to transact with your business? You may have more than one type of user, and the different users may be looking for different things when they open your website. If it isn’t designed with specific objectives in mind, it’s unlikely to fulfill your expectations. Each page of your website has to have a clear purpose, and to fulfill a specific need of your visitors in the most effective way possible.
Communication | Functional Web Design
Understand how users currently use your website this is an ongoing effort. A friendly website will anticipate what users want to do and make it easy for them. People on the web tend to want information quickly, so it is important to communicate clearly, and make your information easy to read and understand. Some effective tactics to include in your web design include: organizing information using headlines and sub-headlines, or using bullet points instead of long windy sentences.
Even if your website features a colored background, a top mistake of many small businesses is trying to fit too much visual or written content onto a single web page. White space shouldn’t be neglected, because it draws the eye towards the content that matters.
In general, Sans Serif fonts such as Arial and Verdana are easier to read online (Sans Serif fonts are contemporary looking fonts without decorative finishes). The ideal font size for reading online is 16px. Also, you should stick to a maximum of 3 typefaces.
Navigation | Functional Web Design
User experience is the key to any good web design. Visitors should be able to navigate throughout your website without coming to a dead end. Provide your website visitors with a visible navigation bar where they can learn more about your business and people, values, ask questions through a contact form, or start shopping. A easily navigable website is among effective business web design tips that no company can afford to ignore.
Navigation is about how easy it is for people to take action and move around your website. Some tactics for effective navigation include a logical page hierarchy, using bread crumbs, designing clickable buttons, and following the ‘three click rule’ which means users will be able to find the information they are looking for within three clicks.
Images | Functional Web Design
Once you have the look, feel and functional aspects of your website correct, you can focus on the actual content of the site. It’s no use having an amazing , fast website that is full of nonsense. Today’s internet is accessible to users at blistering speeds beyond the wildest dreams of the web of 25 years ago. One of the best ways to take advantage of this new speed is to put multimedia and videos to work for your business.
A picture can speak a thousand words, and choosing the right images for your website can help with brand positioning and connecting with your target audience. Also consider using infographics, videos and graphics as these can be much more effective at communicating than even the most well written piece of text.
Mobile friendly | Functional Web Design
When the internet was in its infancy, there was only one choice for users who were trying to connect. It was desktop or bust if you wanted to experience the internet. It is now commonplace to access websites from multiple devices with multiple screen sizes, so it is important to consider if your website is mobile friendly. If your website is not mobile friendly, you can either rebuild it in a responsive layout (this means your website will adjust to different screen widths) or you can build a dedicated mobile site (a separate website optimized specifically for mobile users).