Website Performance | Why Good User Interface Design Matters: 6 Key Elements Of An Effective Website
Website Performance | Every aspect of modern life links back to the Internet, and this in turn has resulted in internet users becoming pickier than ever when it comes to the websites they go back to, time and time again. Yet, millions of sites later, the Internet is still packed with poorly designed websites. Winning on the web starts with having a firm understanding of the design essentials. Usability and the utility, not just the visual design, affect whether the website is a success or a failure. Since the visitor is the only one who clicks the mouse and therefore makes all the decisions, user-oriented design has become a standard approach of successful web design.
It takes a winning combination of elements to set up a high quality website, and users are looking for not just information, but also a compelling and aesthetically pleasing presentation. A great website provides visitors with something they need, but also offers incentive for return visits. While each designer may have a different plan when it comes to creating a website, they do have a common checklist. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, there are a few elements every website should (and usually does!) include.
Simplicity | Website Performance
Clean space is one of the most essential design tools because it dictates everything — from flow, to readability. Keep in mind that visitors don’t read, they scan. Analyzing a website, users search for some fixed points or anchors which would guide them through the content of the page. Make sure your content is organized in such a way that it includes set spacing between elements. An image or piece of text surrounded by clean space will appear larger and more important than one that is crammed into a smaller or tighter location in the layout.
Navigation | Website Performance
How often do you land on the right website, but can’t find the right link or the right information? Navigation of your website should be as intuitive as possible. Don’t make your visitors think. Place your menu items at the top of every page, or above the fold on either side. Limit the number of navigation items to 10 or fewer. Remember, your visitors are in a hurry, so you don’t want to make them hunt for information. A person should be no more than 3 mouse clicks away from any element of a website.
Speed | Website Performance
It’s 2015, not 1998, and the dial-up experience is neither nostalgic nor comforting. The old eight-second rule (the maximum time visitors wait on average while a website loads) has collapsed to the three-second rule. Keep reminding yourself that your website is like a billboard. When driving your car, you don’t have time to read detailed descriptions, or admire complex pictures on billboards. The signs flash past you and have to make an immediate impression. The same goes for your website. If you’re going past three seconds, unclutter your website, simplify the code or upgrade your servers.
Contact Information | Website Performance
Make sure your company’s contact information (address, phone number, even a link to a Google map) is conspicuous and ubiquitous throughout the website. Contact information usually appears in one of two ways – in the header or footer, or as a Contact Us page with a form or expanded information. Either option can work well, depending on your website’s layout. Having contact information such as a phone number, physical address, or a contact form adds legitimacy to your website and business.
Color | Website Performance
When choosing a color scheme for your website, think about how your colors are going to be used and where you want to draw attention. Don’t forget to picture your color choices as a part of the different elements of your website, including the background, navigation, links, and call-to-action buttons. An appropriate color scheme will consist of 2 or 3 primary colors that blend well and create a the right mood or tone for your business. Try not to use too many colors, as it can distract from the written content.
SEO | Website Performance
Website content should be written with readers in mind, not search engines. However, keywords and search engine optimization are still vitally important elements of content marketing. Search engines will analyze your website from the top to bottom, left to right. By knowing the keywords that are right for your website and keeping them in mind as you craft your content, you can create high-quality, valuable content that will appeal to readers and search engines alike.