Website Design - Planning and Organization
Great Design Starts with a Detailed Blueprint
When you think of website design, is beauty the first thing that comes to mind? Design is more than a simple beauty pagent on good looks. True beauty runs clear to the bone and that takes planning and strategy.
Try an easy test. Think of something you want more information about and Google it. Does the link you click on actually produce the answers for you? How long does it take to find the information you are searching for? Is it obvious how to navigate the website and move from section to section?
If you can easily find your answers then the site was probably designed well. It has usability in mind. In solid design you want to bring visitors to your predetermined goal of interaction. If you are planning a revamp or new web site you need to think through each of these points:
As website has to look good to be effective. Solid colors, graphics and accents can just help visitors to "feel" comfortable in interested in your website. It's like an attractive business lobby, you just feel good about being there. A professional modern look builds a subtle and important sense of trust in doing business with you.
You might say that the design's look and feel are like referees in a football game. If they are doing their job right you barely notice them. If not, well, you've got problems.
Things just need to be in their proper expected places so they can be easily found. My tools have to be hung in the right place so I can easily locate them when needed. Things should be logical, consistent and easy to read on every page. Each page needs to have a purpose leading to a conclusion.
Is the contact form easy to get to from any page loction? Is the rest of the contact information easily accessible? Is it plain everyone what the purpose is of your company and how it can solve their problem or meet their needs?
3. Visual Spark
The internet is a visual medium and it's important to have the correct use of graphics, images and video without overdoing it. Slideshows, galleries, YouTube videos all can add the spark that catches the eye and creates interest in your content. I agree Content is King but something needs to draw the eye to the content.
4. Putting It All Together
A tightly organized and designed website can be the difference between doing business or being a surf through. If done right visitors will have a sense of trust and security that leads them to do business with you. Often today 60% or more of your visitors are on a mobile device. Does the website transform itself into a great mobile experience or just a tiny version of the big website? Does the site look good in Firefox, Safari, Chrome and whatever the newest Microsoft browser is?
Solid web design is more than a simple beauty contest. It has to run all the way to the bone functionally to be successful. That's what great designers do.