Hello there again! I hope you guys had a blast learning about editorial design over the past few weeks. I think it’s time now that we move into researching a company’s best practices when it comes to website design.
Today, electronics rule the world. You look down the row of people on a bus, a train, or even simply sitting at a cafe, and almost all of them have their eyes glued to their phones, laptops, or tablets. So, it is only logical to use this technology-obsessed society to your advantage by creating an enticing website to advertise your business.
We are going to talk about website usability - how to make it easy for website visitors to find what they are looking for and accomplish their intended task on the website.
In order to improve usability, you need to have a simple and clear navigation system as well as a steady layout, so let’s break down exactly what that means.
First, let’s touch on navigation, or, the bits and bobs that actually take your customers around your website.
Not many people have the ability to take time out of their daily lives to adamantly analyze a website. No - humans are far too busy to want to waste their time trying to figure out a disorganized website. If a customer becomes frustrated after not being able to find what they want within about 3-minutes, they are far more likely to give up and leave the site.
Navigation should be simple, sweet, and easy. You must arrange your website in a way that makes sense to those visiting the site.
Imagine organizing a physical clothing store. You would want to arrange the layout of the store so that it is logical and easily navigable. So, you may place all the shoes in one section at the back, while all of the jewelry is together in another section towards the side. You want to group similar things with each other to avoid confusion.
First, create a menu tab that will tell customers where they will find certain information. This will be a good start for anyone visitor who wishes to access information quickly - and most visitors do!
No matter how hard you try to create a website that lives up to your design standards as well provides easy navigation to your visitors, your site may not make sense to everyone. Including a search box will greatly increase your site’s navigability - especially if your site has many pages or products.
Customers want consistency in websites, so, if you create a search box, make sure that it is always in the same place on every page.
Also, in terms of consistency, you also need to give visitors what they expect. For instance, when you are exploring a site and you want to get back to the home page, you will naturally click on the logo at the top to take you there.
This is a common principle on any website, and visitors will expect it. So, make sure that your logo is clearly featured on any page, and when a customer clicks on it, it must take them back to the home page.
Now that we have conquered navigation, let’s move on to the actual design of your website - how it looks, how it feels, and how it will entice customers.
Nugno knows that every company wants their website to mirror their brand. Even though every company has their own agenda and wants their site to look a certain way, there are some general guidelines surrounding website design.
Your page layout should be consistent across your site - using similar fonts, images, and organization.
Let’s move on to the color scheme. When designing your site, you may be tempted to choose a bold or vibrant color scheme in order to grab attention. However, that might do the exact opposite of what you are trying to accomplish.
Sites that are too busy, hectic, or intense will drive customers away. Stick to simplicity. Use a dark font on a light background to keep your work easy-on-the-eyes.
Next, make sure each page is clearly labeled within the content. Use bold headers and bulleted lists to help your readers scan the page easily to find what they are looking for. Do not bury your important information. Lead with the facts of the highest importance as to avoid having your customers scroll endlessly to find it.
The Audience Matters
Just as in editorial design, make sure that you write for your audience. If you are a car company such as BMW, you will want to tone down the major mechanical talk and cater more towards the general public who are not all car experts. However, if you are a website catering towards the video-gaming community, it would be ok to use some technical jargon in your writing and layout.
Call to Action
Nudge your visitors in the right direction with a small ‘call to action. That means if you want visitors to call your company, instead of just writing your telephone number on your contact page, add a button that says “Call Now!” This button would then lead the visitor to your phone number and give them encouragement to call.
Also, if your website centers around buying products, add a “Buy Now!” button on the page of each product, giving the customer easy access to their online shopping cart or the site’s check-out area.
Now, obviously, there are a lot more factors and nuances that go into creating a successful digital presence. However, if you begin by sticking to these small guidelines, you will be on the right path to the content you wish to create.
When focussing on website design, Nugno will work with your company to improve your digital content if your digital identity lacks impact and you want to build your digital presence across different platforms and devices. Our digital designers will build your brand story and deliver consistent content, allowing you to track and analyze your website viewings and create a digital presence that stands out.
Tune in next week for our continuing discussion of website design!
- - -
Nugno is a Branding & Digital Design studio. Founded and run by strategic branding & digital design experts that shares a love of innovation, design and digital connection.
We create strategy and design with production across all platforms. We’re masters of brand identity and on point with websites and apps. Our skills extend to designing books people want to read and environments they feel comfortable in. We also create engaging motion design and much more.
- - -
Luca Amoriello, Director
Tel: +353 (0)87 383 2134
Architects should be pushing as much quality content as they can online. Not only will your search engine optimization (SEO) soar, what you share and how often you share will drive your online presence to a maximum level of impact in your community.