10 web design rules you should never ignore.
It is a general understanding that there are 3 key elements of web design. Pretoria web designer
, Imagimedia know there are in fact four key elements that need to be included in any web design project.
Let's talk about usability first. A web site should have a purpose, that purpose can vary from an information web site to a sales tool. The usability of a website will define how long someone spends on a web site, how many pages they read and whether they convert.
At Pretoria web design
company, Imagimedia, we consider the following ideas important when discussing usability. How easy is the site to navigate? How easy is it to find the information you need? Is the information you need even available?
When discussing look and feel Pretoria web design
specialists, Imagimedia believe that branding and corporate image are the most important things. Every company needs to be putting out a unified message to their clients.
Your website, Internet marketing and analogue marketing need to be congruent and telling the same story.
When discussing functionality, Pretoria web design freelancers, Imagimedia understand that functionality is more than just navigation, it includes search engine readiness, allowance for updating and making changes on the fly, being able to upgrade and redesign without destroying the content.
The fourth element is ignored by many web designers. 91% of web sites get zero search engine referrals, up to 70% of websites have done no search engine optimisation at all.
Pretoria web designer, Imagimedia believes that the SEO element is more important than any of the other web design elements. Without visitors you get no sales, without sales, you don't generate profits, companies with no profits don't survive.
One of the least designery websites ever made more money than most small business websites ever will.
Pretoria web design rule 1.Keep it simple
Design for users, not other designers. Designers will critique others web sites and complain that they are too plain, will not win any awards. designers like breaking barriers, doing stuff no one else has done before.
As a business owner your goal is to sell goods or services, not win awards for the kewlest website that is so rad, your users cannot get to the information they want. The KISS principle is very important in web design if you want results.
Imagimedia like keeping it simple.
Pretoria web design rule 2.Keep the fonts to a minimum
Fonts are an important part of design, In all your advertising and marketing pick the fonts and stick with them. Limit the fonts to two, maybe three. Too many fonts look untidy. Use legible fonts.
Sans serif fonts like Verdana, Helvetica and Arial are easier to read online than serif fonts like Times New Roman, on paper this is the opposite. Source
Pretoria web design rule 3. Optimise your design for speed
A slow web site keeps fewer visitors. Statistically you have 2 seconds to grab someones interest in what you have to offer. If your website takes longer than 2 seconds to load, you start losing visitors.
The average bounce rate at 2 seconds is 9%, At 3% the bounce rate soars and by 5 seconds 38% of visitors have left and it just keeps going up.
Not all bounces have to do with speed, this is just one factor, another is the quality of the content. Source
One of the things that can be done is to optimise your images, create images that are the correct dimensions, compress the file sizes and speed up your web site, In analysis of web sites I have seen images that had file sizes could be reduced by 80%, and that was before you started resizing images that were double the size they needed to be.
Reduce overhead, I have seen web pages that are 3.6MB and more. Of that less than half was images, This whole website will use less than that including third party widgets and code and video downloads. We could make our videos in 4k, but 97% of viewers will be using a laptop, a PC or a phone, so we don't. we'd rather make it quick to download than bandwidth heavy with quality that few will use.
Web designers like to do things that make no sense like creating a simple web page using 10x the code needed to do the job. Back in 1996 when I first started designing websites, we couldn't do much, but everything we did was enough.
At Imagimedia we like doing enough to do exactly what we want. Excessive code like excessively large images slow down web sites.
Pretoria web design rule 4.Don't auto play video
I have a habit of opening a pile of pages on a subject at a time. Often I am busy reading something and suddenly my speakers are playing music, and then I go looking for the page tabbing through till I find it. I don't stop the video, I kill the tab and go back to what I am busy with.
Not everybody is on high bandwidth connections, let them decide if they want to watch your video. Many will bounce just because it's easier than trying to find the video on the page and shutting it off.
Pretoria web design rule 5.Leave white space
Trying to put too many things in a limited space makes a web site seem cluttered and in turn difficult to understand. Leave a space around images, let them stand on their own, leave gaps between lines of text, short paragraphs.
Big blocks of text are easier to skip past, more difficult to understand and should not be part of your strategy. Leaving big chucks of space allows people to zone in on the content. You don't need to fill the page.
Pretoria web design rule 6. Colour me crazy
Colour can add or detract from a design. Colour can make a design fun, it can make it sombre and anything in between. Using colour can highlight, it can separate and it can tie things together.
Dark text on a light background is easier to read. Tests done in the seventies in South Africa led to number plated having black text on a reflective yellow background because this was deemed the easiest to read over a distance.
As I get older I find that light text on a dark background is more and more difficult to read.
Pretoria web design rule 7.Make it work on all the platforms.
I will admit at one point I ignored Internet Explorer, because Microsoft broke all the rules. Code that worked in all other browsers would break in Internet Explorer. Web designers got very frustrated and some put notices on their web sites linking to the Chrome and Firefox browser downloads.
I work in a non-windows environment but still test on Explorer because there are many that don't know that they can get a decent browser for free in only seconds.
We do Responsive web design because no matter what the visitor is using, they must be able to access your content
. From a cell phone to a big screen TV, your content needs to be available. Google also give mobile friendly web sites preference.
Over 50% of all Google searches are now done on mobile devices, having a mobile web site is a no brainer.
Pretoria web design rule 8.Follow reading rules
In the west we read from left to right and top to bottom. Using books as a guideline, never make your content too wide
, Newspapers have columns, books are most often taller than they are wide.
Never make people scroll left and right, make the content flow down the page not across it
. If it's difficult to read, people will bounce.
On this website my columns are no wider than 80 characters because that is what people are accustomed to. Keep to the norms and your website is more likely to be successful.
Pretoria web design rule 9.Make use of great head lines
Most people will skim over your content before deciding to read it in full, make your content easy to skim over
. Short paragraphs with contrasting headlines and highlighted text make it easy.
Headlines are used to grab attention, Create headlines that tell. Tell people what the section is all about
, make it sound interesting, not to be missed.
Pretoria web design rule 10.Use images and video
People love pictures, info graphics and video. Use these to your benefit and theirs. Give people what they want and they will come back over and over.