Good website design reflects a companies existing branding, and enhances their presence online. The focus of good website design, however should never be the design itself. The goal of the website should be.
All to often we talk to clients who LOVED their last website… except it didn’t do what it was suppose to, which is make money and generate leads! Many times we talk to business owners who where hoodwinked into a beautiful design… but later realized that little attention was given to usability or navigation.
Basically they got a good looking website… that just sits there. Year after year… doing nothing but looking pretty. We see this all the time.
Take the example to the right. It is a very artful and creative website, but also very difficult to find things… and isn’t that the point of your website. You want visitors to be able to learn more about your product or business so they hire you and give you money?
Who cares how great the site looks if it doesn’t work?
Thankfully you can have both in a great looking website that works the way it should. There are many things that go into good website design, but they are all built around the same tenants.
5 tenants of good website design
- Easy navigation and logical page structure – Look… if your site is difficult to navigation around people will quickly give up and leave your website. How many times do you stick around a site that you can’t find anything on?
- Expected page layouts – The World Wide Web has been around for about 2 decades, and people expect to find the logo in the header (to the left or centered), navigation near the top of the site, contact information in the header or footer, and a website that scrolls vertically. Don’t get cute with website design. Give the visitors what they want.
- Build off the logo – A companies branding and reputation is typically associated with their logo. The website’s color scheme should accentuate and compliment the logo. It should never clash with it.
- Who. What. Do. – An effective website design answers these three questions to first time visitors as soon as the page loads:
- Who – What is your company name?
- What – What are you selling?
- Do – What do you want me to do? (contact you, email signing, buy something, etc)
- Mobile Responsive – With 40% (and growing) of internet traffic being from mobile devices (tablets & smartphones), shouldn’t your website look great on mobile devices as well as PC’s and Macs?
These 5 tenants are the foundation of every good website. Everything else is just gravy.