When it comes to web design, of course, you want a visual design that is clean, bright and speaks to your brand. This attracts visitors and engages them with your products or services. While this is a great way to build a lovely site, it is not the most important part of your website design.
Instead, the most important elements of your website design are actually utility and usability. No matter how great your website looks, if it is not optimized for your user, it is not as successful as it could be. User-centric website design has become a standard for digital marketing, website design, and SEO. After all, if your users can’t do what you need them to do, then what is your site really for?
Principles of a Good Website Design
In order to build a great user-centric website, there are some key things that you need to know. Our Savannah web designers discuss five of those key elements below.
1. How do Your Users Think?
The first thing you need to do when building a website is to understand your audience. Who is looking for your products and services? What key terms do they enter? What websites do they click on? Users value quality and credibility over visual design. They also tend to scan search results and websites for useful information before clicking on a link. In short, they are impatient and are looking for instant answers.
That means your site needs to stand out for all the right reasons. We know that users don’t like popups and navigation bars that hide the information or make them click unnecessarily. They also don’t want new browser windows opening up unexpectedly.
2. How Can You Help Users NOT Think?
When you design your website and add content, your goal is to meet the needs of the user. Often, that means answering a question. Designing an intuitive website with a clear structure and easy navigation helps users get around your site without frustration. Your content should also be arranged in a way that tells the user what the site is about and where relevant information is located within the site.
3. Sometimes Less is More
If your website offers a service or tool, allow users to test it out without having to share private information. First-time users in particular are more likely to play around with your site if they don’t have to immediately give up their contact info. Let users play with the service or tool, and after a short demo, give them the option of entering their email address so they can continue to test the tool or get help.
4. Focus User Attention
Websites offer both dynamic and static content. Some aspects of your site will attract and focus user attention more than others. Images catch the user’s eye faster than text. Bold text and colors draw the eye faster than plain black text. But balance is important. The human eye is non-linear, and will instantly recognize motion, patterns, and edges. To that end, a lot of contrasting colors, videos, or animations can be very distracting. You should use these elements strategically so they draw the right attention and don’t distract the user from exploring your site.
5. Optimize Your Content
A key to great content marketing is making sure your content is adjusted to your user’s preferences and habits. Optimize your content for SEO and search engine algorithms, but focus on the user. Talk business but avoid exaggerating or using terms that the user may not recognize. Be concise and scannable, and avoid over-advertising. Make your content useful!
Putting it All Together
With these five principles for a good website design, you can build a site that is visually appealing and user-friendly. That is the key to getting your users where you want them and encouraging them to click, sign up, contact you, or make a purchase.