Your website is one of the most important marketing and sales tools your small business has. It is important to provide your visitors with a great experience, by making it intuitive, responsive and user friendly.
10 Website Design Tips
1.Keep the web design clutter-free and simple.
Keep the design simple by:
- Making sure visuals & text complement each other, not overpower each other.
- Optimizing images so that they download quickly.
- Developing focal points by placing important information for the user in key spots above the line (the area above where you have to scroll for more information).
2. Create visual communication that gets your message across.
It is important to project the image of your product, service or mission with the very colors of your website design. For example, a website selling biodegradable goods can utilize the color green, while a company selling shoes for little girls might use pink as the main color.
Visual items catch more attention than plain text. To make navigation easier, use pictures or thumbnails as links, rather than text links.
3. Provide rich content
For visitors to want to stay on your website, the page they are looking at must be visually interesting and satisfy some need. Visuals bring the user to the site but content is what keeps them on the website.
- Keep the content updated. Never leave dated content past the event date.
- Keep the language in your text as conversational as possible & keep it lively, interesting, and informative.
- Good content should make interesting reading while remaining short and concise; most visitors do not have the time or patience to read lengthy content.
- Try creating interaction with users within your website design by using feedback & comment forms. By doing this, your visitors will feel connected to you.
4. Maintain narrow text to keep content simple and easy to read.
If the text layout in your website design is narrow (in column form), visitors will be more likely to scroll sideways to read the text, rather than read full page content. This is the reason most newspapers use narrow columns. Such layout makes text easily readable and more appealing. It also helps when readers are visiting from a mobile phone or tablet.
5. Keep the design consistent.
Keep your small business web design consistent across the site so visitors can easily find important information, and know they remain on your website.
- Use the same color combination on all pages.
- Keep main link locations consistent throughout the website design, usually across the top of the page.
- Do not use different fonts across the site; consistent fonts make a consistent website.
- Try to use fonts that are easily readable – ones that are clear, bold and distinct.
6. Make visitors want to come back.
There are millions of websites. Most visitors get overloaded with choices, so we must help increase the odds that your visitors will want to return to your site. To accomplish this, you must provide them with the information they are looking for, quickly and easily. You must become an information source for your specific product, service, or mission.
7. Stick to conventions.
Web development has conventions that are standard design elements, basic website design elements most surfers expect to see. For example, visitors are accustomed to finding RSS, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn links in certain format (the bird for Twitter, in for LinkedIn and so on) within most websites. If you use non-standard links in your website, chances are your visitors will miss the important links entirely, defeating your well-meaning efforts.
8. Provide easy navigation within your website and blog.
A key part of your web development is to keep the navigation clear and easy to make the visitors stay on the site while locating important links. Check and double-check to see that all the links in your small business website design open what they were intended to open. If one link
malfunctions, does not work, or links to the wrong page or site, your visitor will likely leave forever!
9. Test browser compatibility on multiple browser formats.
Make sure that the site opens properly in all the browsers as part of the website design process (Chrome, Explorer, Firefox, and any other browser you can test it on). Correct all problems so that your website design looks perfect in all browsers and all computers, both wide screen and square, large and small, before you launch the site to the public. Make sure to test your new website design on smart phones as well as tablets, and don’t forget Apple phones, tablets and computers.
10. Test the usability of your small business website How do others react to the new site when seeing it for the first time?
You may think that your new website design is fantastic and easy to use, but you need to make sure visitors to your site feel the same. A usability study should be done with other people looking at your site for the first time. You may find what you designed as an easy to understand feature is not so easy for your average user. Perform usability tests as part of your website design process, on a regular basis, to make sure the site is up to date with no errors.
Finally, update your small business web design frequently, to make the experience of visiting your website a continuing pleasure.