When it comes to web design
, there are a lot
of pitfalls to be aware of. Whether it's doing something you shouldn't or failing to do something you should, one mistake can ruin your entire online presence, so it's important to keep your wits about you!
Here, courtesy of our professional web design team, are five do's and five don'ts for you to bear in mind when you're putting together your company's website...
- DO get straight to the point. The average web user prefers not to stay in one place for too long, so when you're designing your website, be sure to put the crucial details (i.e. what you offer and how to get it) front and centre.
- DON'T put style above functionality. We've no doubt that you're an artistic genius capable of designing a web page that belongs in a gallery, but appearances shouldn't necessarily be your top priority when it comes to creating a successful business website. Instead, focus on providing a straightforward, elegant experience for the end user, and tailor your design to complement this.
- DO be consistent. Each page of your website should have the same basic look and layout as the next, as this will give users a smooth, seamless journey through your site. Of particular importance is the site menu - if this crucial navigation element changes or moves around as users browse your website, those users will quickly get frustrated and go elsewhere. However, we also recommend keeping a close eye on less obvious factors such as fonts and branding; keeping these things consistent at all times will ensure that your company looks professional to site users.
- DON'T use Comic Sans. This 'fun' font looks extremely childish, and it is almost never an appropriate choice for a professional business website.
- DO stick to a simple colour scheme. Using too many colours will make your website hard to read and unpleasant to look at. Stick to just two or three colours to keep everything striking and easy on the eye.
- DON'T forget about your mobile users. The number of people using smartphones and tablets to browse the web is increasing every day, and so it's becoming more and more important to ensure that your website looks just as good on these devices as on a desktop PC. A good way to achieve this is with a responsive design that changes to fit the screen on which it is viewed.
- DO show off your social media accounts. The power of social media has grown exponentially in recent years, and few business can afford not to be seen on Twitter and Facebook these days. Incorporating your company's social accounts into your website is a great way to gain followers and boost your visibility; obviously, you'll want to include links to your various profiles, but you may want to go one step further by integrating social media feeds into your site's design, allowing visitors to see your latest tweets, pins and posts as soon as they arrive on your homepage.
- DON'T stuff too much in. When designing your website, aim for brevity and simplicity - don't pack each page with dozens of images and reams of text, as this will create a cluttered look that makes it difficult for users to find the information they need.
- DO keep analysing, measuring, and making improvments. Like great art, a good web design is never finished! After your website goes live, you should use Google Analytics and other tools to continuously monitor its performance and tweak your design as necessary. Are people clicking on that button? How does it compare with the other button on the other side of the page? Should you move it elsewhere, make it bigger, or scrap it entirely to make room for something else? These questions can be answered with the help of things like goals and event tracking, so keep a close eye on how people interact with your site and never stop looking for potential improvements!
- DON'T use Comic Sans. Please. We know we said this already, but it bears repeating. Refer to www.comicsanscriminal.com if you don't understand the issue here.