Principles of good website design

Principles of good website design

What is your plan of action?

A successful design is dependent on how good your strategy is. Even the most modern and beautiful website is more prone to failure if it’s not achieving the clicks and conversions your company needs. As a brand, it’s important to ask yourself, do users get a clear sense of who you are, what your brand offers and what you want them to do? This might be where your main plan of action is missing – strategy needs to inform your design, allowing the information to flow and feel accessible to your viewer. To determine how effective your strategy is, we’ve put together a list of questions:

  • What is the nature of our brand’s business and is this apparent to the user?
  • What purpose does this website serve and does the design communicate this effectively?
  • Who is my website targeting, how does the visual message consider this audience?
  • What are you asking your users to do? Is the design encouraging this interaction?

In essence, we need to define our brand and set out goals for our website. The design needs to align with these goals and your vision.
 
Usability

Usability encompasses the realistic considerations that are needed in the design of a good website. After all, the website is not just meant to be beautiful -- people need to be able to use it. These considerations include speed, accessibility, security, and layout. Some of these details aren’t immediately apparent when engaging with a website, but are vital for consistent engagement and overall trust of a brand. Poor usability is inclined to chase away potential customers as web users tend to be impatient. But, they also know what they’re looking for. If your website isn’t fast, accessible or secure enough, people will notice and leave. It’s important during the design phase to ask yourself these questions:

  • How long does my landing page take to load? This is your first impression and it needs to be quick.
  • Is it easy for my user to find the correct information on my website, for example, do I need search functionality?
  • Are all your links and buttons working?
  • Have you tested your website on all browser platforms? This is crucial, as you never know which browser your users prefer.
  • Is your website fully responsive? People are always on the move and you’ll be surprised how beneficial a mobile site can be.
  • Is your website secure? If you’re asking for payment or personal details, this is a must. It’s also important to communicate this to your users, reassuring your customers that their personal data is safe.

Look-and-feel

Beauty is, of course, subjective, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t guidelines one can follow to help design and build something beautiful. Remember that it’s important to design a website that will align with your brand and reinforce a good impression for your visitors. A good design should not interfere with the message you’re communicating. To test the effectiveness of your website’s look and feel, we should consider these points:

  • Does the design of my website align with my brand’s corporate identity? Are the colours, icons, fonts, and images consistent throughout the design?
  • Is the look and feel consistent throughout the website? It’s important to look at buttons, link colours, images, and font styles.
  • Will the design speak to my target audience? The tone of voice is also important here -- is it formal or informal?
  • How does the site feel overall? Is it messy or neat, bare or too busy, fun or formal? Does this feel align with our conversion goals?
  • Is the design of the website interfering with the message and what should I exclude?

Content

When writing or reviewing website content, the two main considerations are legibility and relevance. Legibility is key as it’s important for your users to be able to actually read your content. Make sure the font-weight is not too small and the contrast against the background is suitable. Relevance is just as significant -- if the content doesn’t feel relevant to the user or their current situation, your content will fail to engage and the user will leave. Here are some questions to consider when assessing the value of your content:

  • Are my fonts and typography choices legible?
  • Is the font legible in terms of contrast on the chosen background?
  • Is the content accessible and useful to the user?
  • Does the look-and-feel help the content feel clear?

It’s important to assess all content on your website and ensure that a consistent and concise message is being effectively communicated to your user.
 
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO

Design can most certainly have an effect on a website’s search optimisation. SEO starts with a strong and resilient website design. Take a good look at your website, does it showcase a lot of images or graphics? Search engines are unable to see these elements, which is why adding alt tags to your images is so important. This will allow the search engine to actually see what this content is. How effective is your HTML? This question is important when analysing your search ranking. Here is a list of questions you can ask yourself to ensure you’ve created an optimised design.

  • Does my website have an XML sitemap?
  • How concise is my HTML, are there inessential lines of code that could be removed?
  • Do my image descriptions showcase ALT tags?
  • Have I used applicable keywords in title tags, meta descriptions, heading tags, etc.? 

One should be careful of not assuming that SEO and good design are independent. It’s important to consider what improvements can be made to your design to better develop your website’s search rankings.
 
In Conclusion

Usability, strategy and the utility of a website are the most important attributes to determine the success or failure of a website. These features live within the design, which is why designing your own website from scratch, without the proper experience and tools, can prove to be a demanding task. There are so many challenges ranging from current market experience to understanding the competition and their overall digital capabilities. This is where we come in. At Amazee Labs, Experience is our Product. We take pride in our collaborative and transparent approach to client relationships. We are unwavering in our mission to design, build, deploy, and maintain web experiences that set our clients apart from the competition. 

Need help developing or improving your brand’s digital presence? Get in touch!
 

Related Information