You only have 3 seconds to show most of the visitors what your site is all about. So if you are loosing the customer when they get to your website – all our great SEO isn’t worth anything right?
So don’t confuse them. Is your website credible and trustworthy? Does it look professional? The visitor will think of your company the way your website is looking. So how do you want to sell to a customer if your website looks unprofessional.
And the people today have no patience. So if they can’t find the information they are looking for they will Google another website. So when you are doing your design remember that – Don’t let the visitors think. Make it easy for your customers. Use a common sense approach to web usability.
Be serious about your design. Here are some few general guidelines for you.
Guiding the Eye – don’t let the visitors think
Remember your visitors are not interested in your design, colors and so on. They are interested in your information. Your design and colors will help them when they are visiting you. But don’t make it the main thing. The main thing is your information.
Normally the logo is placed on the top left corner. So unless you have a very special design and got a very unique idea, give the people what they want. Let’s say you place it in the lower right corner. Your visitors don’t know who you are, they can’t find the logo (well it will take them 1 min.), they will have to scroll down. And suddenly the visitors have used 1 or 2 min. on the website without concentrating on the information. And remember often 1/3 of the visitors will leave your site if they are confused after 5 or 10 seconds. So unless you have a great plan for it… Don’t let the visitors think.
Think precedence. You should help the visitors’ eyes. Guide them. Use a stop color if you want the people to pay attention to something special. You are in control of the user’s eyes. So be sure what you are doing.
Position — if you want the visitors to see something place it on the upper part of the page. We read from top – left to right (not the whole world I know).
Color — Use bold if you want to draw attention to a text. A special typography will also tell the visitors what kind of text they are looking at. So let a quote look the same around your site and so on.
Contrast – contrast makes things stand out. But remember that also make the other things fade out a little – right?
Size — big draws attention.
Elements – maybe you are using a special kind of graphic element that can draw attention from the visitors.
Don’t be afraid of space. Spacing can make things look more exclusive.
Line Spacing. Line spacing can make it easier to read your text.
Padding. Padding is the space between text and elements like images. They should never touch each other.
White Space. Don’t be afraid of white spaces on your website. White spaces can help you to make other things stand out and make your site look more exclusive.
Maybe you have heard the new buzzword. Usability. Well navigation is king of the usability. Lol – no it’s not. But it’s very important.
You will probably have a top navigation bar. But you can also have navigation on your pages. A link to another page on your site is also a navigation.
The main thing is that people should know when its a navigation link. Normally when you can click on a navigation link you will have it underlined. Again don’t let the people think. Make it easy to find and use your navigation.
If you have many sub-pages a good idea is to use drop-down menu. If you have a large website (a website with many pages) a good idea is often to use a bread crumb trails. So people always know where they are on your site.
When you are choosing your typography – there are some things that are important to consider.
Font choices – be consciously about your choice. Do you want a modern slim look, retro look. If you are selling hot fashion will probably not have an old fashion typography
Font sizes – Remember that people have to be able to read your text. Get your grandparents to read your text. 🙂
Line length – Don’t make your lines too long. The longer the lines are the harder they are to read.
Color – Don’t make your text in a color that have to low contrast to your background.
Paragraphing – Maybe you should use spacing around your paragraph. There is no general rule about this. But do a test or two.
Many people are saying content is king – but I heard more and more people saying – Usability is king. And even though they might be wrong – it’s still a very very very important element.
Take a step away from your computer. And imagine what people want to do on your site. Let’s say you have a website with used cars. So a visitor on your site is maybe looking for a used car.
But how will the visitor search for it. The type of car, the size of car, the color of the car or…
Really the best thing you can do is to make some usability test. Invite people over. And give them a test. Like to find a black Toyota from 2008. How long time did it take them to find the information. If you had 10 people over was it only one person who could find it in 5 min. What can you do to help people?
You can also get ideas from other websites about used cars. Check them out. Write down the good elements, the bad elements. Take your visitors seriously.
Consistency is very important for your website. Make sure you are using the same font, headline, subtitle font, colors, navigation. Using consistency means that you are making it easier to visit your site.
The easiest way is to use a template. Then you know it will stay the same.
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