As Steve Jobs once said, “Design is not just what it looks like feels like. The design is how it works. “functionality and the serviceability, not the visual design, determine the success or failure of a website. The visitor of the page is the only person who is looking for information regarding a product or a service.
With a click of a mouse the visitor decides, the user-centric design is the necessity for success and profit-oriented web design.
We will focus on main elements of web design, lateral thinking and result oriented approaches for effective web design which can lead to more sophisticated decisions, as a result, simplifying the process of comprehending the presented information.
Before seeing the guidelines for effective web design, it is important to know, what users think when they interact with a website.
The behaviour of the user, when he or she interacts with a website, is similar to a customer interacting with a store. Visitors glance at each page, text and images. They narrow down to clickable links which catch their interests.
Most users when they visit a web page they are looking for a specific information, product or service.
- Users Like Quality: If a web page provides quality content, then it is compromised with advertisements and design of the web page. One should remember that a mix of good design and quality content, is needed to drive relevant traffic on the webpage.
- Most Users Scan The Webpage: When a user visits a web page they scan the webpage for the information which fulfils their needs.
- Web Users are Impatient and They What Instant Gratification: If the content on the webpage is not properly structured and if the visitor is not able to get the required information within the first three seconds. Then the chances of users exiting the webpage increases.
- Users Don’t Make The Best Choices: Web page visitors don’t go page by page to search for the required information, rather they scan the web page and the link, which satisfies their requirement and they jump to it.
- Web Users Follow Their Individual Intuitive Feeling: Most users scan the web page instead of reading line by line. According to the information architect Steve Krug, it is mainly because the users don‘t care. “If we find something that works, we stick to it. It doesn’t matter to us if we understand how things work, as long as we can use them. If your audience is going to act like you’re designing a complex design, then create a great design which makes users think.”
Now, having seen the users behaviour, next we are going to checklist the web designing principles
- Don’t Make Users Think too Much: According to Krug’s first law of usability, the web page should be self-explanatory, it should contain answers to most of the questions which users can get after going through the web page. If the navigation and website architecture isn’t designed properly, the user will find it difficult to comprehend how the system works. A well thought and structured design along with clear and concise quality content direct the user towards availing the services or making a purchase. Thus, well-planned structure reduces the mental load. Once this is achieved, it will be easy for the user to navigate through the website.
- Use Minimum Fill in Forms: In every project which is designed to cater to the specific needs of the user, try to keep users requirements minimal. First-time visitors will like if they don’t have to fill in long forms to try out your service. Basically, remove all barriers, a user registration using a long fill in the form is enough to cut down on the incoming traffic.
- Divert users attention towards your USP: A website contains both static and dynamic content, some aspects of the user interface are more attractive than others. Attractive content, images and videos should be used to attract customers towards your USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
- Strive for Attractive Content-Rich Interface: Modern web designers focus more on the visually appealing interface, and they neglect architecture of the web page and content. A good mix of design, layout and content will drive more quality traffic to the webpage.
- Strive for Simplicity and Effective Writing: The content on the web page should be clear, concise and properly structured. As it helps the user to find the required information easily.
- Innovate But Not Distract: An impressive web design uses innovation and creativity. Use white spaces or negative spaces as per the requirement. A white space is the area of the page that is empty, mainly used between the images and videos.
- Aesthetically Appealing – Target As Per The Niche: Every industry or segment caters to specifically targeted customers based on factors like age, geography and gender. The design of the web page should be explicitly designed to target selected niche.
- Build Online Credibility and Trust: Nowadays everybody is present on social platforms, users and business enterprises both. Use your web page to build trust and credibility on social platforms. A testimonial from the existing clients is a great way to do this.
- Optimized Web Page: Web page should be optimized to load faster without compromising on quality factor.
- Responsive Web Design: Due to increase in handheld devices and data penetration. Mobile devices are the main source of traffic on the website. Web pages should be responsive to load in any device irrespective of the screen size.
Thus, a web page should be designed keeping in mind, the user and business needs. Use these web design principles to get an aesthetically appealing and result oriented web page.