Four Elements of Good Web Design
Good web design will keep users online
With the development of Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithms, a website not only has to look great, but needs to be built with a high degree of usability and present relevant and up to date content.
A gorgeous website that nobody uses, or can’t be navigated is a waste of time. Therefore the presentation of relevant content is key. A good web design will keep users online by providing them what they are searching for. Insist on your web designer incorporating these 4-elements when creating your website to ensure that Internet users discover and keep on returning to your website.
A visitor to a website wants to be able to easily identify the information they need or find that which interests them. A simple web design should promote this experience and not hinder the communication of the message you are trying to convey. The design should encourage the user to explore the website further. The longer a visitor spends on a website, the more likely they are to engage by either making contact, or making a purchase. An overcomplicated design that makes it difficult for a user to find the information they want, will have the reverse effect. If a visitor to your website is bombarded by excessive use of colour and moving graphics, you run the risk of losing them before they engage.
Clean and simple, features that promote engagement, an easy to use navigation feature; these are rules of thumb for a successful web design. As with any other design or business process, ask yourself what value does a feature add before it is incorporated?
2. Relevant & Original Content
With the advent of Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithms, one of the most important components of achieving a good ranking is original, timely and relevant content. Gone are the days of designing a website solely for the Google search-bots in order to artificially increase your search ranking. Google now rewards websites that are designed for use by humans, that are easy to navigate and contain content that is:
- Pertinent to the search terms i.e. relevant
- Original – not copied or plagiarised
- Timely – up to date and added to on a regular basis.
By creating content that follows these guidelines, Google will see that your website contains information that users will want to access and rank you appropriately.
Another element that Google loves and modern users of the Internet demand, is the ability to interact with a website. So, in addition to having a website with a stunning web design and that’s full of great content, make sure that users can interact with you. This can be achieved through a number of methods including:
- A specific contact form
- Calls to action encouraging users to get in touch
- Social media links to your branded social media pages
- A comments feature on your blog articles
- Product demos or downloads
- Short pages to encourage users to explore the website and discover more.
By incorporating some, or all of these features, you will encourage users to engage with you and increase the likelihood of interaction and ultimately sales.
As with everything in life, and web design is no different, there is always a compromise with the approaches outlined above. The right balance for your website must be sought. A plethora of great content may appeal to Google for ranking purposes, but huge swathes of text may prove off putting to a user who may not want to wade through lengthy pieces of prose. The same can be said when considering the use of images or graphics.
A large number of images can take up a lot of physical space and as a result, can take a long time to load. This can frustrate and annoy users – you run the risk of losing their interest before you’ve even begun. Like content, images must be relevant to the subject matter if they are going to provide any value to the design.
So in summary, make sure you speak to your web designer to ensure that your website incorporates these elements of good practice. However, consider how each element is used in context with the following:
- Your product or service
- Your overall design
- In relation to each other
Remember, when considering the elements that create a good web design, think about the effect they will have and if they add any value.