Just about anything a web designer can imagine is possible these days, and that can impact the creative process in big ways. Ultimately, though, the goal of a website for its creators is to make money, inform the public, or achieve something. A website is not just a clickable panel, it’s a repository of digital information. Web design can get in the way of this.
Web Design Mistakes: How They Hurt Sales and the User Experience
There are many very good and very bad websites out there, and usually the time and care put into web design is responsible for both. Users are likely to spend more time on a site that is clear, easy to navigate, and that contains as little “fluff” (pointless/not helpful material) as possible. If a user can easily find exactly what they’re looking for, a sale is more likely in the end. There are a variety of mistakes and situations some web designers don’t even think about during the process of building webpages, and zeroing in on those key areas is crucial for the success of any modern website.
How To Test a Website’s Usability
The easiest way to see how good a website really is is to sit someone down in front of it that has never used it before, and tell them to find some specific page. If this task takes longer than a minute, the website needs some work. Ideally, no user should ever have to perform guesswork when it comes to finding the items on a website’s page. The first thing any web designer should look at when redesigning their site is to consider where they already are, and what they need to improve.
Consider the Audience
Most websites are designed to appeal visually to their target demographic. That’s something most sites actually get right. However, an important point is often missed. Users who are visually disabled in some way often get forgotten. Colorblind users should still be able to use a website, however, and this can be made possible by carefully choosing color schemes. Consult color charts, and make sure visual design respects users of every background.
Depending on what exactly the point of a website is, it might require different design choices. A commercial site should ensure users wish to make a purchase before the transaction completes, for customer convenience. A site designed to store information should enable users to access any page in 4 clicks from the main page, or (preferably) less. The key to designing a site that attracts users is to ensure that they have what they need as quickly as possible.
Ask Users What Could Be Better
Nobody, perhaps, understands a website as well as its users. Most people browsing a particular site have, at some point, wished for a feature that wasn’t there. Taking a survey of frequent site visitors is a great way to easily determine what could use more work. After all, nobody is bound to be more honest about a site than its biggest fans.
Most Importantly, Don’t Necessarily Follow the Crowd
There are a lot of big sites out there, and even some of the biggest names make mistakes. The truth is, nobody has created a perfect website. If that had happened, websites wouldn’t ever need to update at all. While any site should always strive to be the best site possible, don’t fear launching a site just because it doesn’t stack up against competitors.
Web design isn’t an exact science by any means, but there are a few things that can be done to make a company stand out online. By not following the crowd, listening to users, and taking other precautions, any business can make their online presence truly unique. Consider the quirks of web design, design with confidence, and think about users, and reap the benefits of great design.