Your website is the hub of your online business; it is the virtual representation of your company whether your company exists physically or not. When you do business online, people cannot see you physically like they could if they were dealing with a bricks and mortar company. Hence, you are judged by your covers, this is where a good design comes in.
If you were running a shop would you allow your sales team to dress in casual clothes when dealing with customers? By making your staff look professional, you are telling your customers that you care about quality, first impressions matter. Similarly, with your website. If your website is thrown together and looks like a 5 minute “quick fix”, you are shouting to your visitors that you are unprofessional and do not care for quality.
In contrast, if you have a professional looking website layout, you are giving your visitors the perception that you have given meticulous attention to every detail, you are organised, focused and mean business.
Additionally, you should also have anything related to your company well designed. From business cards to letterheads to promotional brochures. As you grow your business, these items become the face of your business.
Good Design Practices
Your website is where your online business resides so it is important to practise good design principles ensuring your site reaches out to the maximum number of visitors and sells to as many people as possible.
Clear navigation of your website is vital, your menu should be uncluttered and concise so that visitors know how to find their way around your website.
Reduce the number of images on your website, they can make your site load very slowly and maybe unnecessary. If you think an image is essential on your site, make sure they are optimized so that they have a minimum file size.
Keep your text paragraphs at a reasonable length. If a paragraph is too long, split it into seperate paragraphs so the text blocks are not too big. A block of text that is too large will deter visitors from reading your content.
Make sure your website is cross-browser compatible. If your website looks great in Chrome but breaks horribly in Firefox or Safari, you will lose out on a lot of prospective visitors.
Avoid using scripting languages on your site unless absolutely necessary. Use scripting languages to handle or manipulate data, not to create visual effects on your website. Heavy scripts slow down the loading time of your site and may even crash some browsers.
Use CSS to style your page content, this saves work by styling all elements on your website in one go.
Important Rules in Website Design
When it comes to your website, pay careful attention to every detail to ensure it performs optimally to serve its purpose. Here are some rules of thumb to observe to make sure your website performs well.
Do not use excessive banner advertisements.
Even the least net savvy people have trained themselves to ignore banner advertisements so this will be a waste of valuable website real estate. Instead, provide more valuable content and weave relevant links into your content, let your visitors feel that they want to buy instead of being pushed to buy.
Have a simple and clear navigation.
You have to provide a simple and very straightforward navigation menu so that even a young child will know how to use it. Stay away from complicated menus or multi-tiered dropdown menus. If visitors don’t know how to navigate, they will leave your site.
Have a clear indication of where the user is.
When visitors are deeply engrossed in browsing your site, you will want to make sure they know which part of the site they are browsing. That way, they will be able to browse relevant information or navigate to any section of the site easily. Don’t confuse your visitors confusion means “abandon ship”!
Avoid using audio on your site
If visitors are going to stay a long time on your site reading your content, you will want to make sure they’re not annoyed by some audio looping on and on. If you insist on adding audio, make sure users have some control over it – volume or muting controls would work fine.