So we all know that a beautiful site design will attract attention and really draw a user in, but that beautiful design must be well thought out and help to guide the user on a website. I really wish I could just make things look the way that I want them to all the time without a care in the world — just wonderful typography, amazing visuals and bold color schemes. That would not accomplish anything without thinking through the true objective of the site and what the user will experience with all these marvelous design elements.
Okay, okay so we know that we can’t just have a cluster of beautiful design elements but why? What do we need to think through to make sure that our design is not only gorgeous but functional?
Well it is all about how you want the visitor of your site to act while they are on your site. What experience are you wanting them to have. Below are 5 must haves for every site that go beyond beautiful design.
1. Utilizing your homepage
Your homepage is an important piece of your website and has gone through many evolutions from the “above the fold” era, where everything had to be in that first panel without scrolling, to now what I like to call the “everybody scrolls” era. This has led to a much cleaner homepage where you do not have to have all the important information in such a small space. Really focus on what you are wanting the user to do when they come to your site. The best way to do this on your homepage is well designed funnels that lead users to the areas of your site that you would like them to visit to push your services.
2. Continuing branding through color scheme
It is so important to make sure your website colors match your branding. Would you think that you are on the McDonalds website if the whole site was pink instead of yellow and red? Go ahead check them out: https://www.mcdonalds.com. Those golden arches are very visible on the site and let you know that you are in the right place.
3. Consistent button and link styles
Everything moves so quickly on the web. Your site needs to be scan-able and make sure that all buttons and links stand out so the viewer is drawn to them. You also want to make sure they are consistent throughout the site so your user is conditioned to just know that certain colors or looks are for sure a button that will take them where you are leading them throughout the site.
One of my favorite design elements is typography and trust me it has it’s place on websites you just have to be a little more careful with it. You want to make sure that the font on your website is easy to read and doesn’t slow down your load time. You will find that we actually use a lot of clean serif fonts on our sites and a lot of them come from Google fonts because they provide open source fonts with quick load time.
5. Making sure page styles are consistent
You want people to know they are still in your site and not get confused. Make sure you utilize a consistent header style and keep your footer the same throughout the site. Each header should be unique to the page they are on but in the same style that matches throughout your site keeping things consistent.
Website Design Should be Easy for a User
Overall the best user experience will come with clean, easy to read, consistent design that makes it easy for the user to know what to do and where they are. There is no 100% right answer but these making sure you consider these 5 must haves will come a long way in making sure your design reaches those goals!