Creating websites with great design
Before designing a website, the purpose of a website shall be established. The major purpose of a website is to display information, including products, services, vision, and culture, of a company. In the process of digitalization of a company, especially under the COVID-19 pandemic, websites have become a major channel for the outreach of businesses. A design that fits the image of a brand and a satisfying experience to users is fundamental for the online image of a brand.
According to the features and functions required, website design is categorized into three aspects, namely function-based website (e-commerce website and software operation), brand image-based website (for online brand awareness) and information-based website (such as Wikipedia and Quora). The design of a website should change based on the purpose of the website.
5 Steps to Consider Before Designing a Website
Due to the overflow of information, users prefer websites that are more direct and are focused on user experience. Here are 5 steps to consider before creating a website design:
1. Building a marketing model
The fundamental purpose of a website is outreach to more potential customers. Therefore, a marketing model of a website should be built based on the needs of the customers, the current market conditions, the operation of the business, and more. This model will help determine the structure of a website and the digital marketing required to reach the goals of generating leads and encouraging sales.
2. Building an information hierarchy
According to the goals and the nature of the business, the second step of designing a website is to determine the features and functions required for the website and establish an information hierarchy accordingly.
3. Designing an interactive use case
Through Adobe XD and/or Sketch, designers can plan out the design and structure of each pages. The two software also support demonstration which helps user experience design (UX design) and testing information hierarchy.
4. Visual optimization of webpages
With the use of design software, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, designers can optimize the appearance of a website ranging from colour and font to images and videos.
5. Website testing
Through demo by software and staging websites, a website can be tested for all of its user experience and design before publishing for final adjustments.
Key Considerations in Website Design
Theme of the website
As the Internet is filled with information, it is crucial to deliver the key idea of a webpage at first sight. An optimized structure to deliver the idea and relevant information is also required. Some methods to highlight the theme of a website in website design include color combination, image, animations, and videos. Keep in mind the content should also be relevant to the theme as well.
There are six major aspects of website design: clean & simple, simplified operation, unified theme, outstanding image, coherent color combination, and great user interaction. Following these six aspects, it can help a website to bring a great user experience and uphold the brand image.
The layout of website content is key for the communication of information – the goal of a website. Therefore, the design of a website can help to reach the goal of a website. An optimized layout also helps users to get the required information quicker and improve their user experience.
While color is often used for highlights, it should also be coherent to other colors used on the website to help build a corporate image. Also, it is important to consider color contrast when using color for users with disabilities in perceiving colors.
Use of multimedia
Other than color and text, websites often require images, illustrations, and videos to help portray their information. When choosing the media to use, make sure the media suits the design and theme of the website. Also, the file size should be minimized to prevent bad user experience due to extended loading time.
Optimized information hierarchy helps users to find relevant information quicker. It also avoids a drop in conversion rate due to longer browsing time. Through heading tag (such as h1, h2, and h3) to segment website content, it helps to speed up information search. Also, links to internal pages or external websites are helpful to encourage users to read more relevant information. The image alt tag is also great for users to understand the website when the image cannot be loaded.
The loading speed of your website is highly relevant to user experience and search ranking of your website. Because of the heightened expectation of the Internet, users are expecting much shorter loading time. The maximum loading time acceptable to users is currently 3 seconds.
Communication with users
The ultimate goal of a website is to display information and encourage users to communicate with the brand. Therefore, websites should be optimized in user conversion. This includes if e-commerce websites can showcase their online shopping ability, display websites can encourage user inquiries and informative websites can encourage users to read more information.
As other websites are constantly optimizing, the expectation of users will increase accordingly. Therefore, website design has to be constantly improved to maintain conversion rates.
Similar to user experience, the content of a website has to be updated regularly to provide useful and useful information.