By: First Union
Web Design Principles Every Business Owner Should Know
I am in the process of building a website for my business, so what steps can I take to make sure my site is legible, consistent, and is attractive to my audience? I am worried my website isn't visually appealing, so how do I create a design that is relevant and easy to navigate? Which types of fonts are popular these days and how can I organize the text, so it is readable? Is there a specific way I can create my site, so it's compatible for mobile use? How can I best communicate with my audience via my website?
When it comes to website design principles, it's smart to remember: the simpler the better. Adding a variety of different designs to your website could perhaps be too distracting to those visiting your site. When it comes to designing your small business's website, keep your site clean and visually appealing, which helps the user navigate from one page to the next seamlessly.
You don't want users to become frustrated on your site, as this will easily drive them away and you reduce your chances of word-of-mouth (natural/) marketing. Make sure your site isn't cluttered with text and images which will confuse; your visitors won't know what to search for and will not enjoy their experience. The more white space you add to your site the cleaner it will look.
When designing your small business's website, consider the following principles, and you can guarantee an enjoyable user experience!
Keep it Consistent
Before launching your website, keeping in mind consistency on your site is one of the most crucial aspects. Sometimes, it can be easy to get sidetracked, so make sure you have a plan in place. The font on your landing pages should be similar to other pages on your site. If you decide to add a drop-down menu on the right-hand side of your page, it's important to keep that font similar as well. Also, finalize your fonts and choose the right colors for your text and buttons. This is where Cascading Style Sheets (CSS/) are helpful to keep all of the information about your design style and elements. CSS is a simple mechanism for adding style (e.g., fonts, colors, spacing/) to web documents.
Focus on Font Type and Readability
Even if your design is finalized and everything looks perfect, your text is the main source of information on the site - it provides users with every detail of your small business! Similar to the design aspect, keep your font visually appealing and easy on the eye. Users will not want to read a site where the text is sloppy and outdated. For example, you probably won't want to use Bradley Hand font, as this depicts handwriting and isn't easy to read digitally. Consider using fonts such as Helvetica Neue, Arial, and, Open Sans. These fonts are very popular and easier to read.
Additionally, when working on the backend of your site, include SEO words since search engines are familiar with the data you are using. This will also drive more websites to your site and will keep it organized on the backend.
Ensure Mobile Compatibility
Keep in mind the rise of smartphone usage and tablets. Many users rely solely on their smartphones - especially if they're always on the go! If your website is not compatible with a mobile device, you'll lose many users, and you will drive away a huge portion of your potential traffic. This hurts your search engine rankings.
To make sure your site is mobile-friendly, do not use Adobe Flash. Using Flash throughout your website slows down the load time and many browsers don't support flash. Next, include meta tags as this is an easy way to control how your website appears on mobile. The mega tags tell browsers to fit the width of your page to the screen of the device type the visitor is coming from. These are just a few examples you can follow to be certain your site is mobile friendly. There are plenty of other steps you can take, but make sure you research all options within your website-housing solution (WordPress, GoDaddy, your server, etc./) and see what works best for you.
Communicate with Your Audience
The whole purpose of having a site for your business is so you can communicate with your audience any time, any place. You want to keep your content concise and find a way to best communicate with your visitors efficiently. Some ways to do this are to keep the content organized, and don't go overboard with text. Users want their information fast and don't want to scroll through page after page just to find an answer. Keep the most important information at the top and always add links to social media.
Remember, displaying the products and services you offer, along with the price (range/) is a necessity. Transparency is key. Focus on what your users want and build your content through that. You'll want to keep a similar voice on each page of your site to remain consistent.
As you can see, there are a variety of web design principles to research. Having a plan set in place before your website launch will save you time and additional errors. Get specific with each step and run a soft launch, so you can view your site ahead of time. Sticking with a similar font throughout your site will enhance consistency. Adding SEO keywords on the backend of your site and meta tags will keep your content organized. Always view the site on mobile before launching, so you can make sure everything reads properly. These are just some principles you can follow to build a successful website. Do your research, be patient, and leverage all resources in your price range, and you'll build a great website for your small business!
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