In a previous post we explained why organizations need professional websites. Today, Lexicon‘s designers offer advice for developing a polished, user-friendly site.
Make a Plan
Before jumping into design or coding, define various aspects of your website, including the number of pages, the information that will appear on each page, and how the pages will link together. Creating a detailed design plan will help you construct a unified end product. Once your plan is in place, render it with wireframes. Use simple text boxes and shapes to arrange your website for maximum usability. These 20 wireframing tools put together by Creative Bloq can help you get started.
Design for the User
Thinking about users and how they will navigate your site is central to professional web design. Your first priority should be your homepage. According to KoMarketing Associates’ 2014 B2B Web Usability Report, the top two things users want to see on a homepage are an “About” section and information about products and services.
Strategize ways to deliver these elements without cluttering your homepage. Give visitors just enough copy to grasp the concept of your company, and then direct them to other pages within your website. Be sure to design each page so the user can easily access key information—homepage, contact information, business hours, etc.—as they move through your site.
Create an Attractive Design
Your site should grab a user’s attention and hold it. Strive for a clean, straightforward design. Avoid gimmicky treatments, such as flashing objects or pop-ups. Think carefully about how you’ll treat:
- Typography: Choose two classic, easy-to-read fonts: a safe bet is one serif for headlines and one sans serif for body copy. A variety of font weights will guarantee you have flexibility. Make sure you use web-safe fonts, too: Google fonts is a great resource with many options.
- Color scheme: Limit your website to two or three complementary colors—a light color for backgrounds and dark colors for text.
- Balance: Give your content room to breathe by balancing copy and graphics with white space.
A web designer’s job is never done. Perform routine site maintenance to keep your website functioning the way you designed it to (a broken link is frustrating for the user and reflects poorly on your business). Update your site occasionally to maintain an engaging and fresh design. Your company is evolving. Your website should, too.
Want to learn more about web design? Check out our other blogs:
Is Web Design Impacting Your Business?
Yikes—5 Signs It's Time to Redesign
How to Design a Professional Website
Lexicon is an award-winning firm in Des Moines, Iowa, that specializes in content marketing.