Making Sure Your Website is Functional and Appealing
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When you’re operating a small business online, you need to take as much pride in your web design as a store owner would take in their traditional brick and mortar store. After all, this is the space where you will engage and interact with your potential customer base! When people make their way onto your page, they will have a specific set of expectations that need to be met in order for them to stick around long enough to browse your products and hopefully add an item or two to their basket. However, if you don’t have much previous experience with web design, you may find yourself feeling a little lost when it comes to creating a page that is both functional and appealing at the same time. So, whether you decide to design your website yourself or call in the help of a third party web developer, there are a few important things that you should bear in mind when bringing your ideas to life. Here are just a few that you should take into account!
Though you may be able to link people to your site using SEO, what use is putting all of this effort in, if they click your link, only to find that your site cannot be accessed through smartphones or tablet devices? Long gone are the days when people only accessed the internet through their desktop computers and laptops. Nowadays, people make use of tablets and smartphones for a whole host of tasks, including online shopping. Over 2.1 billion people in the world have smartphones, and by ensuring people can access your site through them, you are maximising your potential market. Just think of all of the potential sales you could lose out on by simply having poor mobile web design! As Exelab has pointed out, a lack of mobile optimisation is a serious business faux pas. So, it’s time to start making sure that your website is accommodating for a whole host of devices. Work hand in hand with a competent web developer who will go beyond simply ensuring that your site can be accessed by these alternative devices. They should also ensure that things look as visually appealing as possible and that navigation between products, product images, and product descriptions is smooth and effective on smartphone or tablet as well as laptop or desktop computer.
It is estimated that the average web user takes only five seconds to decide whether they like a website or not. If they find a site appealing, they will continue to browse its contents. If they find it unappealing, they will simply exit the tab and forget about it. This is why your landing page needs to be the most impressive page on your site. This is the first page that customers will land on and is thus the page that will determine whether they continue to browse your goods or completely dismiss your brand and what it has to offer. When designing a landing page, try to stick with your brand colour scheme, include your brand logo, brand name, and tagline on the landing page. This should be the extent of information given on this page, as it provides the web user with the basics without overwhelming them. You want to avoid any crowding or clutter on this page in particular.
User experience is key when it comes to ensuring that your potential customers have a positive experience with your website. Otherwise referred to as “UCD”, user centred design is part of a user experience design process that is primarily driven by user research and data. The aim of the game is to ensure that an individual making their way around your website has a positive experience. You can achieve this by working out what your target customers want and need from your website. If you know what your potential customers expect from your website, you can then design and tailor your webpage around these wants and needs. Never again will your customers get lost trying to navigate their way through your products. They will easily be able to find what they want, view it in their baskets and pay without hassle. Make sure there are also clear links to essential information such as your terms and conditions, policies, shipping options, and FAQs.
You should ensure that you have consistent branding through your website at all times. Branding is essentially what lets people know what you and your products are all about, as well as helping consumers to differentiate between your products and the alternatives supplied by other companies. It should be incorporated into absolutely every aspect of your business venture, from your products themselves to their packaging, so you need to incorporate it into your website’s design too. Now, your branding should convey all sorts of information to the individual accessing it at a moment’s glance, encapsulating your brand’s entire image in a small snippet of visual information so it should be clear from the moment an individual hits your landing page. Incorporate your brand’s signature colour scheme into your website through banners, highlighted links, and buttons. You can also place your logo at the top of each page. If you are unsure of how to go about doing this yourself, work with an experienced web designer or web design agency. After a short consultation and familiarisation with your goals, they should be able to bring your dreams to life.
As you can see, setting up a website can be a relatively complicated process. There are so many things to bear in mind. While this list may not be comprehensive, hopefully, it has highlighted a few important areas that you should focus on and prioritise throughout the web design process! Remember that the more time you spend on your web design, the better a page you will end up with, and when you have a great web page, you’re much more likely to experience higher volumes of traffic. This should mean more exposure, more sales, and consequently more profit. So, don’t waste any time and start working on your webpage today!
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