These days it is common for all types of businesses and even individuals to have a website to represent them on the internet. Thanks to advances in web development, we have many options for how we’d like our website to look and function. Creativity can be to your advantage when building an eye-catching website, but there are a few core principles that we recommend following to create a good website that provides value to your users.
Purpose & Goal
When a user arrives at your website, they should clearly understand the purpose and goal of your website. These could include a whole host of things depending on whether you are a business, an individual, planning an event, sharing information, etc. Make sure that visitors know why you built your website so they can decide if it is the right place for them to be.
Common purposes and goals for websites include sharing a personal portfolio, documenting your experience, selling a product on an eCommerce site, registering for a conference or event, or generating leads. Some websites may serve multiple purposes, so make sure you keep the right users on the relevant pages of your website.
As internet users, we have learned to use the navigation menu to work our way around a website. For this reason, your navigation must be easy to understand and use. The navigation is often the first place a user will look when they land on your website, so make sure it has clear labels and provides them with a path to navigate your website that makes sense logically. Your navigation should also stay consistent across all pages to avoid confusing your users.
While it can be tempting to get fancy with your design choices, simple is always best to make things easy on your users. A simple design will be attractive to a wide range of users and make it more accessible and easier to use.
When choosing a color palette for your website, we recommend keeping your selection to less than five colors. While color is an extremely powerful tool for conveying emotions and messaging, it can also become overwhelming very quickly. Find a palette that aligns with your brand, encourages engagement, and makes your visitors feel good while they are on your website.
Like your color palette, the imagery you choose can have an equally significant impact on your users. Make sure your photos, videos, and graphics embody your brand and the goals of your website. High-quality imagery will provide a sense of professionalism and credibility.
Finally, the fonts you choose can considerably impact your users’ ability to consume and understand your content. Fonts should be simple, readable, and you should use no more than three fonts across your website.
Reduce Loading Time
Unfortunately, website visitors have become increasingly impatient as technology has evolved. Many users will leave a website if it does not load within the first three seconds of landing on the page. It is to your advantage to optimize your page load times and try to reduce it to under two seconds to reduce your bounce rate and encourage user engagement.
Utilize a Visual Hierarchy
Good websites use a visual hierarchy to designate the importance of information. This hierarchy is created using size, color, fonts, whitespace, and more elements. This also includes properly using headers and their tags (H1, H2, H3) to help readers and search engines understand how your website is organized.
Make It Mobile Friendly
At the end of 2021, nearly 48% of all web traffic in the U.S. and over 54% of worldwide traffic took place on mobile devices. Your website must be mobile-friendly and as easy to navigate on a phone or tablet as it is on a desktop computer.