Guiding Principles in Creating an Effective Web Design

by Jason Acidre on August 4, 2011 · 41 comments · Conversion


This entry is a guest post by Noel Addison Agnote from NDIC. The views and opinions expressed on this post don’t necessarily reflect my views as an Online Marketer.

Principle Web design is one of the most vital aspect of modern online marketing, as visually attractive websites are very much capable of converting visitors to leads/sales with almost no trouble at all. Designs enable websites to speak for itself, in which they can inject and ignite trust to users upon first impression – seeing that the website has invested on making its users’ visual experience valuable.

On any online marketing strategies, enforcing a creatively done website design can and will extremely improve the site’s performance in terms of:

  • Sending out strong brand signals by visually captivating your site’s visitors.
  • Increasing conversions through clean and succinct display of the website’s elements.
  • Attracting and acquiring natural links, particularly if your site has an exceptional web design like Ben the Bodyguard and Analog.coop, which were able to semi-automate their process of building links through their ingenious design.
  • Usability, which Google loves and in someway is granted with higher search rankings on their SERPs. It is also a good way to improve the user-activity scores (getting more pageviews and reducing bounce rates) of the site.

Simplicity – Less is More

Keeping your website simple should be the primary goal in designing a website. Remember that users are searching for information or answer to a certain question. In addition, Simple websites are easier to navigate, load faster and simple sites are quicker to design and build. So to make your website look simple remove unnecessary decorative elements and make sure that the backend of your site is as simple as the frontend. A simple message will be understood better than a complicated one.

Reduce the Cognitive Load In Your Design

When building a website make sure that your audience will quickly understand what your page is about. The navigation and site architecture have to be spontaneous or else more questions about your site will arise in your audience’s mind. A comprehensible structure, sensible visual clues and identifiable links can aid users to get what they need to know about your page. Let your website be clear and understandable.

Reducing the complexities in your website will make it easier for visitors to get the information that you want to convey to them.

Let Users Explore the Site and Discover Your Services

Remove the barriers that deter your visitors from exploring your website. Try to minimize your user’s requirement when you are offering some service or tools. Less action needed from users to try your service, the more visitors will try it. Let users discover the site and learn more about your services without obliging them to share their private data. It is not practical to compel users to enter an email address only to test your service. Make your users feel comfortable and calm in trying the features of your service.

Keep Your Visitor’s Attention and Interest

Aid your visitor’s eyes to see what’s important in your page and help them concentrate on what to do. Make your call to action different from other things in the page. Your content must be consistent, present things similarly so that it will be more serviceable and easier to learn for your visitors. Also, proper alignment is most likely the most important visual treatment you can do to make a design look visually easier to utilize.

Let the User See Vividly What Functions Are Available

Allowing the user see clearly what functions are available is a basic rule of successful user interface design. Make sure that the content is well-understood and visitors feel comfortable with the way they interact with the system.

Make Use of Effective Writing

When writing for a website come to the point as quickly as possible, use short and concise phrases instead of cute words and exaggerated statements. Use simple and objective language. Give your users some reasonable and objective reason why they should use your service or stay on your web-site.

White space is good

There are several of elements that form a great web design, but one of the most disregarded and underutilized is whitespace. Whitespace is made of nothing, but should not be seen in that way. There are several advantages that a huge dose of whitespace can bring to a design. Simply by increasing the space between elements in a layout, a design can take on a more elegant appearance, and by injecting more whitespace into a web design’s typography, content becomes more legible.

Communicate effectively with a “visible language”

Do the most with the least amount of cues and visual elements. Simplicity includes only the elements that are most important for communication. All components should be designed so their meaning is not vague. The essential properties of the elements should be discernible. The most important elements should be easily perceived. The user interface must keep in balance legibility, readability, typography, symbolism, multiple views, and color or texture in order to communicate successfully.

Test your website.

You will need to extensively test the website to ensure that visitors have a comfortable stay and don’t leave your site in an instant. Testing is an iterative process. That means that you design something, test it, fix it and then test it again.

There might be problems which haven’t been found during the first round as users were practically blocked by other problems. Usability tests always produce useful results. Either you’ll be pointed to the problems you have or you’ll be pointed to the absence of major design flaws which is in both cases a useful insight for your project.

According to Weinberg’s law, a developer is unsuited to test his or her code. This holds for designers as well. After you’ve worked on a site for few weeks, you can’t observe it from a fresh perspective anymore. You know how it is built and therefore you know exactly how it works — you have the wisdom independent testers and visitors of your site wouldn’t have.

About the Author:

Addison AgnoteNoel Addison Agnote is working as an internet marketer for more than 2 years. He is a part of NDIC, a web design company whose dedication is to build quality websites and help your business build a good online presence. For more information, please visit Santa Barbara Web Design.

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Image Credit: SydneyTayler

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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