5 Essentials of Business Website Design
by Andrew Millar
Design is such an integral element in all of our lives, that it is easy to overlook its influence. These 5 essentials of business website design illustrate its strategic importance to your web presence. When there is disorganization evident in layout and design it is oftentimes reflected in a website’s effectiveness. The best SEO in the world will not help to keep visitors on your site if the look and feel of it is sloppy.
- Professional Appearance. By this we mean consistency between pages so that it is easy to find information. We have all been on sites that confuse us because it is not clear where to go or how to get to what we want to know. Is the logo placed on the same place on each page? Is the layout the same or does moving from page to page feel like you are arriving at a different site each time? Is navigation simple and consistent?
- Consistency. This has a lot to do with a website’s look and feel. Is there a uniform use of color throughout the site? Are the buttons all the same or are they one shape on one page and different on the next? Is the font consistent throughout the site and is its size uniform? These may seem like modest requirements but they create a sense of professionalism about your website.
- Does your home page appeal to your target audience? We know how obvious this seems to be but do not underestimate the importance of layout and design in directing and appealing to your website visitors. They have come to your home page because they are seeking a solution. Have you made the solution to their search self-evident? Do they know within seconds that they are in the right place? Netbiscuits, the global leader in software solutions for adaptive web experience, reports that 76 per cent of global consumers will leave your website if they find it difficult to use.
- Responsive page layout for smartphone, tablet and PC? “We are experiencing an unprecedented explosion of connected devices and the pressure is now on brands to deliver an adaptive multi-channel universal Web experience accessible by everyone. … Those organizations that succeed at delivering a seamless experience across multiple devices will thrive. Those that don’t will cease to be relevant to their customers.” – Michael Neidhoefer, CEO, Biscuit It is becoming self-evident every day that non-PC use of the web is gaining immense traction. This new concept of ‘responsive’ web pages means that your site will adjust its appearance to the size of the device being used.
- Content Presentation. This refers again to the uniformity of font and size, web writing techniques using bullet points, headings, brief paragraphs. It may seem like it goes without saying but meaningful and useful information is important as is timeliness (making sure the date of the last revision is accurate) and material is current. All content must be thoroughly proofed for errors in spelling and grammar.
These 5 essentials of business website design are a starting point to review your own site or to critique that of your competition. If you follow them, your site will appear professional and retain your visitors.