What You Need to Know about the Principles of Excellent Website Design
One of the first things people ought to know about designing an e-commerce website is that user experience and functionality counts more towards the success of a site as opposed to aesthetics alone. Users decide everything that happens the moment they log on to your website. Hence it makes sense to adopt a user-centred approach when designing a website. After all, there is no point spending any amount of time and money trying to create the most beautiful looking website if it is a pain to use or people do not find it particularly helpful.
So what makes a web design exceptional?
If users need to think to make sense your website, then you need to do better. For a web design to be useful, critical elements on the site need to be straightforward to users.
Genuinely intuitive web design does not leave users with questions about where to find what or how to navigate to a certain point. Good web design is one that has a clear structure, ample visual hints and easy to see links that help users get from point A to B with relative ease.
Do not stretch the patience of users
Often in an e-commerce website, you may find yourself trying to get visitors to do something — try out a tool, subscribe to your newsletter, download an application, read a report or whatever it may be. In any case, you need to understand that the patience of website users is often very limited. You want to keep requirements short and avoid asking for more information than what is necessary.
Good website design is one that does not ask much from their users to get what they want. Users might be interested in trying out your products or services but will quickly lose interest if you ask too much of them.
Many of today’s e-commerce website offers static and dynamic content which might look pretty but be careful not to overdo it. Avoid unnecessary elements in the user interface that grab the attention of your users (unless that is what you intended to do) away from the goal you have set for a particular web page. Pictures attract more attention than text-based content, but that layout won’t do you any good on a web page where you are trying to explain the benefits of your product or service.
People read web content differently than they do with print, so it is essential for e-commerce websites to adopt a style of writing that is more attuned to the average user’s habits and preferences. Long lines of text with no spaces, images and other elements that break them apart are likely to be ignored.
Good website design is one that has content that is on point and all business. Avoid jargons or technical terms that will only confuse or annoy users even if they did take the time to read your content.
Keep it simple
While it might seem counterintuitive, the principle “less is more” is a core element of good web design. Remember that users do not visit an e-commerce website to enjoy a view but to get information. This alone is enough reason to aim for simplicity instead of fancy visuals that diminish usability. When you look at it from a user’s perspective, the best content is simple text with no fancy advertisements or content blocks.
Make good use of white spaces
Most people underestimate the importance of leaving white spaces around your content. Such an element reduces the cognitive strain for users and makes it easier to consume information on a webpage.
Use visible language
Good website design is one that implements the principles of what is known as “visible language” which refers to the content that users see on a webpage.
There are three significant elements to consider here:
- Organisation — content must be explicit and logically structured. The same applies to layout, links and navigation.
- Economy — make the most with the least amount of visual elements. Only implement the things that foster clarity and remove anything that will raise more questions and ambiguity.
- Communication — present content that is in-line with the cognitive skills of your targeted users. In most cases, you would want to keep content short and readable.
Make good use of conventions
Stick to the basics and adopt conventional design elements. While it might seem boring, making good use of familiar elements helps reduce the learning curve and enables users to figure out how to work your website quickly. For example, it would be a nightmare for users if e-commerce websites are to implement RSS feeds differently from one another.
By sticking to elements that are considered conventional, you leverage features that inspire confidence which in turn makes you appear credible to your users.
Test Early Test Often (TETO)
The pursuit of a truly effective website design is an ongoing process and with every reiteration, testing should be implemented immediately and ever so often. Doing so will help uncover insights into any problems that you may have overlooked and identify areas for improvement.
Are you looking to get help from professional website designers in Sydney who can help you implement the principles mentioned above? You can expect no less out of Spark Interact! Phone us today on 1300 799 858 to get started.