Understanding the Principles of Good Web Design
A website is an essential part of your online marketing strategy. A definite must-have for any business these days. Think about it. For the most part, when you are looking for a service these days, what is the first thing you do? Right. You Google. If your business doesn’t have a website, you are doing yourself a disservice.
Unsure How to Start Planning Your Website?
If you are unsure where to start, that’s what we’re here for. In this post we explain the principles of good web design and planning, which will engage visitors of your site and assist you with converting them into customers. Be mindful however. It does not happen overnight, and as in any business, online marketing must work alongside the efforts of other departments within your business. Planning and building a website is an important building block in helping you reach your business goals.
One of the first steps in getting a website development project going is to consider a design that will appeal to your target market. In doing so, there are a few principles to keep in mind in regards to effective design.
Website Design Tips:
The following are four key steps in starting to plan the design of your website:
Make a list of existing websites you find visually appealing. They don’t necessarily have to be sites relevant to your industry, though this does help. Keep track of what you like about each site.
Research website templates online by simply typing Website Templates into Google. If you want to narrow down your search try www.wordpress.org or www.templatemonstor.com. Again, keep track of what you like about each. These days you can find plenty of website templates for free or for a nominal fee. They are expertly designed ‘skeletons’ or ‘skins’ for websites that you can have modified to your needs (and programmers can help you modify them). Before you can shortlist templates you may want to use for building your website, it is essential to have an idea of what pages and what content you will have on your website and the way in which people will navigate through your site. This is often referred to as the ‘information architecture’ of your website. Think about the information your website needs to have and what function and features you would like.
Use White Space
Balance is a key aspect to a successful design that separates professional from amateur. Most professional website designs actively use white space. This term does not mean the space has to be white, all it means is that it doesn’t contain any content or images. It is space that creates a natural separation between your content, making it easier for the reader to logically navigate through the page without being overwhelmed. Amateurs cram their websites with text and images. A good rule of thumb to maintain good white space is to ask your programmers to increase the line height to 1.5 (150%) times its standard setting.
Choose Your Colours
The first step in choosing colours for your website is to turn towards your logo. If there is a color(s) within the logo, integrate that colour within your site. Remember that colours evoke emotions. You can look this up on www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html. Once you’ve picked a base color, consider other colours that will complement the base. Don’t be afraid to ask your website developer (who needs to have a design background or expertise within their team) to assist in selecting complementary colors. They will refer to the colour wheel and should select colours that create maximum contrast and balance to your base colour.
It’s important to be selective with your choice of fonts. Simpler, standard fonts should be used for the majority of the text on your pages. Make it a point to understand these two terms: Serif and Sans Serif. Serif fonts are those that have a little hook on the end of each letter and Sans Serif (literal meaning for Sans is ‘without’) means the typeface does not have a hook on the end but is a straight edge. Times New Roman and Georgia fonts are Serif fonts and Arial and Verdana are examples of Sans Serif fonts. Decorative fonts can be used, but sparingly, and more so within the visual design elements of your page. Leave that up to your designer/developer to select for you.
So When Do I Start Building My Website?
Once you have planned the basic look and feel of your website, you are ready to try and find a developer who can build your website for you. The designer/developers will ask you to provide your preferences in regards to layouts you like, your choice of colors and preferences for fonts. You can try us at Give Me Marketing, or you can go elsewhere – the decision often is dependent on whether the price and style of the developers meets your needs. Contact one and once you’re ready to work with them, they will usually send you a questionnaire to understand your requirements and specifications in detail.