Blogger and Writer, Freelance
October 22nd, 2018 · 15 min read
9 Essential Tips To Improve Your Web Design Process (That No One Tells You)
It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced programmer or a blogger who loves to share nuggets of your life online; we have some tips here for you on how you can improve your web design in just a few simple steps.
1. Do Your Research & Draft Out a Plan
I know these are probably the 2 things that you wish you could avoid doing before you click into this article. However, you know how the saying goes “you can’t build a great building on a weak foundation” and the same applies for your web design process.
Before you start, ask yourself these questions and of course, the list is not exhaustive:
- Who are your audience?
- What is the primary goal for your website? (to inform, to sell or to entertain etc)
- Does your web design accurately reflect your branding?
- Study your competitors’ websites and draw out a pros and cons list so you would know what to do or to avoid for yours.
Give clear and precise answers to the questions you ask to ensure that you and your team will be on the same page since the desired outcomes are clearly stated.
After you’re done researching, now it’s time for you to draft out a compelling plan.
2. Website Navigation
Human are visual creatures. It’s true that the first thing most people are going to take notice of your site is the aesthetics of it. However, the ease of navigation is what makes them stay.
You need to make sure that your website is intuitive enough for your visitors to navigate around. Our attention span are unquestionably short and if a website doesn’t offer me exactly what I’m looking for within seconds; I’m switching to another link.
Do not make overcomplicate your site, as visitors are not willing to take their time out to learn how to navigate through it. It should also be easy enough to use and have a coherent design layout so that it can increase users’ familiarity.
You can also use sitemap to plan out your information architecture, think of it like a blueprint for your house. It shows how the different pages are link and check if there are any duplicates.
3. Call-to-Action (CTA)
CTA is the cornerstone of your web design. It links back to your research of what you want your visitors to do when they’re visiting your site.
For example, if you own an online clothing store, selling your products is certainly the primary goal. Buttons like “ADD TO CART”, “CHECK OUT NOW” should be scattering throughout your site (in tasteful manner) so that it’ll encourage visitors to take the desired actions.
CTA buttons are usually in bright colours and have a different font that’s typically ‘bold’.
You’re on the losing end if you don’t optimize your site for mobile. 80% of internet users owns a smartphone and they’re likely to access your mobile site when they’re on the go.
Thus, emphasis should also be placed on making sure that your mobile site is functioning properly too.
Mobile site visitors might have different needs than those who are viewing on a computer. Therefore, research should also be done on this group of users.
5. Social Media Links
In order to boost your reach and engagement, it’s important for you to integrate social sharing buttons as part of your design.
Give your visitors a chance to share your contents, as this will create more organic traffic to your site. They can help you to fortify your brand awareness and increase your brand visibility.
6. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
The key to developing substantial online presence is to make sure that you create a website that CAN BE FOUND on various search engines.
Pages like ‘About Us’, ‘Contact Us’ and other similar pages are no longer enough to constantly drive web users to your site.
Content Marketing Plan should be implemented so that you can allow the contents to actively guide more relevant visitors to your page!
Sufficient keyword research must be done, which means you’ll have to take into consideration the search terms that your audience would typically search for in regards to your products/services and include them your contents.
Handy SEO Tools:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trend
7. Setting the Right Tone with Your Web Design
As mentioned previously, we’re visual creatures so it’s only right that we pay a considerable amount of attention to our website’s aesthetics.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of questions on what you can ask yourself:
- Purpose of Your Website?
- Signature Colours?
- Your Brand Image?
- Target audiences?
For example, if you’re an interior designer who specialized in designing luxury modern home. You can consider taking on a more sleek design for your site and accent it with colours that are frequently associated with being expensive like gold and silver.
8. Test & Check for Error
Be as meticulous as you can when testing each page to ensure that all links are in pristine working conditions and images are loading fine.
It’s better for you to take the time to painfully correct any errors or coding mistakes now than presenting a broken site to the public, which might give visitors a wrong impression of your brand.
If your site has been around for a while, one problem that usually arises is linking to Unknown 404s or domains that no longer exist. Just make sure that you check up on those periodically.
Phew, we are finally here at our last tip, which is to constantly MONITOR the performance of your site!
Ensuring your web design is up-to-date and running smoothly requires constant maintenance and it’s an ongoing process that deserves a great deal of your time.
Use analytic tools to check up on the performance of your website. Pay attention to your bounce rate, exit rate, average visit duration and what get shared the most/least.
You can find out a lot about your visitors’ habits and preferences from these figures so definitely don’t sleep on these data.
Now that you’ve learned more about this topic, it’s important for you to remember that launching a site is not the end of your job. Just like decorating your house, your site will never be fully done so just enjoy the process of bettering it, fixing any errors and don’t be afraid to add in new features as well.
Let’s CODEON, Peoples!