There are two differing schools of thought when it comes to web design:
• Use a professional web designer
• Build your own website
If we all had thousands of dollars or pounds floating around just waiting to be spent, then yes, I would engage a professional to design me a state of the art, to die for, website – who wouldn’t I ask!
Now, let’s think about the real world. Most of us do not have the cash to flash to some swanky website pro so we need to think about how we can do a decent job ourselves.
There are various companies on the web who can help us build our own website but the purpose of this article is to talk about three important aspects of web design that no ‘build it yourself’ company will teach you.
These tips will help you design and create a sleek and professional looking website easily and extremely cheaply.
First of all, think of a few websites that you love the look of and write down your answers:
• What do you like about them?
• What makes them look inviting?
• How do they use images and colours?
• What about the font – is it easy to read?
Now think about some websites that turn you off (don’t forget to write down your answers):
• What don’t you like about them?
• What puts you off?
• Is it cluttered or disorganised?
• Is it visually confusing?
Just answering these questions (and others that you can think of – be creative with your thoughts) should give you valuable insight into successful web design as well as the aspects that should be avoided.
Secondly, you need to think about your customers and what aspects of web design will attract them, for example:
• Colours – Bright or Pastel?
• Images – Cartoons or Photos? Lots of images (bargain basement type design) or limited use (considered classier)?
• Fonts – Make sure they can be read easily on a computer screen.
• Mood – Energetic or Still? Spiritual or Romantic? The world’s your oyster!
Remember – All websites need to be geared towards YOUR customers.
Thirdly, make it easy for your visitors to explore your site. Web surfers do not and will not spend hours trying to navigate their way around a complex website. You have to do the work for them. Tell them exactly how they can make the most of their visit and draw them in. Perhaps include an interactive element – add a video or a survey – be creative!