What makes a good website design?
Many have always pondered that question, with varying answers that range from creativity, technical architecture to conversion and marketing rates. In recent years several web design awards have strived to unify these ideas, and even Shopify, a web design company, strives to help people make their ideal websites a reality. We even have the Webby Awards, Awwwards, and the CSS Awards to honor the best and brightest of these websites. But what makes these websites special? If you scan the list of winners for these awards, you might not see any similar qualities. But if you look through their sites, you would find commonalities that you could incorporate in your next design.
Consider how your users will think
Many web designers know that most users will rely on the visual impact of their design, but very few will consider the effect of color and placement of the text. Most users will only scan a website, in which case the colors of a website should be used to maximum effect to grab the attention of the user. The placement of the text should also immediately make a connection with the user, whether it’s something that they find interesting or something that they truly need.
Many users look for immediacy and instant gratification, so once a website does not deliver in the first few seconds, the user has mostly made up his or her mind to move on to another website. Users do not want websites with high cognitive loads requiring thoughtful navigation; they want sites that provide accessible and immediate information with quick navigation and mapping insights. This means users often choose the first reasonable option and do not spend too much time on a website searching for what they need. Users “satisfice” in the hopes of finding what they need in the shortest time possible.
Make every element on your website a no-brainer
Users want everything to be clear and obvious since they want everything to be accessible and immediate. Website designers should avoid making users question about things that should be clear right from the start: the product, the benefits, and even where and how users could obtain or find these services or products. Of course, questions can be interesting, but unless it is a compelling question that leads your users to dive more into your site, then you should make everything obvious to your users the instant they open your site.
This also extends to navigation and site mapping. If your users have to ask where to go, and where to click to find the information they need, most of them will leave your site. Good designers know that effective site mapping and navigation are helpful and clear to users but also make them curious to find out more about your product and services.
All the elements of your website should be unified
Whether it’s the images, the typography, or the story you are trying to convey, all the elements of your website should have a unified theme. All of them should help your users to focus on their products and services, and make your users experience everything through your words, images, and even the animation you use.
Great design is not a singular thing. It is an amalgam of different elements that come together through a designer’s creative vision and focus, which they can use to make users experience through their website.