When it comes to designing websites, there are two roads you can take. You can choose to do it yourself (DIY) or hire a design firm.
Whether you decide to tackle a website on your own or get some help, there are several rules to follow to keep your user experience (UX) pleasant. A quality design firm will know about most of these, if not all. When producing your own website however, especially for business, following a few simple guidelines will keep your visitors happy, and literally on the right path.
- Keep Copy Simple – We tell our clients all the time when they’re blogging. The same goes for page content. Keep it simple and concise. Get to the point as quickly as possible. Don’t use run on sentences and overly complicated words. Your content should be able to be read by 11-12 yr. olds. Test your site’s readability using this neat tool: http://www.read-able.com/
- Use Headings and Paragraphs – Headings and paragraphs break up long runs of text and copy into ‘chunks’ that the reader can more visibly handle. Don’t let paragraphs grow out of control. Break them up with good bold headings and white space. When in doubt, the enter key is your friend.
- Use Calls to Action – Especially important for business websites, ‘calls to action’ are buttons primarily used to get an interaction on your website. ‘Free Quote’, ‘Read More’ & ‘Sign Up Today!’ are all examples of calls to action. Don’t hit your user over the head with them, but make them prominent. Your call to action button should stand out (designating importance) as compared to your surrounding copy. See the example below. Our call to action here is bold, colored differently, and provides the user with 2 options. If they’re not quite ready to click for the free evaluation, they can still opt to to learn more, by clicking the other button.
- Use Bulleted Lists – Just as we’ve done here in our post, use the bulleted or numbered list in your paragraphs when possible. They not only serve to break up text and add white space, but they improve eye tracking on your site and make it easier to read.
- Use Stategic Visuals – Studies such as the Jakob Neilsen eye tracking review illustrate that a visitor pays close attention to images. Again, don’t over-use images and visuals, but make sure they are relevant to the copy your writing. As the study concludes, visitors treat unnecessary images as obstacles in getting to the information they’re seeking. A picture in this case is not always worth a thousand words.
So What Does All This Mean?
Pay careful attention to your web design, as there is literally more than meets the eye with layout, text, content and visuals. Make sure you use good white space, headings and paragraphs to make text more approachable. Bulleted lists also serve up information to the visitor in an easily scan-able format. When using visuals or images, make sure you don’t over-use unrelated graphics as they’ll only confuse your readers.
Total Web Plus can design an effective, professional layout for your website. If you’re tired of trying to figure out how to build your site yourself or just need a quality solution, give us a call today at (877) 397-6689 to see what we can do for your business.