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Website Design Tips
Blog | 22nd May 2018

In our previous article we discussed that websites should include more than just beautiful design and well-researched content. However, in this post we will be covering a more extensive analysis on the website design process.

Yes, website aesthetics are important, yet the UX Design (User Experience Design) and website functionality need to be communicated as accurately as possible. Since you are not creating the website for yourself, your target audience should always come first!

Here are a few essential tips to keep in mind when designing your website.

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The User Journey

When constructing a website, by placing the user first, you are already eliminating low website traffic issues down the line. The ‘User Journey’ plays a huge role in managing and directing the way users engage with your website content. The purpose of working out your user journey is to create a simpler experience for your target audience like taking a shortcut through a confusing maze. You need to understand how the user thinks, what it is that they are looking for and by which stage they would like to achieve their goals.

Use these points as an example:

  • Address the users requirements within your website content so that it reaches Google’s Search Engine, ultimately attracting traffic to your site (Clear search keywords).
  • Provide valid reasons why your product or service would work for your visitor (these can be highlighted with clear custom illustrative icon design).
  • Include prominent  call-to-action buttons to allow visitors to contact you about your product or service.

By doing thorough research on the process that users take when purchasing your product or service, you are only a few steps away from developing a successful website.

View Influencing Users Through UX Design? for a detailed explanation.

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SEO Strategy Map

Once you have filtered through the user journey you can now narrow down on the exact keywords or key phrases related to your product or service. These keywords are determined by real-time Google search data (An SEO audit is crucial to provide real data to work from).

Your SEO strategy needs to include the following key factors:

  • ‘Mobile First’ Optimisation.
  • Keyword and Key Phrase Research.
  • Permalink Structure.
  • Content Hierarchy.
  • Site mapping.
  • Above the Fold Optimisation.
  • Website Navigation.

Contact us if you would like to have an SEO guru to assist you with your strategy.

View What is Search Engine Optimisation? for a detailed explanation.

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Brand Guidelines

Think of your website as an extension of your brand. This means that you will need to maintain a coherent brand look and feel across all collateral (including your website design). Be sure that your mission statement and goals are communicated clearly, in order for your visitors to understand why your company would be the best solution for their expectations.

Here are important tips to help your audience identify your brand through your website:

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  • Logo Design – Your company is represented by your logo. It is important that you communicate your brand with an iconic and timeless symbol for your audience to recognise.

View Useful Tips for Logo Design for a detailed explanation.

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  • Brand Colours – Colour psychology plays a big role for your target audience to make a subconscious decision about using your brand. Your choice of colours should match your brand together with the type of product or service offered via on your website.

View Making 2017 A Colourful Year for a detailed explanation

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  • Typography – Your choice of fonts can determine the kind of message you would like your brand to portray (Example: a script font can appear as sophisticated and elegant, a heavy sans serif font can a appear as bold and strong).

Remember that consistency applies across all your brand collateral, make sure that you limit the use of fonts to no more than 2 different fonts. We suggest a unique font for headings and a simple legible font for text heavy sections.

View Typography and Design for a detailed explanation.

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  • Icongraphy – Displaying icons on your website could be one of the best ways to attract your  visitors. It is interactive and more engaging than text heavy pages, it is also defined as more economical instead of hiring a photographer.

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  • Contact Points – This is where you would meet your audience in relation to their needs, based on their location and social status. You can strategise call-to-actions that allows the audience to make an informed decision to use your product. These contact points can also be achieved through advertising and campaign strategies across Social Media platforms (Eg: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) to promote your brand or service further.

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Eliminate Clutter

Now that you have completed your SEO strategy and stuck to your brand guidelines for your new website, you can filter through the information and identify the content that will prevent the growth of your website.

If you have to include text heavy pages, we would suggest that you cut them down to include itemised bullet points, bite-size paragraphs with icons, or replace them with an clear infographics displaying your  information more visually (making it easier for your visitors to skim through and focus on the highlighted points).

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Imagery

Photographing or sourcing the correct images for your website can be a challenging task whether hiring a professional photographer or sourcing ideal stock images online. If your budget allows, we would recommend that you hire a photographer who will understand your brief and the kind of message you would like to convey. Choosing stock images could make your website less impactful because (even though these images are good) they do not always meet the expectations of your target audience.

Keep in mind that images you upload to your site will need to be optimised and saved for web, ensuring that your website displays and functions perfectly.

View How To Optimise Your Website Images for a detailed explanation

Spacing

When designing your website be careful not to overload every page with too much information. With minimal and optimal content placement, having the right amount of space on your website will make things much clearer for users.

White space is an essential design element used to separate sections of content for better legibility. Therefore, in order to ensure that your website looks fresh, you may do the following:

  • White Space – Depending on your website look and feel you can increase white space to have a more elegant and upmarket approach or slightly less white space to appear more friendly for the target audience.
  • Website Padding – This is one of the most important technical development elements of your website. Always ensure that text should never touch other elements on your site and keep the padding consistent and equal at all time.
  • Line Spacing – The space in-between your text determines the appearance of its readability across the site. However, make sure that you do not have too much line spacing to prevent losing the users eye as they read your content.