Beautiful websites are truly an art form. When you come across a webpage that leaves you awe-inspired, it’s easy to have new found appreciation for web design and the creative geniuses that spend thousands of hours beating on their craft. If you’re struggling to create that wow factor with your own designs, here are 6 tips that will transform your site into a thing of beauty.
Make It Fast
First of all, the most attractive designs are useless if your visitors don’t stay long enough to appreciate your work. We live in an age of instant gratification. If you’re website takes longer than a few seconds to load, you can bet on your visitors losing patience and clicking away from your site.
Graphics and videos are the usual culprits for delays in page loading. Don’t use them unless it is vital to get your message across, or they add tremendous value to the user. Instead, opt for the old but faithful, words on a page. If you must use graphics, try to reduce the number and size, or source web graphic optimization software to tidy up your pictures. Remember, not everyone has high speed broadband. A site that takes twenty seconds to load is only going to see a fraction of the traffic stick around for the main event.
What’s the Purpose?
Always start with a purpose in mind – sell a widget, collect an email address or educate on a particular topic. It doesn’t matter what, as long as there is a clear objective behind your site. It can be tempting to launch into the design of an exciting new project, but if you don’t have a solid plan for what you want to achieve, you may be left with a jumbled and clunky ensemble that’s more Frankenstein than Cinderella.
It helps to have a plan for your site in writing with the objectives of the site clearly defined.Then, when you’re engaged in design mode, consistently refer back to your plan to tie the whole project together. This will ensure there’s flow between all the elements and everything leads back to your main objective.
Navigate With Ease
You may have experienced the irritation of a poorly navigated site before. Perhaps you visited with the intention of making a purchase, or were in search of an interesting article you read previously, only to leave the site in frustration after not being able to easily find what you were looking for.
If visitors to your site can’t locate what they are in search of within the first minute of arriving on your site, they’ll take their business elsewhere. Simple navigation works best. Easy to find menus at the top of the page and/or at the side of the page are what the majority of internet users are familiar with.
Large organizations, such as Apple and Nike, are realizing the value in taking a minimalism approach to their websites. Web design is trending to cinematic, page-filling, single images that make a bold statement of values and purpose. Less is definitely better when it comes to building an attractive site. Even if you have an information dense site, consider having the home page as a simple and clean welcome before linking to more complex content on other pages.
Pay Attention to Color
Color is one of the main weapons in your design arsenal that has the power to create a dramatic impact. If however, it is used appropriately and in the right places. If you’re designing a company website, and the company identifies with particular colors in its branding or logo, replicate the same colors on the site. And another basic rule is to keep to a white background with black text. Anything else is difficult to read and will be a turnoff for your visitors.
Although you may have hundreds of great design ideas floating around in the idea bank, stick to one design for one site. Switching between different layouts, color schemes and types of content between different pages within the same site, will leave your visitors confused and likely to lose interest.
Get The Basics Right First
Although these tips may seem simple, good web design is often about getting the basics right. If you want to create beautiful sites, blend these tips with your own creativity to create visual masterpieces.