A website’s design is one of the most important components in your never-ending quest to charm your visitors. It is the design of a site, which first impresses potential customers and influences their decision to stay or leave. And since, as the famous saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression“, it becomes crucial to design a website to perfection.
Often, the design process of a website becomes complex and messy as you move forward. Understanding the client’s need, long brainstorming sessions, being ultra-creative in layouts, choosing the right kind of multimedia etc. tend to complicate things rather than helping, and make the overall process long and cumbersome.
However, having a design roadmap or following a step-by-step process can make things much easier. Besides, it helps you create a path which you simply need to adhere to in order to have a perfectly designed website.
Let us go straight to the 5 simple steps:
1. Set Up an Objective
This may sound obvious; however, many business owners fail to appreciate its significance while starting off a project. Objective set-up holds the key to getting the desired outcome. Every outcome can be checked against the desired objective, so you’re always on track with what you or your client want from the website. What kind of identity needs to be built? Do you need a professional look or rather a bubbly appearance? What is the target group and what age-bracket or economic strata do they fall into?
Be clear-headed about the goal first; otherwise, you will work hard to reach the mountain top, only to realize that you climbed the wrong mountain.
2. Work With Wireframes and Functionality
A wireframe defines what a webpage should look like in terms of structure and functionality. The skeletal layout of a future webpage makes it easy for you or for your client to give a well-thought-over feedback, which can be incorporated with ease in the following steps. Besides, it can be tested with users to check its appeal.
A wireframe allows you to take a meaningful look at the site very early on, choose the location of any element in the page, and determine how the flow of information is to be maintained. It is the stage where you should check the coherency and the relation between the elements (texts, images, forms, tabs etc.) and the CTAs (Call To Action) to ensure that the flow is clear and compelling.
3. Use Evocative Visuals
Your website is the best platform to test the truthfulness of the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Visuals truly give your website its soul and bring the whole project to life. Moreover, visitors not only connect well with the images at an emotional level, but also remember them for a longer period of time.
The right kind of images are the best way to give your website a unique identity. It is advisable to use a few big and bold supportive images, which illustrate what your business is all about.
Designer’s tip: Refrain from using images where the subjects are staring straight into the camera as they are less impactful.
4. Choose a Readable Font
There is a plethora of fonts available nowadays, and sometimes they tempt designers to use the most peculiar ones in order to stand out. However, what good is a font if one is having a hard time reading it?
When it comes to fonts, simplicity is the key. Make sure your font is easy to read and it really does not matter if it is the most common of fonts. What is important is to pass on the message effectively.
Designer’s tip: You may play around with your fonts a little; however, never compromise on the readability aspect, or else, you’ll pay a hefty price.
5. Don’t Forget to Consider User Experience
User Experience (UX) based design helps a designer adjust certain aspects of a website’s design based on feedback from the end users. This further improves the final output and aligns the website’s interface with the customers’ perspective.
Besides, getting user feedback as early on as possible helps you save money by fixing the issues while still at design stage. The same issues, if discovered in the development or post release stage, would be much harder to fix. Robert Pressman’s book Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach argues that for every dollar spent on UX design, you save $10 fixing issues during development and $100 after the product is released.
The above is not an exhaustive list; however, it gives you a good overview of the main pillars of website design. Now it’s your turn, go and make your site stunning!