Some elements of web design are not as important as others. One thing’s for sure, you have to make your website easy for potential customers to use, otherwise they will leave in droves and never return. The 5 crucial elements of web design below all contribute something to ease of use, so by implementing them you have a much better chance that visitors will stay long enough to become customers.
- Space is now being understood in a way that it never was before. It may seem strange to think that white space – which is essentially nothing – can be so important. What it does is increase flow and readability on the website. It is also important in the context of the other elements on the page. There is space between lines of text, between words and letters, and between images and text. It is important to ensure that the use of space is consistent throughout. For instance, you need to same amount of space between all images and text; don’t vary it. But it can be different from the amount of space between paragraphs, for example. And space can also be coloured. Plenty of space around text and buttons makes them stand out so they catch the eye more easily.
- Easy to understand navigation. Navigation is what guides people around your website and leads them towards the action you want them to take. The simpler it is, the better experience the user will have. No one wants to stumble through a maze of text, never sure where they are heading or how to get back.
- About us. Small businesses especially need to have an about us page that tells the visitor something about them and their aims and goals. This helps the customer to trust them. About Us pages are far too long and complicated. People don’t want to know what year you were born. Get to the point and be professional as well as friendly. Include images if possible.
- A highly visible point of contact. This allows the visitor to contact you easily for whatever reason and also increases their trust, especially if you can give a snail mail address/location. A contact form helps the user to keep to the point of their query and not forget to put their own contact details in. Contact is usually found in the footer.
- A simple call to action in a highly visible place will also help the user to get what they want. Clickable buttons need to be in contrasting colour to other elements. A sign up form can be larger and should be set to appear after the user has had time to read the information, not just as they start reading, which will only annoy them.