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Updated by Dawn Gribble on May 03, 2017
Headline for Top 10 Tips for Improving Web Design
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Dawn Gribble Dawn Gribble
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Top 10 Tips for Improving Web Design

Your company website is still the heart of your online presence. It is the place where everything from sales pages to About Us information, service details and contact information all live. While the content of the website is crucial, so too is the design because we humans are a very visual species. So, what steps can you take to improve website design and make the user experience memorable?

This post was originally published at http://bit.ly/webtop10

1

Have a plan for the website

Have a plan for the website

Before you begin the creation or improvement of the website, it is important to have a plan. You want to sit down and map out the customer journey while on your site – say they arrive at the homepage and then travel to a blog post to read something useful then click a button on the post that takes them to a sales page. Once you have ideas about the customer journey through the site, you can think about how the design can help make these easier and what elements the customer will be looking for as they move around the website.

2

Branding

Branding

Modern branding is about more than just coordinating fonts and colours but these are a big part of your website design. You want to create that sense of harmony across your website, social media and offline presences that come from having a colour palette and branded fonts as well as a logo and other branding elements. Make sure you have these firmly in mind before you start on the actual design of website.

3

Images

Images

Going back to the point about people being visual creatures, don’t underestimate the importance of images in the design of website. Using beautiful images that match in with brand colours help to accent the website, making it more pleasurable to use. Overlaying images with graphics can also work well. You can take your own photos, use stock images of great quality or a mixture of both to achieve this.

4

Home Page

Home Page

Some people downplay the importance of your homepage as many people enter the website from a blog post or a product page. But having the homepage in top condition is a good step because there’s a good chance every visitor will go there by using that little home button or your logo. Sliders have been popular but are falling out of favour due to the loading speed issues and the fact that people spend around 8 seconds looking at something so only ever see one slide! Instead, hero images or other promotional images are replacing them to offer something to the visitor immediately.

5

White Space

White Space

White space is quite simply areas of the website where there are nothing and they bring a sense of order to the page that makes them more pleasant to look at. The spacing between paragraphs is one simple example while leaving areas of a homepage that have no content can allow attention to focus on the important thing – busy background patterns, for example, can make the page seem chaotic and mean people miss what you want them to see.

6

Larger fonts for Mobile

Larger fonts for Mobile

We all know the number of people visiting our site from mobile devices continues to grow so factor in their user experience when you are designing your website. Using larger font sizes is a great example of this trend – text in size 18 rather than 14 can make sure it is easy to read on a smaller device. And opting for easy to read fonts when using a smaller screen can ensure those mobile visitors stay and read more.

7

Simple Navigation

Simple Navigation

You want people to move around your website, rather than visit one page and then leave. So make sure your navigation is simple, intuitive and allows people to easily find everything within the site. Don’t make them hunt around for your About Us or FAQ pages because they simply won’t bother. Make sure your blog posts are categorised and that products are too so people can easily move from one to another.

8

Side Bar?

Another element that some websites are dropping at the moment is sidebars. These can end up being overfilled with information and draw the customer’s interest away from the relevant content or product that you want them to focus on. Look at your sidebar from the customer’s view and see if it is useful or should it be hidden from some pages.

9

Sharing

Sharing

One of the big mistakes that many businesses make is not ensuring it is very easy for visitors to share your content to social media. Sharing buttons at the side of the page, on the top header, at the end of blog articles and anywhere else that the visitor would go is important if you want people to share what is on your site – and of course, you want them to share!

10

Split Test

Split Test

Don’t be afraid to test two different elements in an A/B testing system to see what works and what customers respond best to – after all, one of the good website design tips is to do what customers want. Try having that sidebar then removing it for another period of time and see what heat maps show – did people use it? Did navigation use increase if there was no sidebar? This is just one example of the things you can split test to get everything right.

  • Dawn is a Digital Marketing specialist with over 20 years of Food & Beverage and Hospitality experience.

    A keen ‘foodie’, Dawn appeared on MasterChef UK, she teaches restaurant marketing at International Culinary Institutes and Hospitality Management Training Academies.

    Her food writing has been featured in the Huffington Post and she is a frequent speaker at Food & Beverage, Social Media and Digital Marketing conventions around the world.

    She is the Founder and CEO of Virtual Solutions - a boutique digital marketing agency providing training, consultancy and services to Hotels, Restaurants and F&B brands.

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