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Updated by April Rose Casiple Semogan on Feb 12, 2020
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Web Design Tips: Things to Check for an Effective Website

As a web designer, it is your responsibility to create websites that efficiently reflects the brand of your clients. Your design should not only focus on the appearance but also on the effectiveness of a page. You should ask yourself if a user can determine what your website is offering within their first five seconds on the page. Since the internet is meant to give fast answers to people, straightforward is the best way to go. If you find that your designs are turning away potential customers, then it may be time for you to evaluate the way that you have been designing your pages.

Make a plan.

Obviously, you need to come in with a plan. You cannot go to war with no plan. The competition is fierce out there, and your website will be buried alive if you just go ahead and attack with your gut feeling. Your artistic instincts can tell you what looks beautiful, but it can’t tell you what can bring in more customers for your client. In this regard, you need to ensure that you design the website around your client’s goals.

Think outside the box.

There are some elements in your web design or content that web users have probably seen a million times before. So, it sounds like a broken record to them or the broken promises that countless of exes have told them. Simply put, these elements have lost their impact and charm. Some examples are complicated animations, common stock photos and words like: “next-generation, flexible, robust, scalable, easy to use, cutting edge, groundbreaking, etc.

Strategically place your social media follow buttons.

Keep in mind that your website is not only a pretty little thing that you want people to look at, but it is also a marketing tool for your client’s business. So you need to make sure that you are giving the users the opportunity to share what you have designed. However, you also need to be smart where you place your social media follow button. For example, if you put your icons on top—chances are your users will switch to the company’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account instead of browsing through the pages that you spent hours designing.

Integrate some Calls-to-Action.

This is a pretty basic tip, but you would be surprised how many websites still do not make good use of effective CTAs. These handy little things let the users know what to do next, and it can even lead them to what YOUR client wants them to do. Calls-to-Action gives users a direction to their browsing.

Use relevant images.

You need to design the website with your client’s goals in mind. It needs to consistently send the message that the brand wants to get across. For example, you can use images of happy people for a funeral parlour’s website—but it would be quite distasteful. And that may not be getting a relevant message across.

Make sure that navigation is easy.

No website is worth getting lost for—so even if you have designed the most beautiful website in the world, if it is hard to navigate, then people will hit that back button with the speed of light. You can be as creative and wacky as you want with your design, but do not mess with the site’s navigation. The navigation is one of the crucial elements that makes or breaks a user’s experience.

Do not be afraid of the fold.

You may be used to designing above “the fold”, but do not be afraid to design a longer homepage. Let your design lead your users to scroll down your page.

Use white space whenever necessary.

Do not be afraid of using whitespace. You do not need to fill in every single space of the site with a pattern. Whitespace can help you break up the page and increase readability.

Make sure that your design is optimised for mobile phones and smaller gadgets.

As you know, more and more people are browsing through the world wide web through their phones. Making sure that your design looks amazing in all platforms is crucial if you want the users to stay longer on your website. If your site is difficult to use on mobile, then you can possibly be causing your client to lose potential clients.

Establish an online presence.

So how do you do this? You do this through SEO. You need to make sure that your design is SEO optimised. SEO is what puts your website on the search engine results page. So you need to make sure that your design gets along with SEO well.