Good Website Design
What Are The Attributes Of Good Website Design?
When we speak to new merchants who opt for our custom design service, our standard practice to ask our client to show us a couple of websites they would like theirs to emulate in terms of design and structure.
Many clients already have a clear idea of what they want but for those who aren’t quite sure I thought it would be a worthwhile idea to list what we feel are the hallmarks of good website design.
Although not technically part of your websites design, your logo is normally the first thing visitors’ eyes will be drawn to. The impression your logo gives is paramount in communicating a credible image of your business.
It has never been easier to get a well-designed off the shelf website, which is of course great news, but what this does mean is that your logo is now one the few opportunities you have to visually represent the unique values of your brand.
For this reason we have decided to include professional logo design with all of our custom design packages, meaning that if you are currently looking to rebrand as well as considering changing your website, there has never been a better time.
This is the window dressing for your online shop. The current trend is for a plain white background which gives a minimal look and lets your product images do the talking.
If you are looking for something a bit more vibrant, consider 3 colours as a maximum to ensure that they complement and contrast each other well without the overall picture becoming confused.
Personally I think bold and distinctive colours on a subtle background work the best as this is normally lends itself to a classy look without detracting attention from your products.
As design attributes go, this is something that is sometimes overlooked; however your choice of typography has a significant impact on both the appearance and the functionality of your website.
The correct font can really add personality to a website and compliment the brand image you seek to portray. With something of a convergence taking place in template design, (for the better we think in terms of style), getting creative with your font is a great way to differentiate your website.
Don’t get too creative at the expense of (easy) legibility, and as obvious as it sounds, ensure that there is consistency across the website. Large and interesting typefaces can be used to guide the visitor across the page and can improve navigation. Having said this, how much you will want to differ from the norm is likely to depend on your industry and for utilitarian products traditional solid fonts are best.
With most people spending less than 15 seconds on a website before moving on, it’s crucial to get whatever message you are trying to communicate over as clearly as possible. This point covers both the design and copy on your homepage.
An overcrowded homepage is off putting for a number of reasons. Primarily, people are busy and do not wish to put in time and effort digesting excessive amounts of copy that they don’t feel is relevant. If the homepage is too fussy then the visitor is likely to assume that finding the product they are looking for is also going to be a hassle. Finally, an overcrowded homepage can give a slightly unprofessional / old fashioned appearance as current design trends tend to be more minimal and geared around easy navigation.
A banner slideshow on your homepage should allow you to drive your key message home in a way that is easy for readers to digest, and crucially, links to category pages on your website should be clearly visible so that visitors can see instantly that finding the product they are looking for is going to be an obvious process.
Large blocks of text should only feature on product pages, by which point the visitor want to see lots of information.
Of all the points here, this is the most important. Having a background photo that sets the mood for your brand is arguably the best way to make a website stand out. Consider for example a website selling outdoor clothing using a high resolution picture of a mountain range. Equally, having multiple high quality images for your products makes them more appealing and makes your whole website appear more trustworthy. For this it will be worth getting hold of professional equipment and taking the time to get plenty of good photos together.
Bad quality images or images that are the wrong size will only serve to damage your credibility in the eyes of your customer. I would suggest downloading generic images for your homepage from websites such as Shutterstock over using amateurish photos as there is enormous choice and you will be able to find something unique and professional looking.
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