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What Makes a Well Designed Website?

effective website design

A well designed website is about so much more than looking pretty. The website must perform the task it was created to do, while making it as easy as possible for the user to do so.

Easy to Read Content

The most important thing on a website is the content. I needs to be readable to both humans and search engine web crawlers. It also needs to be accessible for users who have disabilities and may need to use devices such as screen readers to browse the internet. Web content can be made more readable by:

Easy to Navigate

When a user is visiting your website, there is a strong possibility they will want to visit multiple pages. This means it is important to make navigating your website as easy as possible. This can be achieved by:

Load Quickly

In the modern world time is everything, and people in general hate waiting around for things. how many times have you gone to visit a website and a few seconds after it hasn't loaded got impatient and gone to try a different website? How many times have you visited a website and got frustrated you had to sit through a 30 second animation or advert or movie before you could access the content you wanted to see?

The basic rule is to get the user to the content as quickly as possible. The easy method is to not have any obstructions (long animations, splash pages) in the way of the content. The next thing to do is to improve the speed of your website. A professional web developer like myself will be able to advise on ways to do this, from sensible, well formatted and optimised code, to making sure your website is hosted on a reliable web server with a reputable hosting company.

Solve a Problem

Somebody will visit your website for one reason. They have a problem to solve. They may want to buy a product that you stock, or check your opening times to visit you, or find your phone number to call you. One of the things all the most successful websites in the world have in common is that they solve the problem the user has as quickly and simply as possible. Simplicity is key with good web design.

It's a harsh but true statement, but any of the visitors wanting to solve the problems stated previously really does not care about the fancy font you are using, or the funny cartoons on your home page. They want information, and they want it fast.

In conclusion, yes a website needs to be pretty as a way to portray your brand in the best possible light, but good web design is about much more than that. If you are confident your website meets the requirements of your users then you have very little to worry about on the design front. However if you feel you could be doing more, or your website isn't doing as well as you would like, I am more than happy to take a look at it and give you some advice.

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