On occasion, web designers may fall into the trap of showing off their design abilities. They may unleash a fury of advanced and highly creative design elements, all the while forgetting that “form follows function.” They may create a fancy looking without bothering to follow best practices or listen to what their users need and want, and then the functionality of the website flops.
A website is more than a group of pages. It is a space where different assets blend together, communicate, and affect one another. The interaction within the space creates an experience for the user, and it is the designer’s responsibility to ensure that the experience is an optimal one.
Here are a few tips to ensure a first-rate user web design:
- Understand intended use — How will your users interact with your website design? Will most visitors be on a mobile device? Will it be through a touch-based screen? Or some other means? An understanding of this interaction can steer your website’s design for optimal functionality.
- Know your audience — Your website should be developed with your target audience in mind. Get familiar with their demographic info before you start designing so that you know what makes them tick and what will incorporate what resonates with them into your website design.
- Provide an intuitive website design — We live in a world of instant gratification. Users should know what to expect when they perform a certain action on your website, such as clicking a button.
- Limit decisions — A lot of choices may seem like a good thing, but it could have a negative impact when it comes to a website. Ever heard of “paralysis by analysis?” Don’t overload your users with so many decisions that they get overwhelmed.
- Adhere to standards — As a designer, you may love to do things your own way, but standards are there for a reason. They guide users through a familiar and predictable process. When you veer too far off the beaten path, you may leave people rudderless and confused.
- Track results — Set up Google analytics for your website, and analyze the data on a regular basis. Analytics will give you insights in to the behavior of your website’s visitors. For example, if Analytics reveals that visitors are consistently leaving your website from a common page then you can identify that page and fix it.
A good, user-friendly website design is critical to increasing traffic, and more traffic can increase your conversions and bolster your bottom line.