It happens many a times that web owners get a website built from a partner, make it online and then expect that business will follow them automatically. Now because this does not happen as per their expectation, so they start spending on SEO or promotion of the website, without even thinking that poor design of the website could be one big reason for their such failure. It may be very much possible that users might had landed on the web owner’s webpage but the bad looks or slow rendering of the website might had discouraged them to continue surfing or exploring them.
“Design is not just what it looks like and feel like. Design is how it works” – Steve Jobs
Following the same learning we have pointed out some of those important factors which need to be considered while designing a layout for a website or a mobile app to prevent business loss because of bad design and development:
Convey correct purpose: Make sure that users catch the correct purpose of your website in first glimpse itself. There must not be any ambiguity. Your website content, both text and images, should reveal your business identity.
Color Combination of different design constituents: Colors play an important role for generating interest in user’s mind. Too much monotonous or too much loud colors can spoil visitor’s interest in using the website. Keep web colors cool, bright and settled. Again make sure that colors also match with your business profile. Using blue or black colors for a restaurant website may not suite well.
Use of symmetrical fonts through out: I have observed designers and developers growing too dedicated in achieving the functionality of the website that they completely ignore the fonts and their significance. Result of such ignorance is that users find a silent and hidden ugliness in the website interface. Make sure that fonts too match with business profile of your website. Prefer using Sans-Serif fonts. Make them big and bold in headings. Keeping text in white color over a colored background brings a pleasing appeal in the design. And the important fact is to keep fonts consistency through out the website. Do not use more than two fonts in a design. Google Fonts is a great online fonts repository to find suitable fonts of your choice.
Create a Call to action in the website: I have seen web owners complaining that their website is elegant enough to hold a visitor for a good while but still it does not generate business for them. And in most of such complaints, we have observed that website lacks in offering a “Call to Action” element in it. Think of a situation when user lands on a page and finds it attractive enough to be surfed. He finds it relevant too. Then he decides to contact the web owner and whoop…. he fails to find a quick contact form. He spends a little time to search for it, but if it is not easily accessible then no one can stop him for you. So be aware to make CTA element clearly visible and accessible on your webpage.
Pick correct image file formats: Gone are the days, when PDFs and Tiffs used to rule on designers’ desktops. PDFs and Tiffs are good for printing purpose not for using online. Though 90% of the designers have understood it well now, but still there are few who are ignorant about this fact. The next good formats which can be used for online purpose is JPEG image. They are lighter in nature, work well in RGB mode but have an issue of having non transparent backgrounds. So when you use a JPEG image in your design over some background, it shows as if a white sticky note has been pasted on your webpage. Most of the times, you may observe such issue in logos of badly designed websites. PNG file formats solve this problem by offering a facility to keep transparent backgrounds. While saving a PNG in Photoshop, opt to save it as ‘interlaced’ PNG file. Reason is Interlaced PNGs start rendering faster as compared to those which are not interlaced PNG. PNGs are light weight, support RGB format and work well online. But SVG are even better. They are even lighter than PNGs, support transparency and can be rendered as a piece of code in your website. We suggest PNG or SVG to be used in your web design layouts.
Make a responsive websites: Statistics say that there has been a steep increase in usage of mobile phones for opening websites since past five years and it is still rising more. Many big companies in India, like Flipkart, Jabong, Justdial etc are promoting a trend of using their websites only on mobile devices. In such a trend, it is very important that your website, must be mobile friendly. Make a website which is responsive in nature and gets reshaped automatically when opened on different mobile devices.
There can be many more such factors which shall influence the design and usability of a website. I would suggest web owners to focus on the mentioned parameters at least while developing a webpage or while getting it developed from some outsourcing partner.
To further emphasize the significance of design, let me share some research results:
1) Stanford Web Credibility Research center claims that 75% of the website users judge the credibility of a web business just by its design.
2) Harvard 2013 study revealed that great looking websites are perceived to be more trustworthy and reliable.
3) Digital Influence Index 2012 claims that 89% of the buyers search web before making a buying decision. Your website can play a great role in establishing you as a brand.
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