Web design is similar to building a home – the design and architecture of each room will define how you feel about your space, not to mention how your visitors perceive you. Contrary to what your ego tells you, certain design elements can become a crutch and create barriers that frustrate your audience and simply unhinge the overall design. Not to mention, web design can ultimately derail your credibility.
Every webmaster must be concerned with how visitors interpret the message. At all times, designers must be aware of the end-users point of view and how it can impact sales. So, how do you overcome these obstacles? Design the right site for the right crowd with simplicity in mind.
5 Ways to Think Like a Designer
Who is the Audience?
Before any design happens you must think about your audience. Who will use your site? Are they seniors looking for like-minded vacationers, or the young single crowd looking for a unique travel experience? Unless you consider the right design for your target market you could end up with the wrong concept that turns visitors away.
For some strange reason, you always want to add more. It takes discipline to make those hard choices about what to leave out, but self-editing is an important skill. Don’t add every element to your page, only the items that deliver your message.
Each page on your website should be targeted towards a specific goal, if you give visitors too many options you can end up distracting them from your main call to action.
Provide communication and not all decoration.
Web design is more about the aesthetics that convey a message, and make things clear for the audience. Every design has a central message and it can either lead to confusion or deliver a succinct meaning.
Don’t add stock images or random images that have no meaning, your images should support your message just as much as the actual copy.
Make it Simple so we all can understand.
Simplicity is about subtracting all the unnecessary information to achieve a clear concise message. Use the language that your audience uses. Follow best practices in web writing, which includes small, digestible paragraphs with clear headlines. Use bullet points and lists.
Utilize white space.
The biggest mistake webmasters make is filling in space with ‘something’ which can lead to clutter. Empty space can often make other design elements pop out and grab the visitor’s attention. White space is important in web design, ensuring there is sufficient space in between different calls to action helps to draw the users attention to the desired goal.
Think about your goals for your website and what it is that you want visitors to do. Using those goals to help determine the design for your site will go a long way.
These combined elements are a way to measure how balanced your web design is, and by thinking through a few scenarios you can conclude which web design elements will serve a real purpose that meets your audience needs.
Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution by Serge Kij
Article by Rachel Sherman
Rachel Sherman is a content strategist for MinneapolisWebDesign.com. She loves reading and writing, but her favorite pastime is finding new recipes to cook organic and healthy meals.