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What makes a good website
Web Design

What makes a good website 

Whether you’re a creative professional, an entrepreneur, or just someone with an idea for a passion project; having a great website is essential. Almost everything is done online these days, so having a good online presence is the best way to reach new customers or fans and keep existing ones.

But sometimes, it can be difficult to find the motivation or the right angle on a website design. For this reason, we have compiled some of the best ideas that can help you get past these feelings of frustration so that you can build the perfect website for your needs.

Clearly Define Your Vision

Great sites need goals

Tony Robbins has said, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”

This quote is especially applicable when it comes to creating a successful online presence. If you move forward with a project and don’t have a clear direction in mind, 99% of the time, you will fail. However, if you set realistic long-term goals, with clear timelines and achievable short-term goals, you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding. There’s no doubt that it can be hard to find success in a world of 7 billion people, many of whom are searching for the same things as you. But by creating a clear vision based on defined goals, you’ll put yourself in a great position.

Use Videos Effectively

Your website should consist of a pleasing mixture of text, pictures, and videos. But while text and pictures can be skimmed and quickly absorbed by those who are in a hurry, videos require a significant time commitment.

Therefore, ensure that any videos you place on your website provide excellent information which helps to reinforce the major goal of your venture. If you put up a ten-minute video which promises to answer a certain question but doesn’t do so, you may end up getting some very angry messages.

Consider SEO to Improve Your Ranking

Many people get frustrated with the concept of Search Engine Optimization. SEO can often feel like it is in opposition to creativity. Trying to fit multiple keywords into a post or formatting in just the right way is tedious and takes a good amount of skill to achieve.

But in the end, strong SEO strategies will drive more people to your site and will help you realize your vision. These people who found your site because of your successful adherence to SEO best practices may become your biggest clients or fans. Without SEO, they never would have found you in the first place.

Remember that Form Dictates Function

There is a rule in biology which essentially states that the structure of an organ/cell/etc. will determine its function. In terms of the body: the way the human hand is structured enables it to grasp large objects, manipulate small items such as pencils, and do everything else that we can with our hands.

When this rule is applied to website design, one can see that the “form” of a website can lead to how the website works and what type of audience it appeals to. For example, if you are creating a website designed for kids and parents to learn about art, you’re going to want to use a lot of fun colors and graphics to keep the kids’ interested. Creating a drab, black and white website with tons of text and few pictures won’t lead to the desired function of your website.

Keeping this principle in mind goes hand in hand with goal setting, described earlier in this article.

Know Which Design Rules Cannot Be Broken

Perhaps the most well-known painter of all time, Pablo Picasso, once famously said that one should “learn the rules like a pro, so that he can break them like an artist.”

With regards to web design, there are certain “rules” or standards which need to be considered. Some of these standards include:

  • Commonly used navigation and menu symbols, such as the three horizontal lines.
  • A footer containing links to your Instagram and other applicable social media profiles.
  • Company logo on top left of the homepage.

There are, of course, other standards which should be considered as well. But the above 3 points demonstrate some consistencies across websites.

It’s up to you whether or not you want to break these web design rules. Just know that if you do, it may feel unsettling to those who visit your website, as they won’t be able to quickly find what they are looking for. But if you’re goal is to disrupt the established standards of web design and provide a site where users can experience something brand new, then we encourage you to break those rules “like an artist!”

Ensure that Everything on Your Website Has a Purpose

Every single thing on your website should be there for a reason. Very few people have extra time on their hands these days. Therefore, excess details and unnecessary links or sentences will only serve to frustrate and turn away potential customers.

You need to be certain that you have created an efficient site where visitors can find what they are looking for, and click on links that will take them where they need to be. There’s nothing worse than having tons of options available, none of which accomplish the goal the site visitor has in mind.

Optimize for Phones and Mobile Devices

A good webiste is always mobile friendly

Websites can be designed for both computers and phones. Certain configuration will look better for the user, depending on whether they are using a desktop or mobile device. This is why many websites, when internet users visit them, will first ask whether they would like to view the mobile or desktop version of the site.

It turns out that most people these days prefer to browse the web on their phones rather than on their computers. Furthermore, Google now prioritizes websites that are optimized for mobile, rather than those that are primarily geared toward desktop users.

Speak to Your Audience

Depending on the type of website you’re building, you will likely have a very specific audience. Case in point, if you are creating a website to promote a new medical device geared toward making it easier for doctors to diagnose a specific condition, you will use very different language than you would for a book review website.

However, you don’t want to overuse jargon. Overemphasizing common phrases and words can sometimes feel as if you are pandering, or it might just be flat out annoying to your audience. Make sure you have a feel for what types of websites your audience already frequents so that you can tailor your website toward these individuals.

Show that You are Essential

If you’re trying to sell a product or service, your audience should come away with the feeling that they can’t help but use you for their needs. The tone you use throughout your website needs to convey that you are absolutely essential and that your visitors will be missing out on a great opportunity if they choose to work with your competitors.

However, you don’t want to come right out and make this statement. This is where the art of marketing and copywriting is so important. You want to present your information in such a skillful way (through the use of pictures, videos, text, etc.) that, on their own, the audience concludes that they need your product. It’s not always easy to accomplish this goal, but it’s well worth the effort.

Have an Outsider Take a Look

Have a friend take a look at your site

Sometimes you need a fresh pair of eyes to give you feedback and ideas for a website project. Your husband or wife, a friend, or even just a kind stranger can give you unique perspective on your website from a vantage point other than your own.

When you’ve been laboring over the website for hours or days on end, you can lose sight of big picture items. Some constructive criticism from an outsider is essential for ensuring that you get the best possible website at the end of the process.

But don’t just have them click around and then tell you whether they think your idea is good or bad. Make sure you press them on certain parts of it. Would they visit your site or buy your product? Would they be turned away from your site due a certain design flaw? Any and all of this feedback can take your site to the next level.

Give your Visitors a Reason to Stay on Your Page

The theme has come up a few times in this article, but it bears repeating: don’t let your audience get bored while they’re on your site. Above all, people want to see value in their time spent online. They don’t want to feel as if they wasted hours on your site that would have been better spent on someone else’s webpage.

Don’t Get too Fancy

We’ve all seen the videos of boxers and other athletes who try to show off then get destroyed by their opponent. Being too fancy and forgetting about the most important goals is a surefire way to end up with an unhappy outcome.

There are thousands of different animations and design features that can be used on websites. Icons can enlarge when the cursor passes over them, pop ups can be placed strategically on pages of a website for a “call to action”, and countless other techniques can be considered as well.

All of these design features are fantastic, when used appropriately. But if you’ve ever been to a site that just had way too much going on, you know how overwhelming it can be. You don’t want to utilize every possible feature, but rather just a few of the best ones that get your message across and attract your desired customers.

Focus on Quality Writing

quality writing is good for your site

Movies and TV have largely replaced the written word as forms of entertainment. However, effective, concise writing will always be necessary for websites.

You can, and should, use videos and pictures to emphasize key points on your website. There’s no doubt that a “picture is worth a thousand words.” But if those thousand words are well structured into a post that captures your audience’s attention, they will be just as effective as a picture. If you struggle with writing yourself, don’t despair! You can find many quality writers at affordable rates online. it’s well worth the investment to have error-free, well-written content on your website.

Look to Other Sites for Inspiration

There is nothing wrong with looking at other sites who have already created a design that you like. Capturing elements of these sites and adding your own flare to them is the best way to get the site you want. Nothing you’ll ever do will be completely unique and original. Everything is based, in one way or another, on the work of someone who came before.

Again, this is not to say that you should copy and paste someone’s design onto your site. You need to be professional and respectful of others as you build your online presence. Seek out other sites for inspiration, not for making an exact replica.

Use Color

good sites need good color

No matter who your audience is, most of your site visitors will get very bored with your site if it doesn’t have even a splash of color. You don’t have to have incredibly vibrant, rainbow-themed pages throughout your site. However, you should have some variety in the color scheme so that your customers or fans don’t feel like they are sitting through a boring presentation while perusing your website.

Conclusion

Your website is going to provide a first impression for many of your potential clients, customers, or fans. Even if you have the best product or service that’s ever been invented, you cannot hope to win over customers with a lackluster website. You can only develop customer loyalty if you prove to consumers that you are willing to put in a considerable amount of effort.

If you’ve been struggling with developing ideas for a website project, we hope that this article helped you gain some perspective. Now go out there and create your unforgettable online presence!

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