Without a doubt, it is essential for businesses in Singapore to have a website for further visibility in order to promote their products or services. However, how well a website is designed is determined not by the website owners but by the users of the website.
Given that, form (how the website looks) and function (the usability of the website) as well as well-crafted content and brand representation all play vital roles in how successful your website is in meeting your objectives. If the right principles of web design are applied, the greater the performance of your website. Here are five principles to get you started.
The success of a website is very much dependent on how it draws the attention of visitors and guides them toward exact navigational content or links. A strategy is to plan out an effective sequence of steps to lead visitors in, whether by using a powerful image or text as an initial pull, or by effective positioning of the links. Other tactics involve designing clickable buttons, or utilising the ‘three click rule’ where users are able to find the desired information within three clicks.
One of the most important principles of web design is usability and understanding the needs and expectations of your target market is imperative. Making it as easy as possible for your users to get exactly what they want is important, whether it’s requesting for information, or making an online purchase. The golden rule is to have each page less than two clicks away and to have the search box easily accessible. Also, each page of your website needs to have a specific purpose and to fulfil each specific need for your users as effectively as possible.
Simply, keep it simple. Both your design and content (i.e. copywriting) should be as easy to understand as possible as your users will likely not have the time nor patience to plow through a maze of information or design elements. An effective tactic is the use of white space – empty space on a web page – as this reduces clutter and improves readability. Appropriate line spacing between text should also be provided, as is sufficient padding between the text and other elements.
As far as possible, use the same template for all the pages. Although slight variations in layout positioning may be necessary, it is important to keep the entire website consistent as this promotes brand image. Most websites utilise a blogging platform with a template system for displaying content and this helps to maintain consistency between pages. It is also important to keep consistency between different elements within the same page such as the same font type.
Test often and test early. Regularly testing the functionality of your website is imperative to maintain the quality and standard you strive for. In the long run, it can solve a multitude of problems that may not have been predicted while designing the site.
Just by keeping these principles in mind, a website that is both engaging and effective for your objectives can be yours.
Image credit: Steve Bowbrick
*Singapore Freelance Copywriter is a subsidiary of Squeeze Creatives