There are many things to consider when designing a website, but three come to mind as some of the most important. While often overlooked, these aspects of web design can make an important difference in the end result of a website.
The color selection of a website has a significant impact on the overall mood the site conveys and audience to which it appeals. Your design should be limited to no more than four or five main colors that are used in a consistent manner across the site. Bright, playful colors can help put your visitors at ease and is appropriate for businesses that serve children, parents, or are nontraditional in nature. Businesses of a more serious nature, including attorneys and those offering business-to-business services and products frequently are better served by a more conservative color palette, often including shades of gray.
Remember, specific colors tend to evoke certain emotions. Green can be used to emphasize nature, conservation, or eco-friendliness, while shades of brown or gray can help establish authority or trust.
Many designers overlook the importance of navigation on a site. A carefully planned navigation structure can have far-reaching impacts, including visitor conversion and search engine optimization. For most websites, every page should be reachable by no more than two “steps” or “clicks” away from the home page. This lets users find relevant information while allowing search engines to easily crawl and discover the structure of the site.
For many sites, a page dedicated to a “sitemap” can be beneficial for helping users find specific information, and doubles as a nice overview of the site if it needs to be reviewed as a whole. Many search engines like site maps as well, since they usually guarantee a link to every page on a site.
It’s difficult to overemphasize how important content is to a website. Fresh, quality text is often a major factor for visitor conversion, and search engines tend to favor unique copy that is frequently updated. If the content on a website is not good enough to hold the attention of visitors, then the purpose of the site has already failed.
Long, drawn out monologues rarely fare well on websites. Most visitors are better served by breaking up lengthy text into smaller chunks, emphasizing points with headers, and bolding or italicizing key terms or ideas.