The purpose of an effective web design is to facilitate the flow of content in the website and the interaction that revolves around it in order to build up the image that you want to convey to your target audience. With that in mind, you need a balanced approach for the design, involving style, function and ease of use.
Here are some of the most important elements of an effective web design coupled with ideas on how to properly execute each to serve the website’s purpose.
1. Relevant home page
The first thing you need to satisfy when designing a website is its identity. Your visitors need to know exactly what to expect from your website the moment they land on it. That is why you have to stay away from flashy, unnecessary contents such as the splash page.
A splash page is the first page you arrive at when visiting a website. It contains a “welcome” note and a link to click for you to enter the real home page. Having a page to cover your home page already defeats the goal of letting visitors know what your website is all about right from the moment their browser loads it. Splash pages have no real function, and if tastelessly done, can even push your visitors to just leave the website immediately without checking out the rest of it.
Having a home page that your visitors can easily relate to is an on-site promotion for your business or organization. It introduces you to your target audience in a conspicuous manner. If done correctly, your home page is also a clever way to sustain the interest of your visitors to keep coming back for whatever it is that you have to offer.
2. Not overselling
You do want to turn your website into an income-generating project but for that to really work out, you have to think strategically instead of doing things based on impulse. This is true when it comes to web design. Some website owners would just place advertisements all over the page without any thoughts on whether or not their visitors even notice them, to say the least.
Without a proper placement of advertising materials, you end up just wasting your real estate for not even a single click-through on your banner ads. Remember that internet users nowadays are more informed; they don’t just click on everything they find on a website. If you keep on annoying them with ads that they don’t need, how can you even encourage them to buy whatever it is you are promoting?
The best way to advertise is to convince your visitors with useful and relevant contents while providing links to affiliate websites that promise to offer them more assistance.
3. Toned down effects
If you plan to keep your visitors busy exploring your website and reading your web contents, then you have to provide a web design that is conducive to that.
The last thing your visitors need is to open a web page and be ambushed by an audio loop of your favorite song or a video promotional material. This excessive use of multimedia won’t keep their focus on what matters. Worse, they might become more preoccupied with trying to find the volume or mute control.
If you think that such audio-visual element is necessary, leave your visitors the option to turn it on and off according to their preference and need.
Tone down any effects that could only distract your visitors from the main purpose of your website. Moving texts, animated GIFs and 3D typography may seem awesome but if they do not contribute anything about your message other than to impress, then they got no place on your website.
4. Neat design
You can easily distinguish amateur web designers from professionals just by looking at how tacky and overdone are their websites. This is not to say that less is always more. Sometimes amateur web designers exhibit minimalist tendencies but also to an extreme extent that they end up with a website that is too shallow just to be on a safe side.
Professional web designers are right in the middle. They know how to use colors, visuals and texts that are easy on the eye and have depth and dimension.
There are standards and rules in web designs that amateur designers should familiarize with to create a reasonable website. But professional web designers are the ones who are brave enough to break these rules, and those who have been successful are also the ones who rise above the rest.
5. User-friendly navigation
For your visitors to really appreciate your website enough for them to heed your call to action, then you should allow them to navigate your website with ease.
Your navigation menu should be simple and straightforward that any seven-year-old or 50-year-old will know how to use it. Now you might get impressed by flash-based and drop-down menus, but again, don’t be fooled; they only seem awesome for your website but they keep it from performing its real function which is to simplify website browsing. The moment navigation gets too complicated for your visitors, is the moment you risk them leaving your website.
Make sure that your visitors know where they are, where to go next and where to find more. When they reach that point where they have exhausted all the contents you have for them and they have found them satisfactory, hope that they would reach out to you by leaving a comment or filling out the contact form, and by sharing your contents with their social network. Any of these are achieved, then you have for yourself a successful website that delivers.