The design of your website can either make or break your website’s success. If you have a good-looking site that people enjoy visiting, you may find yourself gaining more repeat visitors and customers who come back to you again and again. On the other hand, if you have an ugly or clunky-looking website, you may lose traffic and ultimately see less sales over time. So how do you know what makes a website good or bad? Here are some things to look for when judging your own or others’ sites to see if they live up to their full potential.
Sometimes, bad websites come from lazy content creators. Without thoughtful, well-written content and a knowledgeable voice behind it, visitors won’t stick around for long. Good websites have engaging content that flows well with intuitive navigation to keep visitors on your site as long as possible. Don’t underestimate how important well-written and easy-to-read content is to keeping people engaged with your brand online!
People who visit your site shouldn’t have to work hard to find what they’re looking for. Try using tooltips and search bars so people can quickly discover exactly what they want, without having to wade through extra content. Keep menus short and sweet, so your users can get where they need to go as quickly as possible. Avoid overloading your audience with too many links and options; don’t bury them in layers of navigation that you force them to click through.
Clear contact information
Make it easy for people to reach you by prominently displaying contact information on your homepage. This should include your company name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and any other social networking accounts you have. It should also make clear how visitors can get in touch with you.
Consistent design across all pages
When someone visits your site for the first time, there should be visual cues that make them feel like they are in familiar territory. Website navigation elements, colors and fonts all contribute to a user’s sense of familiarity with your site—and their trust that you’re an established brand.
Effective use of pictures and videos
One of the first things someone notices on your web page is what you’re using to display your content. Using stock photos and videos are great, but it’s best if you use images that relate directly to what you offer. If people can associate a specific image with your brand, they are more likely to trust and remember you. Using professional looking images goes hand-in-hand with professionalism, which is an important aspect of customer trust.
Good analysis of their competitors
It’s hard to build a site that’s different from others in your niche. That’s why you have to study what works (and what doesn’t) with your competitors—so you can come up with better ideas. Take a look at their site and see if they have any things you like (or don’t like). When you find something, try to figure out why it worked well for them. Are there common patterns that make for an attractive, useful design?
Responsive Design (RWD)
The goal of responsive web design (RWD), also known as adaptable web design, is to create websites that offer the best viewing experience possible across a variety of devices, including simple reading and navigation with the least amount of resizing, panning, and scrolling (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).
Speed & accessibility on all devices/browsers
Regardless of what device you’re using, your business website should always load quickly and be easy to navigate. Users won’t wait more than a second for each page to load on their smartphone, tablet or laptop—and they’ll get frustrated if there are any glitches along the way.