Web design is all about communicating clearly with your prospective customers. When they find your site, you need to make sure that you engage them because they're a click away from being gone.
Always make sure to remember the following in your website design:
1. Make it clear what your site is about
Upon landing on your website the user needs to be able to identify what you offer in the first few seconds. This can be achieved through high-impact headings and images.
2. Make your content accessible
Content that is easy to scan is key for your visitor to determine whether they have landed in the right place. Displaying bulleted lists, including sub-headings and breaking up long paragraphs do the job well.
3. Don't use fancy fonts that can't be read
Fancy fonts may look nice, but chances are that they are illegible. Give your visitors a comfortable reading experience by using web-safe fonts like Arial, Verdana and Helvetica.
4. Don't use small text
If the visitor needs to zoom into your page to read the content ,it is too small. Remember that you will have a wide range of people viewing your site, some may have a visual impairment, so don't make it difficult for them to access your content.
5. Don't over-use Flash
Although flash has the ability to 'wow', it is also far harder to optimise for search engines. There are plenty of html friendly alternatives like Java, JQuery and AJAX.
6. Make sure to include contact details
If you're not including contact details on your site, how do you expect your visitors to get hold of you? It is always a good idea to include a specific 'contact' page where visitors have access to your:
- phone number
- physical address
- email address
- social sharing buttons (infact, we're big fans of posting these all over your site)
7. Avoid drop-down menus
Visitors to your site should be able to easily navigate their way around and always know where they are. Drop-down menus hide the deeper recesses of your site and make it appear 'less' cluttered, but there's nothing worse than finding a great article or page that you can never find again.
8. Make links visible
An important part of web design is ensuring that you communicate clearly. If your visitors cannot distinguish between clickable content and static information, you will lose them. Links can be represented in a different colour from your regular copy as well having it change its appearance when your cursor passes over it.
9. Do not use harsh colours
Colour plays an important role in web design. You use it to communicate a mood and the perception you would like to project. If your colour choice is giving you a headache or distracting your visitors from the content, have look at Kuler for great colour combination suggestions.
10. Avoid long pages
Pages that go on forever are extremely difficult to keep interested in. When laying out you web pages try to keep the most important content at the top. If you cover multiple topics on one page, try splitting it over a few separate pages. This way you will increase your visibility on search engines as well as keep your visitors focused.