Simple Interface + Captivating Imagery = Solid Web Design
Website design is for many like that of a blank canvas. It is daunting. It is baffling. And most of all, it is exciting! There are so many possibilities out there for designing a captivating website, that most people simply don’t know where to start. Never fear! Here are the top five priorities to keep in mind when designing a website your audience will want to search.
1. Have a Basic Understanding of How UI and UX Work
First off, let’s understand what UI and UX stand for. UI means User Interface, or what your audience will see upon searching your website. Examples of components of the user interface include color and contrast, imagery, and the basic look of the site. This is what draws the audience’s attention from the first glance. This is also what people tend to think of first when they think of designing a website–however, this is only half the battle. The other half is UX, or User Experience. User experience is the back end part of the design process; in other words, this is how the website is built to work. Some imagery, for example may have a feature where the user clicks on the picture and it leads them to another part of the site, such as another blog post. Other features include a side bar that shows all of the older posts in order, thus making it easier for users to look up older posts. Still more include elements such as strategic placement of ads, easy to find pages, easy to fill out forms, and ways to leave comments on a post. This is of equal importance to the user interface; after all, what good is it to have a site that looks beautiful, but doesn’t function well? Don’t fall into such traps; take both halves into account when designing a site.
2. Know What Your Audience Expects–And Give Them That
Your audience will vary based on age group, what you sell or promote, and what sort of topics attract your audience. If you have a blog that talks about your experiences as a nature photographer, your audience will likely expect 1) photos of various parts of nature, and 2) written posts showcasing your experiences. You will want it to be something that inspires people to either do their own photography, admire your work, or both. If your site sells advanced Cloud technology, your audience will want to see the products themselves, pricing options, reviews from other customers, and so on. This all depends on you. Know what you want from your site as well as what your audience wants—and keep to that plan. Don’t get caught up trying to be everything all at once, as this leads to a chaotic site where there’s no apparent focus on any particular topic. If your blog is on topics that are naturally broad (such as politics, storytelling, human psychology, etc.), try to keep everything anchored to one major point. Again, getting too caught up in a myriad of topics leads to chaos and loss of your audience.
3. A Simple Interface is a Good Interface
This is the part that gets tricky for so many designers. This is where the blank canvas becomes daunting. Designing a simple and consistent interface requires a good deal of decision making, and sticking to the plan. This is because a lot of simplistic interfaces come off as either boring, a news feed, or too geometric in nature. However, the old adage stands; simple is always better.
Have you ever noticed that when a website has a lot of stuff going on, it tends to look cheaper and less polished? Or perhaps it looks like too much was invested in looks and not enough in functionality? Websites are not meant to be complicated, and while it is easy as a designer to want to do a lot of cool animations for loading screens, and wow people with cinematography, many times it’s not necessary. Blogs, for example, need to be easy to read, as their main point is for people to read posts. Distractions are not necessary. Dentist sites need to showcase what they can do for their clients on teeth cleanings and such. Clothing sites need to show off their products in order to get buyers. Don’t let the website get bogged down in a lot of flashy elements! Instead find a design that is simple, not distracting, and gets the point across to your audience. That’s the best way.
One fantastic trend in website design is the implementation of visual hierarchy. This is super helpful for both UI and UX, as it helps organize the thought process of what designers want their audiences to see first in their websites! This is also a perfect method to keep the interface design simple yet impactful. It’s all done through a simple trick; make the most important elements (what you want your audience to pay attention to the most) larger on the screen, and the lesser elements smaller. Take a look at any print ad as well as websites, as they practice this same design technique.
5. Color and Contrast to Draw the Eye
The final tactic to share with you is how to properly use color and contrast in order to produce a website that looks professional and folks want to look at. The trick is to stick to a basic color scheme (these days flat contrasting colors are where it’s at in order to showcase professionalism to your audience). This is all determined by what products or services you are trying to sell to your audience. One really good trick is to stick to the basic color scheme of the product or service you are trying to sell; this way, the audience associates the colors of the product with the product itself. That’s good branding!
Using these five tips and tricks as well as paying proper attention to both UX and UI when designing a good website will greatly help you create the best website out there! Your audience will thank you!
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