Is this your first time engaging with web design? Maybe you already have some experience, but you’re looking for ways to improve? You already have an idea on the appearance of the perfect website. You need it to be pretty, fast, engaging, user-friendly, and informative. When you look around the web, it’s easy to get loads of web design inspiration. But how do you achieve all that on a single page? We’ll give you a few tips inspired by the practices of the best web designers.
1. Use a collaborative tool to connect with the team
Even if you work on the project alone, you’ll need to talk to the client. If this is your own website, you’ll need to talk to content developers. The old-fashioned way of explaining yourself is simple: you record screen on Mac and you communicate via Skype or email. That works. But if you’re dealing with a larger team and you need better organization, you need a special tool for that. Asana is a great one.
2. Use unique photographs, not stock photos
Beginners with no experience usually look for web design inspiration. Then, they use a template to develop a site in the easiest way. That’s okay, as long as you don’t get too inspired by other websites and you do your best to customize the template. But when you start using stock photos, it’s a problem.
They may look nice, but they are generic, and they give a cheap feel to the entire project. A study by Nielsen Norman Group found that photos with people work well, as long as they are real people. The users have an inner sense for recognizing and ignoring generic stock photos. It’s best to take your own photographs or hire a photographer to do that under your instructions.
3. The navigation should be effortless
What’s the user’s experience at your website? Can users easily find the information they came for? The site needs a map that leads the visitors to the most important pages.
4. Develop a SEO strategy
Yes, SEO is part of web design. You have to include meta tags and keywords that make the content easy to find through search engines. You need to know if the target audience prefers eBooks, long-form articles, videos, or any other type of content. Then, you’ll instruct the copywriters and graphic designers to develop it for you.
5. Scrolling is better than clicking
You know those websites that promise amazing content and then force you to click through several pages just to see it? It may be a list of top 50 guitar solos, so you’ll click through 50 web pages, seeing endless ads along the process. That doesn’t work. When the users get to a page, they want to see everything you promised there. They won’t appreciate being tricked to see more ads. They will bounce off without getting to the end. You don’t want that.
6. Optimize for different devices
Let’s search for web design inspiration. Choose a site that inspired you with great design. Then, open it on your laptop, tablet, smartphone, and TV. Does it look well across all devices? It has to. Otherwise, you get the impression that the web designers did something wrong. When designing a website, you have to think how it looks on different screen sizes. Mobile optimization is especially important.
7. Use a design review tool
Successful web design depends on feedback. You chose solutions because you believed they were the right ones. But are they? You need a team of reviewers to check what you have. GoVisually lets you share the project in different stages and get comments on it. You’ll get annotations and notes from your client and other reviewers that you choose. You may include fellow web designers in this stage. When you receive feedback, the tool enables you to turn the comments into a to-do list.
8. Use whitespace
Minimalism works, since it keeps the user’s attention on the main points. Whitespace rests their eyes and makes the web design less overwhelming. If you look for more web design inspiration through your favorite sites, you’ll notice that lots of whitespace is a common characteristic.
9. Give more information above the fold
When you present most information in the first screenful the user sees, you’ll get their attention. If they see a huge menu and a headline and they have to scroll down to get to the content, they won’t like you wasting their time.
Use a clear headline that conveys the purpose of the content. Then, clarify the main points right from the start. Don’t include introductions that are too long and have nothing to do with the reason why the users got there. That’s a common mistake on recipe blogs. You search for a recipe and you find one that seems awesome. You visit the website and find an endless story about the blogger’s childhood memories that the dish awakened. It seems fake and unnecessary. All you want is the recipe, but you have to scroll down and down to get to it. Avoid such practices!
10. The testing never stops
Google Analytics – that’s your best friend. You get tons of data that shows how well your website performs. Where do your visitors come from? What’s their behavior? Where do you stand with conversions? If you do an A/B test, what page performs better?
Remember that web design is an ongoing process. You’re not done just by designing a website and publishing content on it now and then. You have to see how it performs and make changes to boost its performance. It’s strange to see how talented designers neglect the simplest tech tips. When you start from the basics, it’s easy to build up. Through the tips above, you get guidance on how to build a solid foundation for an impressive website design.
Author’s bio: James Dorian is a technical copywriter. He is a tech geek who knows a lot about the modern apps that will make your work more productive. James reads tons of online blogs on technology, business, and ways to become a real pro in our modern world of innovations.