We often get asked for a “blueprint” to web design, a list of things to think about if you will. When designing your website there are many different but equally as important things that you need to consider before you start.
You cannot just collect all of the information you wish to post and then post it on the web, you have to be organised and know how to present your information in both an engaging and an informative way. Perhaps the best way to start this process is by defining your business objective (i.e. what do you want the site to do/achieve) because you need to be able to prioritise for a specific goal.
Before you start the initial design process, you should think about who the prospective audience is and if you have the information that they are looking for. If your website is not user friendly, it might as well not even be there.
The colour of the text, along with its size and font type must all be legible and to make this easier, perhaps have a plain or neutral background on the website rather than a busy one that could confuse and take away from the text.
The website needs to be suitable for all users, it needs to be obvious as well as self-explanatory. The site needs to be viewable on both Windows and Mac computers, as well as being set up for all internet browsers. The website also needs to be designed so that it can be viewed on a mobile device because more and more people now do their internet searches on smart phones or tablets. Mobile friendly sites are the future, do not get left behind.
Appearance and Layout:
The visual hierarchy as well as the layout is very important to the success of a web design. This is the order that your audience will see things. For example the use of colour and different sized fonts or images are great way of attracting attention to the more important aspects of your site. As well, there should ideally be many ways for the reader to navigate the pages and get to the information they want as quickly as possible.
Having a clean design means that your design makes the most of the space that it is in. To enable your design to be clean it should incorporate the right amount of white-space. The white-space is the parts of a web page that are left empty, such as the margins or the gaps between images. The point of white-space is to make a page look less cluttered while still having the same amount of information on it.
There’s so much to cram in on web design we’ll have to continue this in our next article…until then!