Understanding Design Principles For Content Developers
In my previous article, I have talked about some of the components of a good web design for websites. In this article, I want to look at some of the great principles for content developers and web designers that might want to design a good website. Follow me as we will look at that together in this article.
Great web design should be to make everything self-explanatory and easy as possible for the user.
Web design is important because it is:
- A business’ first impression online: when a user visits a company’s website for the first time, the design plays into their first impression of the business as a whole. Thus, it’s important to have high-quality design because it influences users’ opinions and behaviour.
- Properly organizing information: information is organized in a way that makes sense.
- Allowing the user to navigate easily: users are able to find the information they are looking for quickly and easily, without becoming confused or frustrated.
- Making content easy to understand: users can read and interact with the information on the site in a way that flows and makes sense. The layout of the content makes it easier to understand.
The principles of design are:
1.Simple design: the design isn’t distracting and makes the website easy to use and understand. It should also have a modern look that doesn’t look outdated, as this influences users’ opinion of a website and the business as a whole.
2.Easy to navigate: users are able to get the information or complete the actions they want to through navigation without becoming confused or wondering where something is.
3.Information is consistent: pages are correct and all information is updated and the same. This means there shouldn’t be conflicting information across pages (e.g. prices, hours of operation, names, etc.).
4.Website is usable across different devices: e.g. a user can access the same pages on mobile that they can on desktop. This often requires adding a “view as desktop” link at the bottom of mobile websites.
5.Design is consistent: colours, layout, and design are the same across all areas of the site. This includes branding, link colours, photo formatting, etc.
There is concise and honest information to build credibility and be a thought leader in the industry. Website content should be published that is providing education and information to the users.
The design should be easy to navigate and understand. Users shouldn’t be at a loss when it comes to making sure they are on the right page. The visual effects shouldn’t be overwhelming. On this slide, the left is really cluttered with all the images from the latest articles, making it a little overwhelming. Conversely, Business Insider has a collapsible menu (the three lines in the left corner) so the homepage isn’t cluttered. This is the latest trend in UI/Navigation (the three lines marking a collapsible menu).
Navigation should let the user know the parts of the site where they can find what they are looking for. In the above right example, EF Tours (which was mentioned before) has simple navigation that sticks to what most people come to their site for– looking at available tours, how their tours work and their background. Conversely, John’s Big Deck, a bar and restaurant, has confusing navigation that you can’t even see when you load the page. The menu items are also confusing. What is ARC transport? This may turn users off.
Information should be the same across multiple pages. If you offer something on the homepage, users should also be able to see it on interior pages. Numbers, offers, stats, phone numbers, etc. should be consistent across the entire website.
In this example, ModCloth offered a sale on their home page. When you click on the banner, you see the exact same offer (with consistent branding/images/colours) to purchase the sale. If their offer went to the women’s clothing section, it would be confusing to the user.
Sites that take a user through a funnel or purchasing process should be as easy to use as possible. In this American theatre chain example, you can easily filter by location, date, movie, and additional offerings. Then, you simply choose the time you want to purchase the tickets.
All parts of the website should look the same. This includes the blog. Ideally, the blog should be hosted on the main domain, and not be an external website, like companyblog.wordpress.com.
In this example, no matter the part of Ireland, the official Ireland tourism website uses the same format and design. This makes it easier for visitors to get familiar with the site and navigate their way around. They can compare different parts of Ireland using the same format of information to plan their trip.
- Understand the impact of “mobilegeddon”: this was an announcement from Google that announced that websites that are not mobile-friendly (meaning they are not easy to use and read on mobile devices) may not be shown to users in mobile search results. This led to a greater push for designers, developers, and SEOs to create responsive websites that are easy to use on any device.
- Google’s move to a mobile-first index announcement and how it affects SEO and website usability: mobile is now more of a priority than desktop, as there is more mobile internet traffic than desktop. This means that it’s more important than your website is easy to use on mobile than desktop. It also means that Google is going to prioritize mobile search results.