4 Secrets to Good Website Design that Your Web Design Company Isn’t Telling You
Adults are spending more time with digital media than ever before. 2013 was the first year that digital media surpassed television in terms of media usage by adults, and that has only grown over time.
- Digital media accounted for 47.1% of adult media usage in 2014, up from 43.4% the year before.
- By comparison, TV accounted for only 36.5% of media usage in 2014, a drop from 37.5% in 2013.
With this uptick in digital media usage and a continuing trend of more time spent online, it can be difficult for businesses to stand out in the crowd. How do you gain even a small fraction of that time and attention, particularly when 28% of the time spent online is with social media?
If you are trying to build a notable digital presence, then exceptional web design is a good place to start. For that, you need a great web design company who can help you implement the essential elements of good website design. Here are just a few of the principles we follow at Pixelcarve.
1) Usability – make it easy
Your webpage is going to be accessed by thousands of unique users from all across the world, so a user-centric design is key. Usability is a topic in and of itself, but there are a few basic principles of usability you can master that should underlie everything you implement.
- Clear-cut navigation – how the user gets from page to page to find the data they seek.
- Searching – a way to pinpoint a specific inquiry and access content related only to that particular need.
- Avoiding extraneous or distracting components – focus on allowing users to perform targeted tasks in sequence, rather than bombard them with information right away. Consider eliminating these types of additions as clutter.
- Make your links easy to find – this means keeping your anchor text of a uniform color, and using icons that are obviously links instead of potentially non-descript pictures.
The easier you make your site to use, the more likely it is a customer will stick around to browse. Discuss this with your web design agency to ensure you have a clear-cut, easy-to-use design.
2) Obviousness – don’t force your users to think
Hand-in-hand with usability is giving your users obvious cues for them to follow in navigating your site. If usability is about functionality, then obviousness is making that functionality simple enough for anyone to utilize.
A common mistake for an inexperienced website design company is to clutter websites with a lot of visual noise, making it confusing to navigate. Rather than trying to be impressive with the latest gimmicks, why not make a site flow logically from one section to the next? Is there a way to implement a basic search feature, with expandable options for more advanced users?
It can be hard to approach a page with fresh eyes after spending a significant amount of time developing it, but having someone unfamiliar with it try the site out is a good place to start. At Pixelcarve, we take special care to build sites based on accurate data from real consumers and Internet users, so that every element is intuitive and readily accessible.
3) Interactivity – make it engaging
In school, which classes tended to be the most interesting and the most likely to hold your attention? The ones where you suffered through the long monologue of a lecture, or ones where you engaged in an active class discussion, including debates, questions, and challenges?
Websites are the same way, and your web design agency should have plenty of ideas for helping you create the interactive site that invites users to click, explore, and learn more. It might involve animation, enticing subject titles, dynamic images, or videos. Whatever you use, the site should be more than a simple page that contains some text and hastily thrown-together photographs. We believe that content should not just jump into place and appear, but instead treat the screen as a stage, where it organically enters, exists, and then leaves at the user’s behest. This will ensure that your clients know where they came from, where they are, and where they’re going next.
There is a lot of evidence showing that video has become a new standard for quickly communicating thoughts and ideas in web design and that virtually every site should have some type of video:
- 50% of all mobile traffic consists of online video viewing.
- The number of online video users may double to 1.5 billion as of 2016.
- When users share video, they do so on Facebook 46% of the time, and via email another 40% of the time.
- By 2016, video traffic will make up 5% of the consumer traffic on the Internet.
You should therefore work with a web design company that understands how and when to implement video. While it is not your only possible solution for interactivity, it is a proven and worthwhile component in which to invest.
4) Responsiveness – make it mobile friendly
Among online adults, 80% now have a smartphone, and another 47% have tablets. Furthermore, mobile usage increased by 23% in 2014 alone, and is set to increase even more in the next few years.
This points to an obvious new element of good website design: your website must be responsive. That is, it must adapt, no matter who is using it, using any browser, and any device. This particular article isn’t meant to debate the technical pros and cons of Responsive vs. Adaptive, but rather to preach the importance of designing a website for all screens. Mobile is not just a passing fad, and the right website design company will ensure any website you roll out will be accessible and easy to use, whether your customers are perusing your site on a laptop or an iPhone.
There are many other elements that go into making up an exceptional website, but these are some of the key pillars that must be present. At Pixelcarve, we adhere to these and other important values when it comes to creating premium websites for our best-in-class clients.
If you are interested in working with professionals who have years of experience in creating beautiful, usable websites, we invite you to contact us directly to learn more about what we can offer on the cutting edge of website design.