Looking to redesign your site or building a new one? The way your site is designed will impact everything from user interactions to search engine optimization, so it’s key to ensure that your site is well designed. Not sure how yours stacks up? Here are 10 hallmarks of a well designed site.
1. Easy to Understand Navigation
Site navigation is the main way a visitor may access the content on your site. They should be able to quickly and easily find what they are looking for, and a clear method of navigation is key.
2. Legible Type
Yes, thin types are gorgeous. However, they are not always easy to read, the same goes for scripts and type that is very similar in color to the background. Ensure your typographpy choices are legible and easy to read. Visitors who can’t read your site, won’t stick around to see what it has to say.
3. Responsive of Mobile Friendly Design
Mobile visitors are here to stay. Give them a site that they can use, or miss out on their traffic and potentially business! There are many options available to meet the demands of your site and business, from a single responsive site to separate mobile and desktop sites or even apps. Having a mobile friendly website is important, not only for your visitors and bottom line, but it also impacts your SEO positively.
4. Clean and Uncluttered Layout
A clean and uncluttered layout allows your content to take center stage. Extraneous elements can be distracting or worse, confusing to visitors.
5. Cohesive Color Scheme
Your site’s color scheme is another important aspect of the design. Make sure your colors work well together, and try not to overload visitors with a rainbow of colors. Keeping your color choices to a selection of 4 will help keep the experience consistant and ensure your colors all work well with each other.
6. Good Typography
Just as type needs to be legible, care must also be taken to ensure that the type used in your site’s design works well with each other and is consistant. As a general rule your site should have no more than 3 different fonts; one for the headings, one for the body text and one for the menu or other special cases. Too many different fonts can be distracting, and detract from the overall experience.
7. Fast Load Times
Your site must load quickly. Visitors expect sites to load nearly instantly, for every second of delay in load times your site can bleed visitors. This is especially important for your mobile visitors; they want their information fast and may be subject to less than ideal internet speeds.
8. Cohesive Branding
Your site should support your marketing efforts elsewhere both online and in the real world. Keeping your branding cohesive across platforms will build your brand and make your site instantly recognizable.
9. No Outdated Web Technology
Sorry Flash, this means you! Web technologies have moved on, and some things are best left in the past. Flash websites, splash screens, popup windows, and under construction pages are just a few of those things. If your site looks like it could have been built in the 90’s it’s time to re-evaluate it. Just as you stay up to date in your field of expertise your website must also keep pace with the times.
10. Cross Browser Compatibility
Ensure that all visitors, no matter what operating system, platform or browser they use all can use your site. Okay, maybe not all browsers, but at least the newer and common ones. You don’t have to support all the old out dated browsers but the most common ones in use today should still be supported.