The most important considerations in web design
There are several vital things to consider to achieve great results in designing your website, let’s take you through some of the main ones
User experience (UX)
The user experience is perhaps the most important factor in web design. A website should be easy to use, visually appealing, and provide a seamless experience for the user. Good UX design can help to increase user engagement, drive traffic, and increase conversion rates.
User Experience (UX) is a fundamental pillar of effective web design and is often regarded as the keystone of creating successful online experiences. UX design is all about making websites not just visually appealing but also functionally intuitive, responsive, and engaging for visitors. A positive UX can have a profound impact on how users perceive and interact with your website, which, in turn, can influence their decisions and actions, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or simply spending more time on your site.
With the increase in mobile device usage, it’s essential that websites be designed to adapt and deliver an optimal experience across all devices users may browse it on (whether phone, tablet or PC) and work well, speedily and intuitively even on smaller screens. A responsive design ensures that the website can adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions but beyond that ‘mobile first’ design involves often having an entirely different layout (often without large slide show images, but including video instead) for mobile users. Developing for multiple platforms can obviously take more time but will ensure you don’t frustrate or lose users due to a slow or unreadable experience on the phone.
Navigation refers to how easy it is for users to move around a website and find what they’re looking for. Good navigation should be intuitive and easy to use, with clear labels and organized content.
Content is king, and it’s important that websites have high-quality, relevant content that’s easy to read and engaging. Content should be optimized for search engines to help improve visibility and traffic.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the practice of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engine results pages. Good web design incorporates SEO best practices, such as using correct structure for your pages, using clear and concise descriptions of your page content, using relevant keywords in titles and headings, having a clear site structure, and optimising images and other media by compression and correct use of meta tags such as Title and ALT tags.
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Slow loading times can negatively impact user experience and can lead to a higher bounce rate. Websites should be optimized for fast loading times, with compressed images, minimised code, and caching.
Websites should reflect the brand’s personality and style, with a consistent look and feel throughout. This includes the use of colours, typography, and imagery.
A call-to-action is a button, link, or message that prompts users to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or subscribing to a newsletter. Effective CTAs should be prominently placed, clearly labelled, and visually appealing.
Websites should be designed to be accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. This means incorporating features such as alternative text for images and videos, captioning, and keyboard navigation.
Security is critical in web design, particularly for websites that handle sensitive information such as personal data or financial transactions. Websites should enforce HTTPS SSL Encryption, use of strong passwords, ideally with 2FA for any editing role and other security measures such as web application firewalls, (WAF), IP filtering by location and blacklisted IP blocking to help protect against cyber threats such as phishing, malware, XSS attacks and DDOS attacks. Forms should be protected with a tool like Google ReCaptcha to help prevent spam.
Keeping website software, plugins and extensions and themes up to date with the latest versions and security patches is also essential, both on the server and for open-source-CMS’s such as WordPress, Joomla etc
Analytics tools can help you track user behaviour, monitor traffic and engagement, and identify areas for improvement. Incorporating analytics into your web design can help you make data-driven decisions and optimize your website over time.
Websites should be designed with scalability in mind, meaning they should be able to accommodate growth and changes over time, including handling surges in traffic to the site (such as during a promotion). This includes having a flexible site structure, using scalable hosting and web technologies such as CDN (Content Distribution Networks), and incorporating room for expansion.
By considering these important factors in web design, you can create a website that’s not only visually appealing but also functional, user-friendly, fast, and drives results.
At Meerkat Solutions, we’re happy to talk to you about any of these aspects when you have us design your site, as they’re part of our essential development criteria.
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“Websites should reflect the brand’s personality and style, with a consistent look and feel throughout. This includes the use of colours, typography, and imagery.”