DO YOU REALLY KNOW HOW TO BUILD A WEBSITE?

Image Credit: ITsGuru

Websites are no longer about simply putting information on a web page - that was 1991. Websites have since then evolved to include user experiences and general aesthetics of the page. How visually pleasing the website is, how well the website resonates with the user, how adaptable the website is to different platforms, etc. People no longer care about what you have to offer if your website doesn’t hold their interest long enough for them to find out.

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As a web designer, your next priority after building a working website is to make it irresistible to the visitors. Here are a few tips to make your website appealing to visitors

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A Strong Colour Palette:

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A colour palette is a suite of colours available to designers when working on an interface. A strong colour palette should consist of carefully chosen colours, colours that evoke certain emotions from the user and still manage to pass the message adequately. When choosing colours, keep it as minimal as possible - rainbows are beautiful in the sky, but in a website, it looks like unicorn puke. Let the colours back up the text that accompany them - don’t use a glaring red colour to tell a user welcome, red is a startling colour. If you’re not sure how palettes work, check it out here.

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White Space:

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A white space refers to any section of a canvas that is unused. White spaces allow designs to breathe. You don’t need to create crowded layouts to pass an information, less like architect Ludwig says, is more. White spaces aim to make pages look uncluttered and still deliver the necessary information. Whitespace should not be considered merely “blank” space, it is the element of design that enables the objects on the page to exist. It helps control the user’s attention, hence prioritizing areas of focus. It makes it easier for the user to glide through the site smoothly, without having to struggle with unnecessary symbols and characters.

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Call to Action buttons:

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Once you open the Netflix page, one of the first things you see is a “get started” button. The normal reaction is to provide the information required and click the button. A call to action button is a button that tells users what to do next in order to keep interacting with the page. It should be bold enough to catch the users’ attention, but not too bold it becomes obtrusive. These buttons solve navigation issues, users don’t have to scan the entire website before getting what they came for. It also helps users who are not sure what they’re looking for make decisions faster.

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Clean Backend Coding:

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A clean code is code that is easily readable, easy to follow, easily testable and well documented. No one sees the back end but it is what makes the website work. If the back end coding is over complicated and improperly documented, it would be difficult to maintain the website and/or fix bugs that are discovered along the way. A dirty (complicated) code, makes maintenance or any other action that should be performed on the code near-impossible. As much as possible, keep your code simple. You don’t have to throw every knowledge you have into a single project.

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User Friendly Interface:

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Your services bring users to your page, a friendly interface is what keeps them. A user-friendly interface is a software interface where the user can easily understand and navigate through the application efficiently. When a user can’t get around your website with ease, you better believe they’re leaving. Be consistent in the page layout, use common UI elements, use typography to create hierarchy, use strategic colour and texture to direct attention away from or towards elements.

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SEO Friendliness:

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If the content of your website is not readily available to the search engine, then your website is not SEO friendly. To create an SEO friendly website, it is important to add tags, words that are frequently searched that are associated to your website in order to increase visibility of your website. If you have a beautiful website that is not search engine optimized, it will remain buried beneath the heap of other websites that are search engine optimized. SEO friendliness increases traffic to your website, it gives your brand credibility, and it also helps you save advertising cost.

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Animation and transitions:

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When we think of animation, we often think of a more radical usage of the element, which is not always the case. Animations can be as simple as the nuance of a design or even a casual decorative element. They aim to mimic the behaviour of things in the real world or to draw attention to an important information. They generally make the user’s experience more pleasant.

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Speed Optimization:

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No matter how good looking, user-friendly, animated and joyful your website looks, if it takes too much time to load the contents, you will definitely lose customers. The primary reason why people visit websites is not to be entertained (except when they visit entertainment websites), it is for the services you offer. A website should be both good-looking and fast. In a bid to create a website that would grab attention of users, don’t use over-complicated themes and designs. Try to optimize images, reduce the use of heavy widgets and as much as possible, avoid embedded media.

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Responsiveness:

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A responsive website is one that is able to adjust to any screen size. It provides optimum browsing experience for users regardless of the device they’re accessing the website from. Responsive websites enables owners reach customers on smaller devices. If a user tries to access a section on your website but they can’t because it wasn’t designed for their device’s screen size, they will leave. It also reduces maintenance time as developers no longer need to build multiple websites to accommodate different screen types.

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This is not the overall “know it and be infallible” guide, but it should put you on the right track in your design journey. You can find more resources online to help you through any confusions you might encounter along the way. Let’s go make better websites, shall we?

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