Less is More, and Even More
Website design needs to focus on the user behavior. With the emergence of social media, people’s browsing habits have changed; they are not the way they were 10 years ago. In those days, everybody browsed websites. However, when social media came into the picture, people started browsing social media feeds rather than visiting websites. Occasionally, they will click through if they see something interesting.
Today, the most important thing to users is whether or not a site is able to deliver on the promise that has brought them there. If your site is clunky, slow, and full of annoying ads or distracting pop-ups, you know what exactly will happen – the users will abandon the site and go back to the social media feed they were on before they landed on your site. Sadly, when these users head to the social media feeds, they won’t be coming back to your website. The point here is that users don’t want the fancy layouts, flashy effect, pop-ups on website. They want to go straight to the point of THEIR interest – and fast.
Depending of your business sector and region, chances are that about half of the traffic that visits your website comes from smartphones, even if, in Cambodia, this trend is about to reverse. These handheld devices have small screens and your site’s layout and content will be reduced to the essential. It is paramount that when you design your website, you emphasize on a simple and efficient layout right from the start.
Websites – Today’s business card
Your website is the first thing that visitors come across. It’s like your business card, so the first impression will count. Immediately audiences land on your site, they will judge your brand based on how it looks and performs. They will evaluate your brand, products or services based on the experience they will have when they land on your site. Think of it this way; would you give your customer a thin, fold, photocopy of your business card? No, not at all! So your website should not look bad. Since your website acts like your business card, you don’t need flashing letters, what you need is substance. People want to know how they can reach you and why they should do so in the first place. Your skills, as well as expertise, need to match the current challenges of the audiences.
Website design – the invisible work
Website design involves more invisible work at Backstage (“back-office” or “backend” if you prefer) than having complex design layouts on the homepage. Today, you find fancy layout templates everywhere, most of which are free. In fact, a 12-year old can just copy and paste a template and create their own “nice website” – that’s pretty possible and is happening. However, the problem is that this sort of website isn’t going to last for long. This is because nobody is browsing those nice-looking websites anymore, except maybe some graphic designers… Your site is the face of your business. It’s your business card and your visitors expect to find content that caters to their needs. Coming across those flashy effects, block styling and pop-ups just puts them off.
The visible layouts on your website only represent a tiny part of the website design process. A lot of complex work happens behind the scenes, at the non visible part of the design process.
Your site’s design has much more to do with structural complexity along with coding standards, than with sophisticated and complex designs. Here are the top 5 high priority points to take care of:
How easily can you navigate a site and find your pages on different screen sizes? With the Internet of Things (IoT), many devices, not just PCs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, are being used to access the internet. These include wearables, smart TVs, and others. Your content will be read in those screens of the different devices. So you need to ensure that the navigation is easy and responsive on different screen sizes. Having a responsive site not only helps users navigate your site easier, but also contributes to increased engagement and conversions.
Is your site displaying nicely on different screen sizes, are the fonts you use easy to read? Are your pages loading fast enough or do you have to wait for heavy supersized images to load for minutes? Are the images you are using really optimized for the internet? Make sure that your site is super-fast in loading pages regardless of the content it’s loading – be it text, still images, or moving images like videos and animations.
Is your website secure enough, does it load on HTTPS using a SSL certificate? Internet thieves and hackers are becoming smarter by the day – and now they are targeting any website – whether for a giant tech organization or a small ecommerce store. Ensure that your website is secure, regularly updated and backed up and not at the mercy of hackers if they discover vulnerabilities.
Is your website optimized in order to be well indexed by search engines? SEO is used to increase the number of visitors to your site organically (without the use of ads). Search engine optimization allows you to get traffic without having to spend a lot of money – not like paid searches or Pay per Click (PPC). Only websites that are optimized for SEO can be efficiently indexed by engines.
5. Email deliverability
Do your customers actually receive your emails and do you receive theirs – or do they end up in spam folders? Make sure your customers are receiving your emails – they should not be ending up in spam folders.
Website design is much more than “nice layouts” and simplicity is far more complex to achieve than flashy sophistication. It needs planning, structural intelligence and lots of safeguards that can only be provided by experienced and professional designers. We provide affordable professional website design solutions that strictly follow the latest international coding standards.