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Any business which is hoping to seriously compete in the modern business environment will need to embrace some of the fundamental principles of web design. A website that hasn’t paid due consideration to the nature of its design is a website that is doomed to languish in obscurity. In order to be successful, a website needs to not only draw in traffic, it needs to offer visitors enough to keep them coming back for more.
Whether your website is an extension of your business, or it is a personal venture, adhering to certain design principles will dramatically increase your chances of pulling in, and keeping, new traffic to your website. Website design is certainly a skill, not one that everybody possesses, but it is also possible to be a successful website designer simply by ensuring that you stick to a few tried and tested design methods.
Do Not Underestimate Mobile
Perhaps that should read ‘you can’t underestimate mobile’. The majority of internet browsing is now done on mobile devices, most notably smartphones. How many of you can still remember the earliest days of mobile internet? (WAP anyone?) Back then, mobile internet was slow and expensive for the small percentage of people who made use of the service, consequently it was rarely a consideration for website designers.
It used to be the case that website designers would need to build two distinct versions of their site, the full version to be viewed on desktop, and a separate mobile version to be served up to anyone browsing on a phone.
Modern websites are designed to be dynamic, meaning that they will rearrange themselves appropriately for the device and resolution they are being viewed on. This is the standard that all website designers should be aiming for.
Don’t Overcomplicate Things
Another common mistake that many website designers make is in overloading their site with unnecessary features and elements. As we mentioned above, most internet browsing now occurs on mobile devices, and these devices have the necessary hardware to render websites the same way as a laptop or desktop, but they are often connecting over a mobile data network rather than Wi-Fi.
By keeping your design as straightforward and low key as you can you will lead yourself naturally towards a mobile friendly website design. Check out this page about Lindberg Process, it is a fine example of a page which contains plenty of information but in a simple and compact format.
Make Every Page a Landing Page
Far too many website designers focus all their attention on their home page, as they see this as being like their ‘storefront’ or a window display to entice visitors in. In actual fact, in an ecosystem where most web traffic is generated by search queries, visitors to a website are often landing on specific pages within the site rather than its homepage. Therefore, you should make sure that every page on your site serves as a good advert for both it and for your business.
By following some simple design principles and ensuring that they are at the forefront of every creative decision that you make, you can easily avoid the usual pitfalls and traps which end up tripping up most web designers.