Great web design is the foundation of any digital presence. It promotes a brand’s message, delivers important calls to action, informs an audience – and much more. With such an important asset on your hands, there are lots of things to avoid when designing for web.
At Seven Hills Creative, crafting well-designed websites is one of our core beliefs as web developers and digital marketers. That’s why we’ve compiled this helpful guide on all the things you shouldn’t do when creating – or designing, your own website…
When it comes to designing websites, it’s easy to focus on aesthetics. A visually appealing website does wonders for user experience, after all. However – while a beautiful design is important, it’s more important to ensure it delivers on its purpose. Remember, people aren’t coming to your website to see its slick design, they’re coming with a specific goal in mind.
Unnecessary web design elements – that serve no purpose other than visual, will only clutter your user interface, decrease web accessibility and confuse site visitors. For a positive user experience, it’s best to keep your website’s visual elements simplistic. So long as you’ve got all the necessary links and information you need, it’s hard to get too simple with web design.
Speaking of purpose, it’s essential you don’t dive headfirst into your website’s design without putting plans in place first. It’s all well and good knowing how many web pages you’ll need to create, which internal links to include – and so on, but have you considered visual hierarchy?
Visual hierarchy refers to the arrangement of elements in a way that suggests importance – and this can be achieved in various ways. The idea is to lead users to complete a desired action in a way that feels natural and unforced. By adjusting the size, colour or positioning of certain elements, you can structure your site in a way that draws users to those areas first.
In order to create a strong and effective visual hierarchy, it’s important you get to know your target audience first. By understanding what users are coming to your website for in the first place, you’ll be able to identify the right calls to action to highlight in a more significant way.
Regardless of visual hierarchy, your website should have simple and intuitive navigation throughout. This is the cornerstone of usability – and essential if you’re wanting potential customers to stay on your online store. If someone has to think excessively about where to click in order to find what they’re looking for, they’ll likely end up looking somewhere else.
Never make users dig too deep. Many web designers swear by the ‘three click rule’ – which says that visitors should never be more than three clicks away from their destination. When doing this, it’s worth mapping out your site’s pages in a pyramid, with the home page at the top and each linked page that’s accessible from the previous forming the layer below.
On top of keeping navigation simple, websites should also provide users with clarity through their consistency. Whether it’s e-commerce websites, web apps – or any other kind of online service, colour schemes, backdrops and font choice are all areas where consistency is key.
This doesn’t mean every page should follow the same blueprint. Instead, it’s worth making layouts for different page types – such as landing pages, contact forms and product listings. By using these consistently, users will know exactly what info to expect on any given page.
At Seven Hills, we craft beautiful, responsive websites that are as effective in their design, as they are in their delivery. We won’t use a website builder to create your project, and nothing is templated to shoehorn your business into. Your brand is unique – and so is our solution.
If you’re looking for a bespoke website, tailored to your specific needs, get in touch with our friendly and experienced team today – we’d be delighted to help.