Overview of Web Design
Web design sounds simple and for many web design means the end product that they see online but nothing could be further from the truth.
Web design covers everything you see and don’t see on a website. From code to graphic and from text to SEO so for many web design is done in teams each taking control of their own part of the design while others are multi skilled and will be able to complete the entire web design on their own or with a very small team.
We will look at some of the more important aspects of web design in more detail to allow you to get a better understanding of what’s involved.
This is at the core of any design for a website and uses HTML which if done correctly can mean that the website has no barriers for people with difficulties such as blind people. Good HTML coding will allow the blind user to use text to speech if required so you can see the importance of having this done correctly from the outset of the design.
In recent times it has been suggested that Google now incorporates the coding of the site into their Panda algorithm and if the code is done correctly will give you a higher quality score than that of a site that is not coded as well under the Panda algorithm.
Graphic design is becoming more important now than ever for a website to help engage the audience. Thus resulting in more user engagement on the site though it may not be as easy as it sounds.
Graphic design or visual communication is used for a variety of different reasons on a website and it could be as simple as an advert wanting the user to take action to an infographic explaining something in more detail using a graphic instead of entirely text. In the end users appear to enjoy graphics more than just plain text and this has been proven with sites that have good quality graphics as their bounce rate has dropped and the time the user spends on the website has increased.
In order to make good graphics one need to be creative and innovative, therefore graphic design is not suited for everyone.
The graphics can be created in many formats although many will select vector as their first choice as they need to be able to load quickly to the site once the user selects the site from their browser. Otherwise it can lead to poor page load time resulting in poor experience for the user who is likely to go and visit another website, so please bare this in mind if you are getting any form of graphics added to your website.
When the website is in development it is important to ensure that it is being built responsive. This basically means that the website will work on all types of gadgets including the smartphones of today and the tablets that we all use in our daily life.
Being responsive is also very important for user experience as you do not want a user to find your website on their PC then look to show their friends using a smartphone and discover it doesn’t show correctly.
So at the early design stage of the website it is important to ensure the end product will be responsive for all devices.
Having a website that is responsive also helps its overall quality score in the eyes of the search engines particularly Google as they do check it as part of their Panda algorithm.
Although not everyone thinks the layout of the page is important it can be the essential difference between making a sale or not. Putting your information in the correct places is crucial to conversions especially if you have a website that sells any form of products or information.
Page layout should include easy navigation for the user ensuring that the important information is just above the fold of the website or there is a graphic just above the fold that will make the user want to take further action and explore more.
To improve page layout it is important to have a heat map installed in the back end of your website so you can physically see what the users are doing and focusing on when they visit the site and it may take several adjustments to have your page layout optimized. Other ways in which you can improve your page layout is by split testing and there is no right or wrong way to do it. People simply prefer the heat map over split testing but whatever you decide ensure you use one of these methods when analyzing your page layout so you can maximize the website conversions to their maximum.
Search Engine Optimization
Although not many people consider this as part of the design process it really is as you have to consider 2 main factors at the design stage.
1) The content has to be written for the end user and be engaging and exactly what they want otherwise all the other design work will go to waste as the user will simply leave the website and look elsewhere for the information or item they wish to purchase. This will ultimately hurt your website rankings as the search engines would think the user hasn’t found what they are looking for.
2) The content needs to be in logical order and have adequate description and keywords used that not only the user will understand but also that the spiders from the search engines will also understand. This is important for long term rankings and more webmasters are now incorporating this aspect into the whole design process which is great for the end user.
This is just some of the basic factors that need to be considered when you are considering web design but it is not an extensive list.
We hope the information has been useful to you but should you have any questions then please get in touch with us and we will be happy to help.