27 May Top 10 Principles of Web Design: Is Your Website Effective?
#1 Give Them What They Want!
Reach out to your target audience and serve them what they want. People do not want to spend time looking for what they want.
If your website is selling organic products, make sure that your customers are able to browse through your products and purchase them. Adhere to the objectives of your website or your website will just lose its entire purpose.
#2 Don’t Make Me Think!
According to Steve Krug, author of Don’t Make Me Think, the above rule is the first law of usability. If users have too many questions about your webpage, it will confuse and simply turn them off. For example, the navigation menu – The labels on the menu should be meaningful and obviously indicate what is the content in the page. If the page is about the company, a simple “About Us” will do the trick.
#3 Keep It Simple, Stupid
By now you should know that users do not read – they scan the webpages. Long paragraphs of text will turn people off. Use subheaders to capture attention. Identify what are your objectives and remove all the unnecessary.
#4 Keep Your Focus
Do not overclutter your page. Focus on what is important and keep your website structured. It is difficult to concentrate with all the activity going on. You do not have to fill up every bit of space. Embrace it!
#5 Organize The Content AND The Site
Make sure that your navigation menu stands out and is not lost in a sea of text. Keep to the 3-click rule and categorise the content with menu and sub-menus. Nobody likes getting lost so include a site map or a search function if your website is full of information.
#6 Test Early, Test Often
Testing is mostly neglected in the development of websites. In fact, testing should be done right at the start of the website. Find out what your users want, observe your users. Testing should be done throughout the process.
#7 Browser Compatibility
Your website should work in most popular browsers. Make sure that an average user will be able to see and use your website. PLUS, if you want your website to be accessible on mobile devices, make sure you test on these devices as well.
#8 Don’t Make Me Wait
Users typically hate waiting. Make sure that your website loads quickly or your target audience will close the window and proceed to the next website.
#9 Meaningful Graphics
Beautiful graphics add visual interest but do not over-use them. Make sure they are meaningful and add value to your content.
#10 Leave Your Contact
Always leave an avenue for users and customers to contact you, or send you feedback. Even if your website is under construction, enquiries can be directed to your sales people.