The Most Important Things to Consider When Designing a Website

In today’s technology driven world, websites are the way a company does business. It encompasses all imagery and logo aspects to make sure that a perceived view of the company is passed along. The end quality of designing a website often is a strong determining factor when a consumer decides whether or not to purchase from a company.

Branding:

  1. Color – Make sure your website’s color scheme is cohesive with and accentuates the company’s logo and corporate color palette. Check out this post on why colors matter so much for your brand.
  2. Typography – Most companies have a particular style and size of a font (or typography) that they use to help distinguish themselves from that of their competition. Make sure the website uses this consistently and stays in line with the brand’s personality and characteristics.
  3. Images and Videos – THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. Images and videos need to be unique and original and not just any stock image pulled from the internet (also illegal unless otherwise stated). You should AWLAYS use authentic images that accurately represent you brand, product or service, and industry.
    • NO PIXELATED IMAGES. EVER. Not on your website. Not on your social media. Not in your eblast. Not anywhere.
  4. About Us Page – This page should tell website visitors “who you are and what you do”, while aligning with the company’s overall style. In addition to the company’s overview, this is also an appropriate spot to include testimonials, success stories, or key employee bios. AND this is a great place in inject personality and humanize your brand!

RELATED: How to Improve Your Brand’s Visual Appearance

Design

  1. Consistent Website Formatting – Use a consistent template format for navigation, headers, text, typography and hyperlinks.
  2. Focused Layout – The layout of the site should be used to highlight the most important content. Critical content should be placed above the fold while allowing less important content to follow.
    • “Above the fold” refers to the portion of the webpage that is visible without scrolling.
  3. Organize Content – Make sure content flows from one block to another without overwhelming the visitor. Give users a clear and consistent structure they can follow.
    • Pop-ups and other distracting extras should be limited.
  4. White Space – Make sure there is enough white space throughout the design. White space not only helps reduce the cognitive load of visitors, it makes it much easier for users to segment and digest the information presented.
    • Note: this space doesn’t necessarily have to be “white”. It can be any color as long as the space isn’t being used for any content/imagery.

Usability

  1. Layout Quality – Every website should include sections dedicated to a header, content, and footer. Include sidebars, or sections to the right or left of content, when appropriate.
  2. Navigation – Every website should include a navigation in the header and should list the important pages. Navigation options should be no more than three levels deep. Being direct is also especially important when dealing with navigation to improve both SEO and user experience.
  3. Content is Free of Spelling and Grammatical Errors – Make sure your website content is free of spelling errors, properly edited and written in the author’s native language.
  4. Content is Easy to Read and Digest – Longer articles or large blocks of text should be broken out by the appropriate use of sections or subheaders. It is also advisable to use a mix of paragraphs and bullets to do so.

Mobile

  1. Mobile Responsiveness – Responsive web design keeps the desktop and mobile content on a single URL, which is easier for users to interact with, share, and link to and for Google’s algorithms to assign the indexing properties to your content.
  2. Check Device Rendering – Does the website look good across tablets and smartphones? Is content easy to navigate through and forms accessible?
  3. Consider Image Usage Carefully – Large horizontal images with text may work great on a desktop computer, but they can be difficult to scale and still read on a mobile device.
  4. Avoid Flash – Flash is difficult for search engines to digest and index. It is also rarely supported on mobile devices such as the iPhone or iPad.

Other Important Things

  1. Integrate Social Media – Your client’s social media profiles and content should be readily accessible for website viewers. The website should have easily identifiable social icons that link social accounts, as well as traditional sharing icons on posts so content can be quickly shared across social media networks.
  2. Duplicate Content – Search engines want to provide unique content and they avoid presenting searchers with multiple versions of the same content. As such, some search engines will filter out content they deem to be similar or nearly duplicate of existing indexed content.
  3. Thin Content – This refers to websites who create low quality pages with little or no unique content. It degrades the user experience and opens websites up to a manual penalty from Google.
  4. Stolen or Scraped Content – This includes the reuse of content from another source in an effort to increase page volume and influence search results. It also opens the website up to a penalty.
  5. Excessive Ads – Websites that have large amounts of ads before actual content are downgraded in search because they create a poor user experience.

Questions, comments, thoughts on designing a website? Let me know below!

The Most Important Things to Consider When Designing a Website

  • Megan

    Thank you for this, Allyn!

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  • Nice useful tips Allyn, thank you!
    I have another point related to the images used. We must ensure the ‘sizes’ are optimized without compromising the quality of it.
    Thanks.

  • I agree with you on these important parts of a website. It really needs to be clear and easy for readers to get around. Great points here. Keep up the good work and live unstoppable!