If you’re designing a website today, then there are a lot more things to think about than there were a few years ago.
Whilst technology has advanced a long way, in terms of WYSIWYG editors such as Wix.com there are many more factors you need to think about to create a decent user experience; particularly when it comes to mobile optimisation.
Today, in business, you are not judged on whether you have a website or not, as you are presumed to have a website – otherwise, you’re simply not seen as a proper business… today, you’re judged on how good your website is. Now, “good” is a very subjective metric, so let’s add a little more structure to this
The aspects of web design people consider most important include the following:
- Load Speed
- Cross Browser Functionality
- Responsive Design
- Site Structure
Let’s have a look at each one of these, to offer some food for thought when designing your next website.
1. Load speed
If your site doesn’t load at a lightning fast speed, then people aren’t going to wait around for it to load unless they are heavily invested in finding out about what it is you do.
The majority of online consumers will click off the page if it hasn’t fully loaded within three seconds. There are many factors that affect load speed and one of the best tools is Pingdom as this will show you how long each aspect of your website takes to load, and means you can diagnose where the bottlenecks are in order to optimise load speed.
2. Cross browser functionality
The importance of cross browser testing should be self evident, in the sense that if your website only looks good in Safari or Google Chrome, but looks dreadful or loads incorrectly in Internet Explorer then you have a BIG issue. You want to make sure that your website looks good, and loads correctly on all browsers.
3. Responsive design
In a similar vein, you want to ensure your website adapts to different viewports (i.e. size of the window people are viewing your content in). This means, you are likely to need to adjust the design so that it looks good on all screens – particularly mobile devices, as more and more people are accessing content on their mobile devices today.
The aesthetic design, meaning the visual elements, play an important role in engaging users yet you can have the prettiest site in the world, but if it doesn’t load quickly or correctly in each browser, on different sized screens the user experience is going to be poor.
5. Site structure
People come to your website for a specific purpose; they are searching for something, be that information, content, products or services – they have a reason to be on your site, and your job, when developing your website is to make it as easy for them to find what they are looking for as possible. This is where your website structure comes in.