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As websites provide both static and dynamic content, some aspects of the user interface attract attention more than others do.
Users don’t read, they scan. Analyzing a web-page, users search for some fixed points or anchors which would guide them through the content of the page.
Web users are impatient and insist on instant gratification. Very simple principle: If a website isn’t able to meet users’ expectations, then designer failed to get his job done properly and the company loses money. The higher is the cognitive load and the less intuitive is the navigation, the more willing are users to leave the website and search for alternatives. [JN / DWU]
Users don’t make optimal choices. Users don’t search for the quickest way to find the information they’re looking for. Neither do they scan webpage in a linear fashion, going sequentially from one site section to another one. Instead users satisfice;
They choose the first reasonable option. As soon as they find a link that seems like it might lead to the goal, there is a very good chance that it will be immediately clicked. Optimizing is hard, and it takes a long time. Satisficing is more efficient.
Don’t Make Users Think #
According to Krug’s first law of usability, the web-page should be obvious and self-explanatory. When you’re creating a site, your job is to get rid of the question marks — the decisions users need to make consciously, considering pros, cons and alternatives.
If the navigation and site architecture aren’t intuitive, the number of question marks grows and makes it harder for users to comprehend how the system works and how to get from point A to point B.
A clear structure, moderate visual clues and easily recognizable links can help users to find their path to their aim.
Don’t Squander Users’ Patience #
In every project when you are going to offer your visitors some service or tool, try to keep your user requirements minimal.
The less action is required from users to test a service, the more likely a random visitor is to actually try it out. First-time visitors are willing to play with the service, not filling long web forms for an account they might never use in the future.
Let users explore the site and discover your services without forcing them into sharing private data. It’s not reasonable to force users to enter an email address to test the feature.
As Ryan Singer — the developer of the 37Signals team — states, users would probably be eager to provide an email address if they were asked for it after they’d seen the feature work, so they had some idea of what they were going to get in return.
Ideally remove all barriers, don’t require subscriptions or registrations first. A user registration alone is enough of an impediment to user navigation to cut down on incoming traffic.
3. Manage To Focus Users’ Attention #
As websites provide both static and dynamic content, some aspects of the user interface attract attention more than others do.
Obviously, images are more eye-catching than the text — just as the sentences marked as bold are more attractive than plain text.
The human eye is a highly non-linear device, and web-users can instantly recognize edges, patterns and motions. This is why video-based advertisements are extremely annoying and distracting, but from the marketing perspective they perfectly do the job of capturing users’ attention.
The site has 9 main navigation options which are visible at the first glance. The choice of colors might be too light, though.
Letting the user see clearly what functions are available is a fundamental principle of successful user interface design.
It doesn’t really matter how this is achieved. What matters is that the content is well-understood and visitors feel comfortable with the way they interact with the system.
5. Make Use Of Effective Writing #
As the Web is different from print, it’s necessary to adjust the writing style to users’ preferences and browsing habits. Promotional writing won’t be read. Long text blocks without images and keywords marked in bold or italics will be skipped. Exaggerated language will be ignored.
Talk business. Avoid cute or clever names, marketing-induced names, company-specific names, and unfamiliar technical names. For instance, if you describe a service and want users to create an account, “sign up” is better than “start now!” which is again better than “explore our services”.
Strive For Simplicity #
The “keep it simple”-principle (KIS) should be the primary goal of site design. Users are rarely on a site to enjoy the design; furthermore, in most cases they are looking for the information despite the design. Strive for simplicity instead of complexity.
From the visitors’ point of view, the best site design is a pure text, without any advertisements or further content blocks matching exactly the query visitors used or the content they’ve been looking for.
This is one of the reasons why a user-friendly print-version of web pages is essential for good user experience.
Don’t Be Afraid Of The White Space #
Actually it’s really hard to overestimate the importance of white space. Not only does it help to reduce the cognitive load for the visitors, but it makes it possible to perceive the information presented on the screen.
When a new visitor approaches a design layout, the first thing he/she tries to do is to scan the page and divide the content area into digestible pieces of information.
Complex structures are harder to read, scan, analyze and work with. If you have the choice between separating two design segments by a visible line or by some whitespace.
It’s usually better to use the whitespace solution. Hierarchical structures reduce complexity (Simon’s Law): the better you manage to provide users with a sense of visual hierarchy, the easier your content will be to perceive.
Communicate Effectively With A “Visible Language” #
In his papers on effective visual communication, Aaron Marcus states three fundamental principles involved in the use of the so-called “visible language” — the content users see on a screen.
Organize: provide the user with a clear and consistent conceptual structure. Consistency, screen layout, relationships and navigability are important concepts of organization. The same conventions and rules should be applied to all elements.
Economize: do the most with the least amount of cues and visual elements. Four major points to be considered: simplicity, clarity, distinctiveness, and emphasis. Simplicity includes only the elements that are most important for communication. Clarity: all components should be designed so their meaning is not ambiguous. Distinctiveness: the important properties of the necessary elements should be distinguishable. Emphasis: the most important elements should be easily perceived.
Communicate: match the presentation to the capabilities of the user. The user interface must keep in balance legibility, readability, typography, symbolism, multiple views, and color or texture in order to communicate successfully. Use max. 3 typefaces in a maximum of 3 point sizes — a maximum of 18 words or 50-80 characters per line of text.
9. Conventions Are Our Friends #
Conventional design of site elements doesn’t result in a boring web site. In fact, conventions are very useful as they reduce the learning curve, the need to figure out how things work. For instance, it would be a usability nightmare if all websites had different visual presentation of RSS-feeds. That’s not that different from our regular life where we tend to get used to basic principles of how we organize data (folders) or do shopping (placement of products).
With conventions you can gain users’ confidence, trust, reliability and prove your credibility. Follow users’ expectations — understand what they’re expecting from a site navigation, text structure, search placement etc.
A typical example from usability sessions is to translate the page in Japanese (assuming your web users don’t know Japanese, e.g. with Babelfish) and provide your usability testers with a task to find something in the page of different language. If conventions are well-applied, users will be able to achieve a not-too-specific objective, even if they can’t understand a word of it.
Steve Krug suggests that it’s better to innovate only when you know you really have a better idea, but take advantages of conventions when you don’t.
10. Test Early, Test Often #
This so-called TETO-principle should be applied to every web design project as usability tests often provide crucial insights into significant problems and issues related to a given layout.
Some important points to keep in mind:
according to Steve Krug, testing one user is 100% better than testing none and testing one user early in the project is better than testing 50 near the end. Accoring to Boehm’s first law, errors are most frequent during requirements and design activities and are the more expensive the later they are removed.
testing is an iterative process. That means that you design something, test it, fix it and then test it again. There might be problems which haven’t been found during the first round as users were practically blocked by other problems.
usability tests always produce useful results. Either you’ll be pointed to the problems you have or you’ll be pointed to the absence of major design flaws which is in both cases a useful insight for your project.
according to Weinberg’s law, a developer is unsuited to test his or her code.
This holds for designers as well. After you’ve worked on a site for few weeks, you can’t observe it from a fresh perspective anymore.
You know how it is built and therefore you know exactly how it works — you have the wisdom independent testers and visitors of your site wouldn’t have.
The first step in winning over more customers is to understand the essential elements that should go into every homepage.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, draw inspiration from 31 top homepage designs so you can find out what will work best for your business and your audience.
The Benefits of a Well-Designed Homepage
A simple homepage design welcomes your audience to your site, tells them what you want them to do next, and allows them to explore your site in more depth.
You can add complexity to a simple homepage design, but you don’t want to start with a cluttered mess and have to selectively prune it. Always begin with the basics.
What do you need on your homepage? What will your audience expect? And which elements take priority?
When you can answer those questions, you’ll have the information you need for better homepage design. In web design, homepage elements have very specific purposes.
Helping your target audience get to know your business
Many of your website visitors will find your homepage first. With that in mind, you need to make a solid first impression.
Your homepage should provide a sense of your company’s values, unique selling proposition (USP), and purpose. You’re more likely to lure in potential customers if you can effectively communicate this information.
Improving the user experience on your website
Consumers visit your website with a purpose. It could be to check out your product line, read your blog posts, or find out if you sell a particular type of service.
Regardless, you want to direct that consumer to the appropriate page. Your homepage design should facilitate this transition by providing intuitive navigation and a sense of how your website flows.
Accruing more conversions
You want website visitors to convert, but they won’t if you don’t give them the necessary incentive and opportunity. Maybe you want to build an email list, but if visitors can’t find a signup form, your database will remain empty.
By making this information easily accessible on your homepage, you will see an uptick in conversions.
Another way to boost conversions is to create a strong first impression with your homepage. If visitors enjoy their experience on your website, they’ll also be more likely to remember it in the future. Maybe you won’t make a sale today, but that customer will return days or weeks later and buy from you.
Improving brand awareness
Make your company memorable by allowing your brand image and messaging to come through on every page. This is especially true when it comes to your homepage design because the homepage serves as the gateway to the rest of your website.
Your logo, tagline, and purpose need to take center stage. In fact, you might even want to add a form or statement to the very top of your homepage — preferably in a large font — that gives your visitors a sense of what you do:
What problems do you solve for your customers? How do you improve your clients’ lives — whether personal or professional?
Don’t force your website audience to have to figure out and guess what it is you do. Make it clear from the get go.
How to Design a Website Homepage
Now that you know the four goals to motivate your design principles, ask yourself three guiding questions: What do you absolutely need on your homepage? Who is your target audience and what will they expect? Which elements take priority?
Once you have the answers to these three questions, you can begin plotting out how best to improve your homepage.
Remember to tie each of your design elements to one of the four goals listed above. Most importantly, don’t worry about getting it perfect. Website optimization is an ongoing process!
The Best Homepage Design Examples (And Why They Work)
There’s no better teacher than an example. I’m going to show you some of the best homepage design examples that I’ve found, and I’ll tell you exactly why they work so you can apply those same tactics on your own site.
Ecommerce homepage design can get tricky. Do you introduce the business, show off your flagship product, or overwhelm your audience with tons of products or categories?
Hopefully, you don’t do the latter.
In thredUP’s case, the homepage goes for a seasonal approach.
Apparently, boho style is in (at least for women), so we see a custom graphic that advertises lots of boho fashions available. The navigation is hefty but cleanly designed, so visitors can easily find the categories that interest them.
What is a website layout?
A website layout is a pattern (or framework) that defines a website’s structure. It has the role of structuring the information present on a site both for the website’s owner and for users. It provides clear paths for navigation within webpages and puts the most important elements of a website front and center.
Website layouts define the content hierarchy. Content will guide visitors around the website, and it must convey your message as well as possible to them.
Why should you choose one layout over another?
You should carefully make a selection. This is why:
A good layout keeps users on the site because it makes important information easily accessible and intuitive to find. A bad layout frustrates users which then quickly leave the site because they can’t find what they are looking for.
For this reason, it’s best to take as long as you need to find a good layout because users won’t give you more than a few seconds of their time.
There’s a strong relationship between the layout and the engagement of users with the website. It determines how long they dwell on the website pages, how many pages they browse, and how often they come back to the website.
So, besides overcoming the problem of split-second choice, a good layout comes with additional benefits. Engaging visitors can be a rewarding effort.
When selecting a layout, it might be useful to also consider the Gestalt law of closure. It says that, even if an image shape is not complete, the human eye tends to fill in the visual gaps and recognize the image as a whole. How can this be of use to you?
You won’t pay attention to details, rather focusing on the global view of the pages forming the website; users will find themselves the meaning path.
You pay attention to details, using some additional seconds to grow the engagement exponentially.
You intentionally won’t pay attention to details, letting originality speak for itself; users will find themselves the meaning path, and they will keep a strong memory of your website.
Getting familiar with the layout design best practices
To spend a fruitful time selecting a layout design, it’s important to get familiar with some basic notions related to website layouts. We’ve gathered a bunch of concepts that’ll help you get oriented into the abundance of predefined website layouts.
Visual weight and negative space
Visual weight is perceived by people when some objects on the website carry a stronger visual force. This visual force can be induced in specific elements through different techniques. Amongst them, negative space is the one that interests us directly here.
Negative space (space that is devoid of any elements) drives the attention towards elements outweighing the rest through visual force concentrated on them.
Create Vietnam Design for Eye-Catching Stimulating Layouts
Balanced website layouts
In balanced web design, the elements that make up the layout are supporting one another so that the user sees the text content with equal importance. In addition, the elements are easily scannable in a layout that efficiently presents them all. The design gives the impression of stability, and it feels really pleasing, from the aesthetic point of view.
One of the most popular balanced designs is symmetrical balance, where, similar to a mirror image, a visual element will look the same on either side of the center.
You’ve probably felt it too when looking at the architecture of some buildings, gardens, and even at the wings of a butterfly.
Sections for specific audiences or features
Read more: Good website design
Your website is the backbone of your digital marketing initiatives.
That means simply having beautiful site design is only one component of taking control over your digital presence. Your dedicated content marketing strategist (CMS) can brainstorm the many ways you can leverage your site to benefit your marketing goals.
Whether you need blog content, a social media strategy, custom videos like testimonials or animations, or something else altogether, you’ll have a team of SEO and content experts behind you every step of the way.
Turn your website into your business’s greatest asset by making it easier for prospective customers to find you online, impressing new visitors, engaging returning users, generating qualified leads and producing more revenue.
In-house design teams may not have the time, resources or specialized knowledge needed to meet your goals, whether you want to build an e-commerce website, brand website or microsite.
Working with a professional website design team gives you the benefit of their experience, skills and expertise – without taking internal resources away from other important jobs.
VIET SEO website design services and solutions finetune every aspect of your site to better support your marketing and commercial goals in a constantly shifting digital landscape.
We use our years of experience and keen understanding of SEO and content marketing best practices to tailor every web design project – whether it’s a simple redesign or full teardown – to increase search ranking, online visibility and engagement metrics.
When It Makes Sense to Invest into Web Design Services
Whether you’re starting a brand new website from scratch or want to revamp your existing website, web design services come in all shapes and sizes. You can decide if you want to outsource the design of one page, every page, or something in between.
Want custom graphics and help with branding, too? No problem. You get to decide what services you need or don’t need, making web design a flexible service to match your needs.
Regardless, you’re in complete control of the scope of the project.
So, it makes sense to invest if look and feel is an important part of your new website, you’re looking for an affordable way to change up an existing website, or you’re ready to take your site to the next level with a custom design.
And when you start making enough to warrant a custom website, we recommend freelancers and small local agencies rather than massive large-scale agencies.
Why? Because the cost is more reasonable and you’ll get a more personalized experience. If you’re comfortable spending $5,000 to $10,000 on your website, this is definitely the way to go.
But if that’s outside your budget, not all hope is lost. You can still invest in a site builder or theme that looks great out of the box.
You don’t have to learn anything about web design or development, making it an excellent choice for beginners. Plus, there are 800+ pre-designed templates you can use to get started.
Because of those templates, you don’t have to spend thousands on a professional designer, which is particularly helpful if you’re just starting out.
Wix’s drag and drop interface is incredibly easy to use and you get complete design freedom to create whatever you can imagine. On top of that, there are dozens of add-ons to increase your website’s functionality.
Want to add an online store? No problem!
The possibilities are endless, despite being an intuitive site builder that’s suitable for beginners and anyone without extensive web design knowledge.
You can control the size and placement of everything, including text, images, videos, shapes, and more. It’s truly one of the easiest and most customizable website builders on the market.
As such, you can create a truly customized experience minus the headache.
Another standout feature is the Wix ADI (artificial design intelligence) tool. All you need to do is answer a few questions about your new website and the tool will automatically build the entire thing for you in just a few seconds.
From there, you can customize the auto-generated content with your own images, colors, fonts, text, and more to make your website truly one-of-a-kind.
The best part, though? You can try Wix for free… forever.
It’s an excellent way to try it out, but the free plan is extremely limiting and you can’t connect your own custom domain. So, it’s not a long-term solution, but it far outshines a temporary free trial.
Whether you’re looking for a personal website or a full-featured business page, Wix has everything you need and a variety of plans to suit users of all shapes and sizes.
This is an excellent way to avoid themes that aren’t compatible, have low rates, and are outside your budget.
It’s important to note you can always change the colors, fonts, images, and overall branding of the theme you choose. So, it’s more critical and beneficial to pay close attention to theme functionality and overall layout instead of colors and other things you can change later.
Website mock-ups & design
Our world class design team brings concepts to life in our mockup process. Interactive feedback tool and revision rounds add value and help us manage the design process as a team.
3. Website development
Our expert web design and development team builds your approved designs into the industry-leading drag-and-drop system for easy updating and ongoing maintenance. All sites are always fully responsive for all screen sizes and devices.
4. Revisions & launch
Our revision rounds are an opportunity for us to work with clients to key in any changes to the development link prior to launch, we work until it’s perfect.
Experience award-winning web design
A top web design is more than an “About Us” and a “Contact” page. It’s how you communicate.
It’s how you show off your products and capabilities and most importantly, it’s how you convert leads. A ( CTA ) call-to-action strategy needs to intuitively guide your visitors through your brand story and products or services.
The user experience and user interface need to make them engage, take action and convert. An integrated blog and easy to use CMS needs to feed them content and dynamically update those static web pages.
Ebooks, videos and other micro-conversion opportunities need to to be reaching out to those conducting research and analysis (Check out our ebook on “10 questions to ask before starting your web design project”).
If you are going to redo or just plain do this website thing, let us help you do it right.
You need to analyze the competition, create content that matters, communicate effectively and convert your visitors.
You probably just wanted a brochureware website. Don’t fret, designing your website right doesn’t cost you extra, it just takes choosing the right web design company and asking for the right features…
But doing it wrong might cost you everything. Let Vital Design’s experienced team of web design professionals take you on this journey, the right way.
I mean seriously, we built 60 plus websites last year, we know what we’re doing.
Vital’s award winning web design and development team builds the best websites on the web. Our years of web design experience have led to a results driven process that ensures successful outcomes.
We start with analysis, research and planning followed by architecture, wireframing and content creation.
Once completed we move on to award winning web design and SEO driven content including copywriting, photography and video.
With the planning behind us, the design and content assets in place the website development stage begins. Our development process takes place on the best website platforms and use the best web development languages.
We add tools and applications that produce results. The end result, award winning website design, strong SEO and a website ready to take on any inbound or digital marketing strategy you can throw at it.
A top web design takes experience and process:
Collaborative design process
Award Winning Web Design
Built-in SEO best practices
Easy to use CMS
Responsive Web Design
Ecommerce & Application Development
Rigorous analysis and reporting
The best web designs take planning, experience, talent and execution. Make your competitors jealous and look like a fortune 500 company work with Vital’s team of digital marketers on your next web design.
We think you and the Internet are going to get along great. Ask us your questions about your next web design project.
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It's the place that potential customers go to when researching your business and the products and services that you offer.
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