A modern website design need not be overly complex. Have you not noticed that the biggest websites on the net are actually fairly simple? Sure, they may have a lot of menus and sub categories, but their design is both aesthetically simple and their structure is pragmatic as oppose to flashy or complex. Here are a few dos and don’ts for you to chew over.
Don’t ignore navigation for the sake of design expediency
Navigation is what is going to make your website useable. It is going to make your website something that people can keep returning to without fear of getting stuck on a page or navigating through something annoying. You must have been on a video or GIF site at some point and just wished you could get to the content you want without clicking more times than your grannies hips.
Do consider the three click rule
People need to get where they want to be very quickly. If you do not get them to their desired page within three clicks then there is a high chance that they will leave your website. That is why a good navigation system is important and it is why you should try to make your website intuitive so that people are easily able to find what they are looking for without searching too much or thinking too much.
Don’t forget that your consumer must trust you
Trusting a website will allow people to feel comfortable coming back again and again. They need to feel that you are not about to crash or start installing malware on the website. They need to be able to trust you because the Internet is still a nasty place full of people trying to rob users online and people trying to install malware all the time.
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Do remember that bugs ruin websites
A bug will ruin the user experience for the viewer, and a bug will harm the search engine friendliness of your website. It will scare away viewers and may even have people complain about your website on other online articles. It is also a matter of quality that you do not want people encountering problems on your website when they visit, especially if you want them to return.
Don’t ignore loading times because “yours” loads quickly
A common mistake is to think that just because the website loads quickly for you will also mean that it loads quickly for others. You have to consider that other people are going to be on mobile Internet and other people are going to be using different web browsers and different operating systems. You need to test your website on a number of different devices, operating systems and web browsers.
Do take the time to insert and optimize a good search bar
This means making it so that people get the results they want when they get to their search results. It means not having people searching through more than a handful of results before finding what they want. You will have to test your search results a massive number of times and start refining them manually so that it works better.
Don’t add tools that people won’t use
There is a temptation to add in tools for which you have the code, and it may see as if you are giving your user another benefit to using your website. It is up to you if you want to add the tool, but adding tools people won’t use is not really a good thing. There may be people out there who are looking to use your tool, but they may not be within your target audience.
For example, you may have an avatar maker tool on your website, and it may do a great job, but if your target audience has no need for an avatar then they are just going to ignore your tool or maybe even question as to whether yours is the website for them. You can always put your tool on another website and then attract its real target audience there instead.
Do think about going responsive
The mobile world is nowhere near catching up to the desktop Internet world in length of time being used per day, but the frequency of use is roughly the same. People may log on to the Internet on their phone four or five times per day, whilst only using the Internet on their computer twice per week, so you may want to consider going responsive so you can catch these quick-use Internet users.