• Shane Smith

6 Basic Rules of Web Page Design and Layout

If you still think that an average website is enough to consolidate your online presence, you are terrible wrong. At this point, your competitors are probably rolling out flashy apps for mobile users, optimizing their aesthetically pleasing websites and trying to find new ways to get your targeted audience on their side. In case you want to stay in the game by exceeding their efforts, you should know that there are at least 6 basic rules of web page design and layout that just can’t be ignored.

1) Content Posted on Your Website Should Be Easy to Scan. Every single piece of info listed on your website should be 100% readable. This means that you have to be extra careful when it comes to selecting background colors text. Wild tones that make your text fragments become difficult to read will never do you any favors. Also, do remember that dark text is easier to read on a light background. Don’t go for light text on dark backgrounds unless you are truly determined to lower the quality of the overall user experience.

2) Your Website Should Ensure an Enjoyable Navigation Experience. It is imperative to have very prominent navigational tabs and buttons enabling your users to understand how to explore different pages and get the info that they are looking for fast and effortlessly. Improved functionality and intuitive web page design is much more important than flashy effects. Before adding tons of animations on your website, remind yourself that minimalism is the ultimate form of sophistication. Instead of making your website seem cluttered and disorienting your visitors, keep it simple.

Accentuate your calls to action. Also, it is recommended to preserve the standard link colors that are already familiar to most of your visitors (blue for unvisited links and brown/purple for visited ones). Last but not least, remember that your readers should be able to spot what they are looking for within 3 clicks. Otherwise, they would get bored and most likely decide to land on your competitors’ websites.

3) Your Website Should Be Easy to Identify. Your website should be easy to find. This means that you have to invest time, money and energy in off-page and on-site SEO strategies. In addition, you may also want to promote your company in both online and offline environments. There are numerous channels that let you accomplish this mission, including printed ads, word-of-mouth, banner advertising, electronic magazines,article directories and search engines. Once you finalize this step, you have to make sure that your readers can reach you easily by simply highlighting your contact information.

4) Page Design, Layout and Labeling Should Always Be Consistent Throughout Your Website

In terms of web page design, powerful contrasts are rarely a good idea. In this case, consistency is the key to success. For example, if you use a drop shadow effect for your bulleted list, you should utilize this element in all the listed bullets. Make sure you use the same link color, typefaces, background effects and colors throughout your website.

5) Your Website Should Load Fast. Websites that take forever to load are extremely annoying and force your visitors to abandon your page before actually discovering its best features. Reduce loading time (and manage to improve conversion rates by up to 7%) by reducing HTTP requests. Also, it may be useful to enable compression, minify HTML and CSS, optimize images, ditch unnecessary plugins and reduce redirect. All these simple changes will allow you to speed up your website and keep your visitors satisfied.

6) Your Website Should Be Recognizable. Make sure you display logos and company images or a portfolio comprising your most recent work. This way, you will manage to increase brand awareness and reflect your uniqueness. Image placement is extremely important. Most people just look at your first image. If it’s interesting enough, they will focus their attention on your headline. In case both these elements manage to stimulate their curiosity, they will also scan your text. Studies show that headlines placed right under the first image are up to 10% more read than the rest.

Captions may be another extremely important feature that you have been neglecting for a very long time. Recent statistics indicate that captions are usually read up to 4 times more than plain body copy. Your readers have a short attention span, so they are constantly intimidated by large chunks of text. Write informative, engaging captions to stay on the same page with your visitors.

If you aren’t really Internet savvy and all these details related to website design leave you in the dark, we can offer you the expert guidance that you need to optimize your website. Just give us a call and we’ll put our skills and expertise at your disposal.

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