Let’s face it, in this modern age of WordPress, you no longer need a degree in coding and HTML to be able to throw together a website. Nowadays, with even just a smidgeon of technical knowledge, you can have a website up and running in no time at all. But while you might have the bones of a site that people can visit; it may not necessarily be a good website design.
Well-designed websites are identified as those that fulfil their intended function by conveying a particular message while simultaneously engaging visitors. This is done using several fundamentals or principles.
With this in mind, let’s dive straight in and take a look at the 9 fundamentals that make up a good website design…
Defining a website purpose
The first fundamental of a well-designed website is one that has a purpose. Having a clear intention on every page will help the user interact and engage with what you have to offer. Are you imparting invaluable information like an authority site? Is it an entertainment-style site where people come to get their latest fix or gossip; or are you selling a product or service to the user? Before you even think about design, giving your website a designated reason for being there, is key.
The second key fundamental or principle, and one that ties all well-designed websites together, is one of simplicity. If you look at any successful website you’ll notice that important factors like colour, type and imagery are almost always uncomplicated. Here are some basic rules of simplicity you might want to follow:
Consider using no more than 5 colours
Choose colours that tie in with your branding. Complementary colours work extremely well so if in doubt, check out an online colour wheel to see which colours work best together. Health-related and dental websites, for example, work well using blue, while the colour green is associated with positive undertones.
Use no more than 3 website fonts
The right typography commands attention and yet, if you introduce a myriad of typestyles into your web design it simply becomes muddled and confused. For this reason, keep it simple. Research has shown that a maximum of 3 fonts seems to be the sweet spot – enough to keep your site engaging but not too many to put visitors off.
Use only high-quality imagery
No one wants to be faced with a huge wall of text when clicking onto a site. This is the reason why pretty much all well-designed websites have plenty of clear and relevant imagery. The right pictures can engage readers and complement the accompanying text. So high quality is the way to go.
There’s nothing more frustrating than landing on a site for the first time only to become confused about where to go or what to do next.
While the navigation might appear easy to you it might not always be the case for a new visitor.
So you might want to consider navigation that is intuitive, consistent and has a defined and simple pathway.
There have been some interesting studies on eye-tracking and something that all good website designs follow is the F-based pattern. In this case, the ‘F’ shape dictates our normal pattern of scanning. For instance, when we first look at a website, we tend to do so in a ‘right to left and top to bottom’ format. Therefore web designers look to place priority content in these areas first. Items such as important contact details, calls to action and latest offers should all be placed in consideration with the F-shaped reading pattern.
Making an immediate or instant connection is key and this can be achieved using something called visual or style hierarchy. This is done using scales of text, imagery, white space and colour and directs the visitor to where the most important information is.
You can have a great looking website design but without great content, it’s unlikely to engage with visitors. For example, good dental websites tend to consist of a welcome/home page, an about us page and various treatment or service pages with associated content explaining what patients can expect. Great content can not only attract visitors but convert them into full-blown customers/clients or patients.
Grid -Structured layout
Another fundamental or principle that all well-designed websites should consist of is a grid structured layout. A simplistic grid pattern is easy to follow with columns and sections that fall into line, thus relaying a feeling of balance and order. A grid-like pattern arranges content into a clean and rigid structure making it easy for any visitor to scan and navigate. Used in conjunction with many of the principles above, it’s an effective design that works.
Minimise load time
Okay so, how many times have you landed on a site only to wait for it to load? Frustrating right? While it may seem harsh, web visitors expect sites to load in just 2 seconds and will normally click off after just 3 seconds, so time is of the essence. It pays, therefore, to ensure that all images are fully optimised to help your site load faster.
Make it mobile-friendly
Not only should well-designed websites contain all of the criteria above, but they also need to be mobile-friendly. More and more people are now using their mobile phones to carry out searches. As such, Google is pushing for all websites to be mobile-friendly and as of March 2018 were indexing websites based on their mobile versions and not their desktop versions.
So there you have it, 9 fundamental factors that go into creating a good website design.
Here at Mediboost, we’re a digital agency specialising in the medical industry. Over the years we’ve built, designed and marketed hundreds of websites aimed at a specific target audience, so if you aren’t getting the number of patients through your doors as you feel you should, then give the Mediboost team a call today at (02) 8073 8330