When customers lands on your site, they should be able to find what they need with a few simple clicks. Keep their attention by making their choices easy! Try these tips when planning your professional web site:
- Drop down menus. These work well for keeping all the information in one convenient place.
- The basic essentials. An "about us" page and a clear "contact" page will go a long way toward helping your customers find out more about you. Do your visitors need to get in touch quickly? Consider an email form for their convenience.
- Click and shop. If you are selling products on your site, make the "buy" buttons large and clear. Keep your shopping cart and checkout process smooth and easy, with dedicated buttons for every option along the way.
Professional Web Design Should be Consistent
From the background of your website to the titles of individual web pages, consistency is key. Your professional web design can be an integral part of building your brand, but only if you offer a consistent message. How can you do that?
- Use the same colors. Choose a color that suits what you want to project. For instance, vivid colors on a fashion design site are excellent, but if you are selling mobility equipment, you might want to go with a more serious palate.
- Choose appropriate graphics. Your graphics and photographs should all come from the same place and have the same style. Focus on your brand logo and make certain all surrounding graphics support that central theme.
- Watch out for fonts! One of the most common mistakes in web design is the use of different fonts on various pages of the website. Keep your fonts consistent throughout, so your customers dont have to adjust to something new with every click.
Keep it Simple, Sweetie
It can be easy to get caught up in flash screens, fun widgets, and other addictive bells and whistles. But dont lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day, simplicity in web design can appeal to a much wider audience.
- Offer content at a glance. Websites designed on a grid pattern are very popular, and for good reason--grids make it easy to digest your content in sections. Think of an old-fashioned newspaper layout. There is a reason this classic way of presenting information still works today!
- Keep your grid pattern "above the fold." Have you ever noticed how most successful websites have their search function, order buttons, and navigation at the top of the page? Put the most important information on top and dont make your visitors scroll for what they need.
- Stay easy on the eyes. Flashing lights and glittery backgrounds are the marks of amateurs. Choose a simple color scheme, or better yet, go with a monochromatic scheme that offers contrasting colors to catch the eye.
Keep in Touch
That "little extra" goes a long way in any line of business, and the same holds true for your professional web design. So give your visitors that little something that keeps them on the page longer.
Add a blog to your website and keep it updated on a regular basis. Offer links to an RSS feed, bookmarks, and an internal search function. These simple additions can keep your website on the customers mind, and that means they might visit more frequently.
Exclude No One!
Your website should be accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere. Make certain your customers can connect with you on their own terms.
- How does it look? Check your website in all browsers before the launch and after every update. Tweak your website design until it looks great across all platforms. Start with the most popular browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. Dont forget to test it on iPads and iPhones, too.
- Reroute with style. Design 404 error pages to redirect quickly, with no effort from the visitor. Adding a bit of quick humor on the page--"You stumbled into our construction area!"--might bring a smile from your visitors in the few seconds it takes to redirect, and that can only be a good thing.
- Offer a toolbox. Give your visitors the tools they need to view your content. For example, if you offer documents or reports in a PDF file for download, also offer a button that allows your visitor to download the PDF reader for free.
Professional Websites Load Fast
Professional website design keeps speed in mind. If visitors have to wait for a page to load, they are much more likely to go elsewhere. Less than two seconds of load time per page is usually recommended to give your customers the optimum browsing experience. The faster you are, the more likely they will stay--dont give them time to think about clicking over to your competition!