If you’ve ever been on the internet, this has definitely happened: you’ve googled a question, or you’re researching information, and the hits that come up have finally shown you a page that you think might have the right answers. Only you never get to see them because you get frustrated waiting for the page to download; the site has a lot of flashy, animated features and isn’t optimized for mobile devices; or the information you need is buried in walls of text.
Good web design is crucial in keeping users engaged enough with your page to get what they want, and if they like what they see, they’ll stay. Many people don’t know how internet marketing or good design work, and design their websites without any sort of user interface in mind. While different products, services, and content attract different needs, different layouts, and different interfaces, there are some tried and true axioms for good web design.
- Easily Scanned Content. Unlike traditional print media, internet users do not enjoy combing through several blocks of text to get their information. Most users will in fact scan the page that they are reading for its pertinent information. In essence, most users are impatient, and need their information right now.
That’s why lists, such as this one, are one of the better forms of distributing information and content on the internet. Users can easily scan the page, and pick through the bullet points and headlines and get an understanding of the content without fully reading it. However, keep in mind that written content should also be well written, as there are users actually willing to read through content fully.
- Intuitive Layout and Navigation. Studies show that users prefer simple design and an easily understood navigation system to registration processes, pop-up animations, and other impediments to getting the content that they want out of the site. According to Steve Krug’s book, “Don’t Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability” web users don’t want to think about how to navigate around a website, so the navigation system should be self-explanatory.
Furthermore, widgets, registration forms, and pop-up ads are some of the biggest deterrents for users to a site. Extra time spent having to navigate away from such things becomes irksome to the user, and makes them less likely to want to continue using the site. If this happens with small business web design, they will probably lose clients and customers.
- Mobile Access. The average American uses their mobile device for social media, internet surfing, and general socializing for around 3 hours each day on average. In fact, nearly 90% of mobile users multitask using their devices while watching TV. One can no longer provide any sort of good web design these days without also considering mobile design.
Again, the previous tips apply for mobile, only doubly so. Your layout should be simple, intuitive, and easily accessed by a thumb or a forefinger. Content should be easy to scan, but legible and well-written as well. Depending on your product, content, or whatever you’re publishing on the internet, some of the best internet marketing for your site should be one easily digested through a mobile device.