Updated: Sep 30, 2022
Website design has changed a lot over the years, and the development of user friendly website builders like Wix, Squarespace and Weebly has led to more and more people designing their own websites.
But while it may be technically easier to get online, there are some key things to keep in mind when you're designing your site.
Don't skimp on the website copy. Beefing your site up with writing, (or ‘copy’ as we call it) is important for several reasons. Writing helps give people a better idea of your offering, your business and why they should care about your. And it also helps your SEO (search engine optimization). If a page doesn't have much (or any) writing on it, the search engines will struggle to understand what the page is about, and this will affect your rankings.
On the other hand, too much writing can overwhelm your site visitors. Make sure to break up large bodies of text into palatable pieces and incorporate images and other design elements to make your site visually appealing.
Design matters. Just because you have all the right content and pictures plunked on the page does not mean it will look good. If you’re not confident with design, use a template or check out other websites for ideas and inspiration on how to shape your content into an attractive design that will complement your brand.
I often keep a folder in my browser favourites with websites I come across that I like - this way I can quickly look through them for some inspiration when I need it.
To forget to talk about yourself. Did you know that the About or Our Team page is often one of the most high traffic pages on your website? It is. People want to know more about who they are buying a product or service from, your history, why you do what you do, and why it matters. So don’t skimp on this! If possible, include a picture of your team members to help personalize your site even more.
Mobile matters. It’s 2022, and most of us live on our phones. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, or accessible on a mobile device, you’re missing out on a massive number of website visitors and potential customers. (Learn some tips on how to make your site more mobile friendly here.)
Make sure your mobile site is responsive, clean and easy to navigate.
Go full width with your margins. There was a time when websites utilized only the narrow middle strip of the screen. But today, sites like this feel out of date. Using the full width of the screen for images, colours and other design elements gives more space for your site content to breathe, and allows for a better user experience.
Don’t overwhelm people with choice. Even if your website is jam packed with information, think carefully about your use experience and their flow as they navigate your site. Use the homepage as a space that tastefully links to important parts of your site, and break site content into regions that make sense.
Your menu should also be thoughtfully designed. Think of the way that content is stored in a library when you're designing your menu. Menu items and their sub tabs should make sense together and allow site visitors to quickly find what they are looking for.
Make sure important info is visible. A website is a place where people come to get more information about you or your business. Don’t frustrate your site visitors by burying your contact information, address or social media links where they can't find it.
Contact details can be displayed in your footer (the space at the very bottom of every page) and social media icons can easily be put in your header (the space at the top of the website) where they will automatically show on every page. Remember, websites are a hub - a link to social media, e-commerce and contact details that will help potential customers get in touch with you.
Think carefully about your fonts. Fonts can do a lot to enhance your website and complement your brand. There is always a time and a place for stylized fonts, but when it comes to large bodies of text, most often it is recommended that you stick to clean sans serif fonts.
Interested in font psychology and how they can change the look and feel of your site? Check out this handy info graphic:
If you've built a site but need help with the design, we are here for you. We often help clients take their sites to the next level by cleaning up their design and ensuring they haven't missed any key pieces. Let us know if we can help.