Are you considering building a website, but don’t quite know what to which details need your attention? You’re certainly not the first! There are so many things that we need to worry about that slip all of our minds occasionally. For that reason, it’s useful to think about the attributes and aspects that we really must have every so often.
That’s why I’m writing this article. We’re going to explore some of the critical things that your website will need this year so that when it’s done, you don’t suddenly realize that you’ve forgotten an essential element.
It might seem strange to start with absence, but it is so important that you put enough space on your websites that it simply has to go first. The reason why is that if you don’t keep it in mind, then before you know it you’ll have an incredibly cluttered page where people can’t find what they’re looking for – even if they’re willing to take the time to figure out how it all works!
Space is essential as it both calms the mind and makes it easy for the user to see what is where and where they want to go. Negative space can be used to emphasize the essential elements of your page. Just by putting things on their own with some free space around them, they will stand out to users.
Nothing is quite so frustrating to users as not being able to find what they’re looking for. For that reason, what goes where is hugely influential on your website. Navigation is something you have to think about the hardest if you’ve got more than a few pages. In that case, there are two competing things that you have to think about.
Having a simple list means that there aren’t twelve dozen different options, which are poorly named besides. Having only a few layers means that the user can get to whatever page they’re trying to go with as few clicks as possible.
Now, if you’ve got a lot of pages, that can be difficult. The go-to trick most websites use is to use dropdown menus, which allow them to keep the simple overall initial design, while still allowing users to navigate to the page they need quickly.
The moment people take a bit of an interest in who you are, you want your website to accommodate them. The best way to do so it by taking the time to construct a high-quality ‘About Us’ page.
The elements you want to pay attention to are:
Especially that last one is important in this modern day, as a lot of millennials care a great deal about what a company stands for. If they don’t agree with your philosophy (or don’t find that you have any particular philosophy, to begin with), it’s going to be much harder to win them over and make them long-term customers or visitors.
You build a website to accomplish something. This can be to gain attention, to sell a product, or to change opinions. Whatever that is, you should make sure that your website’s whole structure is geared towards accomplishing that.
In the website parlance, the goal of each page (and the website as a whole) is referred to as a Call to Action or CTA. This is the big button that invites you to buy a product if you sell one, change their minds if that’s what you’re into, or get them to buy a paper, as at Trust My Paper service for example.
To be effective, you need always to be steering your readers towards that call to action. Do note; this doesn’t mean you should have your checkout cart on every page. That won’t always work and – if they’re nowhere near to the buying phase, for example – can even be counter-productive.
Instead, the goal more often is to funnel them towards that final decision. You start broad, perhaps with giving them an overview of their options, and then page by page guide them towards what you want them to do. This is also the reason why many websites try to get people to sign up for their newsletter. The aim with those is to make sure when a person surfs away, they don’t disappear forever but can be pulled back to continue moving through the different stages until they make a purchase.
Sometimes you’ve found something on a site that’s interesting, but you can’t quite remember where on the site you found it. Being forced to flick through page after page in these situations can be immensely annoying.
At other times, a user comes to your website looking for a specific bit of information but doesn’t know where you’ve put it. They too might end up annoyed as they flick through your menu, trying to find the information they’re looking for.
Both of these problems can easily and effectively be prevented by giving your users access to a search function. Even better, when you put a search function like this on your website, you’re also giving yourself access to the information of what they’re looking for. This will provide you with insights into how your menu might have to be restricted as well as why they came to your page in the first place and thereby putting in the new information at a later date.
Ultimately, the most effective way to make your website work is to get feedback often and repeatedly from the people who you’re trying to convince or attract. This, in turn, will then allow you to change and tinker with your website until it works for those users.
There are a number of ways to get this kind of feedback. Of course, you can ask them, but a second useful strategy is to look at the numbers. For that reason, make sure that you install an analytical app and learn how to read it correctly (without just paying attention to the vanity numbers). For ultimately, understanding how people interact with your site is more useful than a dozen columns like this one. After all, every audience is different.