When your business embarks on a website design project there are big important elements to take care of. Which CMS will you choose? What templates and how many do you need? When do you need to start planning to meet your launch date? There are also components of web design that, while seemingly small, can make a big difference. Here are seven elements that are often overlooked and deserve attention.
Imagery is a powerful tool that businesses can use to tell their story. All your imagery should be high resolution: grainy photos will depreciate the quality of your site. Stock photos have come a long way, there are even some amazing free online resources, so there’s no need to worry if you can’t swing a photoshoot unique to your business. Throughout your site your imagery should have the same tone and remain consistent.
With all the web fonts available these days, it’s time to move away from the standard fonts like Helvetica and Arial and choose one that sets you apart and becomes part of your brand. We love using Google Fonts, there are a ton of great fonts to choose from. If you use design elements that feature text on top of images, make sure it pops. You can use transparent overlays to ensure that it is legible. Big, bold, and easy to read is the right approach for all the text on your website so it translates well to mobile devices.
Brand consistency is important, so make sure your website uses the colors from your style guide. If you need more variety, you can use lighter or darker variations or those standard colors, as opposed to adding new and different ones. You want your color palette to work well with your imagery so choose wisely.
What exactly do I mean by content hierarchy? You want to be strategic about where you place certain content on your site. You want your most valuable information on the homepage. If someone is new to your site you want to let them know what your business does and what services you offer first. Figure out what is the most important information for your audience and put short descriptions of that on your homepage with links to learn more. You want it to be clear where visitors can find the information that you consider most important.
If you want to grow a following and have someplace your visitors can stay in touch with you on a daily basis you need to include your social platforms and their links on your website. They should live in either your header or footer so they can be accessed from any page on your site. Social icons (and any other links that take the user away from your site for that matter) should be set to open in a new tab or window. This is a best practice because you don’t want people leaving your site entirely. This way, you are always in the background even if they’re exploring your Twitter feed.
Every page of your site should include a call-to-action. You want to keep the user moving throughout the site instead of hitting a dead end. For example at the bottom of your services page have a CTA button that asks if they are ready to start a project and have it take them to your contact form. Or on your blog page, have an email sign-up box available so they can continually receive updates from you. Making sure that you have clear and concise calls to action is important.
Giving all your content room to breathe, so your site is not jam-packed, is an important and often overlooked detail. One way to accomplish this is to separate sections with white space. This way, the user can think and concentrate on each element instead of having their eyes going all over the place.
If you’re thinking about a website project and want to learn more about our approach to great design and development, reach out so we can get started today!