Essential Design Elements of a Good Website
Captivate your audience with the right elements
Design is what will make a difference between an average and a great website. Often, we’re not even aware of the role design plays in our online reputation. The way you present yourself to your target audience will determine how successful your business will be.
But, what makes a website great? How can you ensure your website has all elements it needs to captivate your audience? Of course, there is no magic formula that guarantees your website will enjoy hundreds of thousands of visitors, but there are several elements that will help you get the attention you need.
Start working on these elements, one by one, and track your traffic numbers to see if they are increasing. After all, what’s a better way to say if your website is improving that experiencing a traffic boost? You’ve created this website for your target audience and they will be the final judges of how successfully you’ve communicated your messages through your content placement and design.
Table of contents
- Using a lot of white space on your website
- Be careful when choosing your color palette
- Add plenty of Call-to-Action messages on your website
- Always keep in mind the User-first design
- Don't forget about clean back-end coding
1. Combining Form and Functionality on Your Website
All designers struggle when trying to create a beautiful design while not harming the website functionality, and the reason for that is pretty simple: both form and functionality matter. Your website should engage the visitors and to do so, you will need to combine form and functionality on your website.
That’s where the majority of mistakes related to website design usually happen. As it’s hard to juggle with both of these terms, it can be really challenging to find the balance that will bring you the best results.
You need a design to make your website attractive. Don’t expect that your website visitors will spend a lot of their time on a website that is not visually appealing. More importantly, they will not return to your website ever again. So, neglecting the power of design could lead to traffic drop and that could have devastating consequences for your business.
But, design without functionality is like a lonely ship in a harbour. If you wish to see the world and witnness the actual power of that ship, you will need to focus on its functionality. When talking about website design, you will need to have clever navigation and simple-to-follow internal links and call-to-action messages.
When designing or re-designed a website, make sure you’re truly bringing the best from both of these concepts. A skilful designer should know how to bring the maximum of form and functionality throughout the entire website.
2. Designing for Both Humans and Crawlers
Websites that are considered the most popular and successful in their industries are usually the ones that are created for human visitors and search engine crawlers. The same way your visitors are able to search your content in order to find the information they need, search engine crawlers will need to search your website as well to determine how relevant your content is. In other words, make sure your website is entirely functional on the front and back end.
For your visitors, ensure your website has a natural flow and it’s full of different types of content. Your images should be of high-quality and they should resonate with the visitors. Use colors that represent your brand and make sure the font is easy to read on both desktop and mobile.
Don’t be afraid to use videos as it’s the most engaging type of content that will also help you with your search engine rankings. When creating text for your website, all your messages should be written in a unique, straight-forward voice.
As many visitors will not read carefully all the information you’ve placed on your website, make sure you strategically add headline, call-to-action-messages, bullets and other ways to capture their attention while they are scrolling down the page. A great website will have all these elements displayed without harming the vital information of the business.
3. Having a Dynamic Mobile Website
The number of smartphones is constantly growing across the world and its usage is expanding to areas we couldn’t even imagined just a few years ago. Now, we’re able to shop products ans also to research different options before making our purchase decision.
When researching, people will first visit the websites of brands they are interested in. That’s why it’s vital to ensure you have a dynamic mobile website that will provide your mobile visitors with the same-quality experience as desktop visitors.
The mobile site of your website needs to be dynamic, engaging and, most importantly, it needs to load really quickly. Not having a fast mobile-friendly website will cost you a lot in traffic numbers.
Obviously, you will need to think about the navigation here as well. A great website design implies you have a navigation that allows your mobile visitors to go from one place to another with just a press of a finger or a swipe.
Having a dynamic mobile website also helps you with search engines as crawlers are actively looking for mobile-responsive websites. So, not only will the mobile website help you attract more mobile visitors, but you will also improve your SEO ranking.
4. Providing Useful Information to Your Visitors
A great website will always aim to educate and inform its target audience, not just tell. By providing useful information on your website, you will be able to create meaningful relationships with your customers and prospects. When your website lacks valuable information, your audience gets a one-sided experience. If your visitors are unable to connect with your business, they will most likely decide not to purchase from you.
A great website will use design to highlight the importance of learning. You need to treat your visitors as smart learners who want to learn more about your website topic. If you design that type of website and provide them with useful information, they will certainly come back.
The design allows you to present yourself as the leader of the industry while slowly improving your search engine ranking with a well optimized and designed website. To become a resource in the field, you will need to have a professionally designed website. The better your website design is, the easier it will be to attract more people and interest them in your content.
5. Five Essential Design Elements of a Good Website
While you’re ensuring your website is truly valuable to your target audience, you will need to think about a few other details that will have a tremendous impact on how well your website performs. There are hundreds of design elements that you need to keep in mind while you’re working on the design of your website, however, they’re not all equally important. Some of them will be deciding factors between an average and a fantastic website.
All these elements should work towards providing a better user experience. That’s why it’s vital to always think about combining form and functionality as without these two, user experience will not be as good as you need it to be.
Below, we bring you five key elements of great web design examples. Make sure you implement them right away as they will provide you with countless benefits, from improving your traffic numbers to strengthening your online reputation.
5.1 Using a lot of White Space on Your Website
You’ve probably already noticed that the majority of websites you see every day have a lot of white space and that is not a coincidence. White space is a term that describes the empty space of the website where there are no elements such as copy, imagines, sidebars, etc. All of these elements you have on your website needs room to breathe and to be effective. Designing a crowded website will result in disoriented visitors who will leave your website because they feel overwhelmed.
5.2 Be Careful When Choosing Your Color Palette
Color schemes and the way you use colors on your website is crucial for your web design. A good color palette will help you achieve cohesiveness between all this information you decide to publish on your website. Determine your primary and secondary colors to have more room for creativity when creating other pages you will need for your business as well. However, don’t add too many colors as it might distract the visitors. Choose wisely!
5.3 Add Plenty of Call-to-Action Messages on Your Website
The goal of your website is not only to exist but to convert visitors into leads and customers. To do so, you will need to implement call-to-action messages throughout your website. After all, it’s the place where you connect with the people who are interested in your business, products and content. As soon as they land on your website, they should know how to get what they want, whether that’s subscribing to a newsletter, downloading a guide or ordering your product.
5.4 Always Keep In Mind The User-First Design
As many of today’s businesses are focused just on improving their SEO ranking, they tend to forget that their website needs to be created for their users. That leads to over-stuffing your content with keywords and providing low-quality content for your visitors. When your website experiences traffic drop, search engines will also assume that something is not right with your website. Instead, focus on providing your visitors with excellent user experience and you’ll enjoy many benefits from them as well as search engine rankings.
5.5 Don’t Forget About Clean Back-end Coding
Even though this element will not be noticeable visually, it is crucial to maintain the functionality of your website. Every website will require coding in the backend and the better you do it, the more captivating your website will appear. Coding is responsible for the functionality of your website, the loading speed and navigation that converts your visitors into leads and customers.
If you have a website, you should do your best to make it a great platform for your target audience. Website design is crucial when you’re trying to attract new visitors and convert them into customers. Therefore, the more you invest in your design, the better the quality of your website will be.
Joel Koh is the director of One X Tech's Technology Management & Digital Solutions practice. He leads the firm's Asia Pacific office efforts in continually evolving and growing new capabilities to serve clients in technology-led transformations.