In the early days of the internet, a company’s website needed no more than a simple HTML page with a nice background and some contact information. But times have changed. These days, a company’s website might be the basis for their entire business. It goes without saying, then, that a well-designed website is crucial for modern businesses.
But there’s more to it than bold headers and flashy backgrounds. One of the most important aspects of web design is the user experience, also known as UX. Great UX makes for sites that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but functional and easy to use. This increases traffic, as well as encourages visitors to return at a later date. Nobody likes using a site that’s slow, confusing, or bogged down with ads.
The Value of Simplicity
Around the turn of the century, websites often tried to cram as much content into their home page as possible. Many businesses modeled their sites after AOL, Yahoo!, and MSN, which bombarded visitors with dozens of links, features, and news stories all at once.
This model declined in popularity over the coming decade, with more web developers opting for a simple approach instead. Today, simple websites are all the rage—and they work for a few key reasons. Web surfers typically prefer clear, concise sites that get straight to the point. It’s important to remember, however, that simplicity can have a downside: vagueness. If a visitor doesn’t know what the site is about within the first few seconds of landing on it, they’re not likely to stick around for very long.
The takeaway? Simple websites work, but only if they clearly communicate their purpose.
Don’t Be Pretty But Broken
Creating a beautiful-looking website for your brand or business is easier than ever before, but that doesn’t mean much if the site doesn’t work as intended. The biggest killer of return visitors is a malfunctioning website, full of dead links and frustratingly slow loading times. Regular maintenance is required to make sure your site is running at full capacity.
The All-Important Landing Page
If a visitor finds your site through a search engine, they’re considering your website along with the dozen or so other results their query pulled up. If their first impression is poor, they’ll probably close the page without much consideration. For this reason, it’s imperative that your landing page (or “Home” page) grabs the visitor’s attention and explains the purpose of the website clearly.
For more information on great web design, please contact us.