Today’s world of website development is evolving fast and there are a number of considerations to be made when progressing a new web design, whether using an in-house team or an agency. Here we take a closer look at four great steps to getting it right:
Considering the human user
Today’s websites are increasingly designed for human users in a backlash against older versions that were designed to work primarily for search engines. Designers will do this by creating user personas, which are imaginary identities for typical customers. These help the designers to consider different needs and create a design around them.
Make the site predictable and easy to use
You can’t change screen size and device when designing for a user, but it is possible to affect how images render and how ‘comfortable’ the design can be in a changing environment; for example, designers can look at easy swipe actions and buttons that are big enough to use simply and adopt typefaces that are not too small. Good contrast is also important to work across a range of lighting conditions.
The emotional aspect
A good designer will focus on an overarching emotion that the finished piece should provide ‒ just one of these, delivered well, will create a relationship between the website and its offer and the user. Designers use colour to convey emotions and invoke different moods, as colour is a highly-powerful influence on emotion. Other elements that affect mood are visuals and copywriting; for example, a conversational writing tone feels friendly, whereas a corporate tone feels authoritative. It is also worth considering working with a Branding Agency such as http://www.reallyhelpfulmarketing.co.uk/services/brand-development-gloucester/ who can help you get really clear on the elements that make up your business image.
Keep things simple
The strength of good design may lie in the detail, but simplicity strengthens this. If you consider websites such as Twitter and Facebook, they are incredibly simple in design and allow the usability to be the most important factor. Today’s designers are increasingly seeking out simplicity in the use of design, with developers often choosing simple single page scrolling templates that don’t require multiple clicks. Basic good practices for simplicity include sticking to a couple of high-contrast colours, using readable and legible typography, and embracing space. The latter point is vital to create a feeling of calm and ease and to avoid the clutter that irritates users and can leave them feeling stressed.