The Key to Better Websites
The Key to Better Websites [Part A] Navigation
One of the primary implications of a well-organized / good website navigation, is to keep your visitors on your website. Your website was definitely created with a purpose, the goal is to lead the visitors to a specific outcome. The key to having a better website lies in your navigation and design.
For example, if you have a portfolio website you would want your visitors to view your content. For companies and internet businesses, your website is usually created to provide product or service information, to make sales, or collect contact information for future sales or marketing.
However, most people doing online searches are drawn to visually appealing designs, with captivating content. It is undeniable that this is important but looking at it through the visitors viewpoint will undoubtedly help you understand how a visitor to the website might think, do and react.
1) Navigation- As web designer’s we have to learn how to think the way your visitors think.
Situation A: Website with good navigation (2-3 hyperlinks to target page), well planned in terms of placement, and beautiful design.
Situation B: Website with poor navigation (takes forever for the visitor to reach his/her target page), hard-to-read navigation fonts and poor placement of the navigation buttons/bar.
In Situation A, a visitor will always be led to and have easy access to his/her target page. For example, the individual comes across your website, and is interested in the product sold, but wants to find more information. He/she finds the navigation with no trouble and easily locates the particular product information page.
As for Situation B, a visitor stumbles into the website, and would also like to find out more information about the product. Unfortunately, due to bad placement and fanciful font-types, the visitor has to search forever, or even fails to find the navigation bar. Even when he/she does so, links to the product information are nowhere to be found, (example: home > about > products > product image > etc… [a few more clicks] > product information).
In both situations, they may have similarly aesthetically pleasing design. Example A, however, has the added benefit of great navigation helping you turn visitors to customers or clients. Wouldn’t a website with characteristics similar to the Situation A be more rewarding and therefore better?
The Key to Better Websites: - Part B Design
Design, design, design. To put the wonders of a good design into perspective, imagine your thought process when purchasing a T-Shirt. First, what do you look at? The design of the T-Shirt, of course. Well most people do, other than what the t-shirt is made of. So… let’s assume all the other factors are the same, it would mean that the design or how the shirt looks, becomes the deciding factor as to why you purchase from one place rather than another?
Once again we are going to put ourselves in the visitors shoes to understand how they experience our websites.. Here are two more example situations.
Situation A: A website with good design and breathtaking graphics. (Good color schemes with matching theme), pictures. (Optimum resolutions and relevant) and proper fonts and word sizes.
Situation B: A website inversely equipped with hideous graphics and pictures in terms of resolution, quality, and relevancy. Multiple mismatched fonts most of which are too fancy to read easily (too small, artsy font-types).
Situation A, visitors that enter the website are immediately awestruck by the design and artwork. The well-placed pictures and designs will somewhat symbolize the positive nature of the company/website. As we know, most people DO judge by impression. Your visitors will not be distracted by bad design, which means they will have their attention on whatever you wanted them to look at.
As for Situation B, the shabby design, imagery, and layout, due to severe lack of creativity and badly taken pictures would not exactly help you keep any visitors. Fonts that were hard to be read or comprehended due to size or type, and mismatching themes in terms of color, or consistency, will not be very appealing.
Now, the main idea here is to always plan your websites, try to get objective feedback and perspectives. Each mindset might differ, but at least you will get ideas for where if anywhere needs improving, especially if you get more than one person complaining about something specific.
Don’t get me wrong, even a plain website with proper design would generate plenty of positive implications, but the key idea here is to at least maintain an impressionable memorable website.