9 Web Design Tips that Improve Website Usability
The functionality of a website is just as important as the design, and this is why web designers are always looking for ways to combine function with style. Listed below are valuable web design tips for creating functional, high-quality websites that are visually appealing and keep visitors coming back again and again.
1. Focus on the website user’s needs
Nothing is more frustrating for a website visitor than a website that doesn’t fulfill their expectations. Therefor, it is important to view your site from the visitor’s perspective when coming up with a design. Accessibility, user experience, and user interaction are the most important factors to consider. Perform tests on your new site regularly to ensure that it is easy for your visitors to find what they need.
2. Program using CSS
CSS websites are increasing in popularity because they offer better accessibility and file sizes are considerably smaller compared to table-based websites. CSS allows greater control over the look of your website and is widely-used by today’s web developers.
3. Use a clear, simple navigation
Website navigation plays a large role in determining the “stickiness” of your website (how long visitors stay and explore your site). The navigational structure of your website should be consistent and easily accessible for an optimal user experience. A well-designed website navigation should also be able to accommodate additional links in the future as updates and additions to the site occur.
4. Choose a clean, consistent layout design
The layout of your website should keep the user’s focus on your content. A clean website layout that consists of a lot of white space enhances a site’s look and readability.
5. Design for all screen resolutions
A site that is user-friendly encourages visitors to stay. For sites with long pages of content, this is essential. If your site doesn’t display well due to the visitor’s screen resolution, it is likely that the visitor will leave. Designing stretch layouts that fit any screen resolution ensures that all visitors encounter a visually appealing site.
6. Ensure that the website is cross-browser compatible
A website that displays properly in one browser may not display properly in another browser. Check your website in all of the most frequently used browsers, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome, Safari, and Netscape to ensure that it displays properly.
7. Optimize load time
Make sure your website’s load time is within an acceptable range and test your site’s performance often. To achieve an optimal load time, it is important to:
- Minimize graphics, flash and scripts. These features increase file size, thus increasing the site’s load time.
- Optimize HTML and script code: Ensure that your site doesn’t have any unwanted tags or unused scripts.
- Use Server Side Include (SSI) files whenever possible. Once called, includes from the web server reside in the cache so they load faster on subsequent requests.
8. Create web pages that are easy to scan
Web pages that are easy to read play an important role in maintaining visitors’ interest, keeping them on your site and reading your content. The majority of users don’t read web pages, they scan them looking for titles, bold, emphasized text, or lists, so keep this in mind when creating web pages.
9. Test early and often
One of the most important website tips is to perform usability and user interaction tests during the design phase of your website, as well as after the website is complete. Make sure that you continue testing and improving your website as it grows.
Use this web design advice to create a functional, useful, attractive website that makes visitors want to stick around and keeps them coming back for more. If you view your website from the visitor’s perspective and design it accordingly, you will create a website that combines function with style.
Before you can begin a web design career, you need proper training. Fremont Multimedia Design College offers an associate’s degree in Multimedia Design where you can prepare for an exciting career in as few as 15 months. In the Multimedia Design associate’s degree program, you will learn about web design and graphic design, equipping you with the skills you need to create functional, visually appealing websites. Enroll today to take the first step towards your dream career!