Basic Factors to Consider in Website Design


A lot of people nowadays fancy themselves as website designers. They shun professional help and advice thinking they can do just as good a job. At the same time a lot of professional website designers are being disingenuous with their customers. They fail to tell their clients about the bigger picture, and the customers get a good looking website that does not convert to sales. This topic recently came up when I was approached to make a website about Full Moon Parties in Koh Phangan. I told them that it is naïve to look at website design in isolation. This is only one part of a much bigger process. The overview is paramount to producing and promoting a website that will be successful.

Some fundamentals to consider are:

1)    Target audience and competition. You have to have a clear idea about who you want to attract to your website. Nowadays people just stick Social Media all over their websites without considering whether this type of media input has any relevance to the contents of the site. For example, if you are a company that produces carbon graphite rods do you expect anyone (even people in the industry) to have any inclination to ‘like’ a site about such a dry engineering niche?
2)    Monetization. You have to be mercenary. The website doesn’t necessary need to look good to make money. Sometimes having an ugly website can encourage people to click away from the site as fast as possible. That could be the monetization of the site. Planning how a website can make money is what you start with in website design, not add on at the end.
3)    Loading times, flash, plug-ins and widgets. The temptation is to make a site as sleek, as animated, and as interactive as possible. If you are promoting a night club that might be a good idea. If you are selling toothbrushes it becomes a much lower priority. Flash movies cannot be viewed by iphones. Sites that are entirely Flash Movie rank poorly in the SERPs because Google spiders cannot read the content. Flash also slows loading speeds. People are apt to quickly give up on a site if it loads slowly. If you are using a WordPress format with plug-ins can often be the means by which hackers get into a site and bring it down.
4)    You should design a site you can handle. New content is key to getting noticed. A site must be up-to-date and relevant. If the website designer charges for each new page added you might find yourself at the mercy of the website designer. It is much better to have a website that you can update yourself.
5)    SEO is just as important as website design. Having a beautiful site that no one finds is like having a masterpiece in your attic (only it won’t stop you aging). Website designers are notoriously slack about SEO. They miss out meta tags, alt tags and lots of other SEO tricks. They think their job is done when the site is published. Putting up a site is only 20% of the task completed; the other 80% of the work is promotion. It is much better to have a basic looking site that people visit and that converts, than to have one with lots of whistles and bells that languishes at 100 in the Google rankings.
6)    Make a site easy to navigate. The temptation is to try and be innovative with design. This is a good idea, but a site must be user friendly. If a visitor cannot navigate easily through a site he or she is going to leave very soon. Other website designers and owners are impressed with innovation more than the average net consumer.

These are just a few of the fundamentals of website design. They are easy to understand ideas. What I have written contains very little jargon. This piece has attempted to be relevant, concise and clear. That is what you must aim for in website design.


Comments are closed.