When a visitor comes to your website, he is first greeted with the design of your site. He will then look for something that interests him. To find something, he may go to the categories you listed out there or simply use the search box. If he finds something interesting, he will continue to spend much time on your site and will be interested in visiting your site repeatedly. So, the basic thing you need to keep in mind while designing a website is user experience.
If you manage to create a stunning website but the user finds it very difficult to navigate around, then you have wasted time and money in creating such a design for your website. The design has to be simple, clear and user-friendly.
Here is a list of top 10 characteristics of a good website design:
Consistency in Design
Except for the homepage which may have a slightly different appeal, all the other pages should have a consistent design. When navigating to other pages on the website, the users should not feel that have landed on a different website. The homepage and all the other pages of the website should clearly display the logo and its tagline.
The website should be designed in such a way that even a layman will be able to navigate around on a certain page or throughout the website and find things he wants to view. It should not take him more than two clicks to find anything that interests him on your website. If the navigation is too complicated for the visitor, he will not wish to visit your site again.
Content is one of the most important elements of a website that can keep your visitors engaged on to your site for a longer period. Not only you should publish informative and fresh content free from grammatical errors but also you should pay attention to background color and highlighting certain part of the content in bold or different colors. Proper formatting of content is also necessary; however, you should not overdo it as it can negatively impact your visitors.
Instead of decking up your site with heavy elements like Flash content, animated graphics, large images and videos, you need to go with simple design and still offer the best of creativity to your visitors. You need to make sure that your website takes only a few seconds to load. If your site takes lot of time to load, your prospective visitors may not have the patience to wait too long.
Search Engine Friendly
Your website will be failure if it is not able to attract the attention of users through search engine. In other words, the elements of your website should be designed and tweaked in such a way that it helps in maintaining a good ranking on different search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Compatible on Different Browser
After your website designer has created a site for you, you should test your website on different versions of various internet web browser such as Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. You should also test the loading time and ease of navigation across different pages of your website. Also, you should check whether your site works flawlessly on stock internet browsers available on platforms such as Windows Phone, Android and Symbian.
All the elements of your site should work seamlessly. You need to fix all the page errors and poorly constructed website elements. When visitors face such a problem, they can get frustrated and leave your site. Hence, you need to check proper functioning of internal and external pages, access to contact page, site search, site map, customer support page, help and FAQs page, subscription page and so on
A poorly built website can severely mar the performance of your business. Whether you are fixing an existing website or developing a new site, the above mentioned tips should be put into practice by discussing with your website designer.