The 3 rules of designing an effective website

Sep 15, 2017 by Mark Baines Category: Digital 0 comments

How often do you visit a site, hoping that it will offer what you are seeking, only to find that you can’t get it there?

Or it’s too complicated to find what you’re looking for?

Or that the site fails to instil confidence in you, so you don’t trust the content?

In nearly every case it’s the failure of the planning of the site and the way the content is presented, rather than the coding, which causes the problems.

So follow these three simple rules and build a site that really works for you and brings dividends.

1. Know what visitors are looking for.

Understand what your market wants from you, then design and build your site to deliver those things. I see too many sites which are designed from the inside out, rather than from the outside in: ie they are written by the organisation about the organisation, so you get a worthy overview which satisfies the boss, but adds nothing to the bottom line. Websites have to engage visitors, which means they have to say what’s in it for them.

2. Understand your stats.

There will be the user journey, bounce rates, multiple visits, traffic share etc. This will give you insight into how your current visitors behave, so you can plan a perfect user experience. Without this information you can only guess.

3. Design a beautiful website.

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it, but too often the sites we visit are dull, or look old fashioned or cheap. However we’re human – we like lovely things, so it’s only normal to be drawn to sites which visually excite us and reject those that don’t fulfil our personal criteria.

Effectively I am advising you to put maximum effort in to planning and designing the site and its content, less into the coding.

It’s an exercise in marketing, not web development, which is just a hygiene factor: of course it’s going to be coded well, work perfectly and not break down – you’d expect nothing less. But for it to underpin your marketing, it has to be properly planned and designed.

Anything less and you’re not being as effective as you could be.

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