What makes a good website?

2 minutes read / Web design

Hopefully we no longer need to explain just how important a website is for any business wanting to succeed in the 21st Century. But the standard of your website will reflect your business’s brand and values to your customer, influencing the way they see you. Bad website = bad first impression. Hard to use website = lost customer.

We of the digital generation have short attention spans; if we can’t find what we are looking for we hop straight back onto Google (other search engines are available!). Customers build their opinion of you based on the image you present. So knowing what makes a good and relevant website is key for a positive user experience.

Web design has progressed in leaps and bounds in the last 10 years. Gone are the days of crowded, flashing and luminous web pages (although thanks to the glorious archive of the web, some have been preserved for your viewing dismay – our personal favourite is the Arngren homepage). A blissful new era of clean, serene browsing has dawned. Clean and clutter-free life isn’t just for the Swedish. Keeping your user interface and site design as pure and uncomplicated as possible makes the UX smooth, and keeps customers moving through your site.


What is UI?

UI (User Interface) – The visuals of your website – buttons, pages, interactive options.

What is UX?

UX (User Experience) – How the user feels when they use your site. “{3eb5e81dc2dbd5243766a445dfd7203b99614852f30724c0fcd7c1e47478fab9}&$&$ WHY DOESN’T THIS SITE HELP ME” vs “I found what I needed so quickly, I’m coming back here!”

Ensure your site is optimised

Mobile and tablet internet usage has now overtaken desktop access, so ensure that your site works on all platforms. There’s nothing worse than desperately trying to scroll through a page on your mobile with giant images loading everywhere. Check your site on multiple devices to ensure it is fully optimised.

Don’t use a template

Have you ever been on a site and thought, this feels familiar even though you’ve never been on it? Chances are they might be using the same template as a number of other sites but they’ve just changed the colour and logos.

Your business is unique, so you want it to be memorable. Your site design should sit hand in hand with your tone of voice and branding. A potential customer’s first interaction with your company may be online; this is your chance to wow them and stand out from the crowd.

WOW doesn’t mean fireworks, flashing lights, or can-can dancers

Or excessive use of Flash. Know your purpose, know your brand. Too much visual activity can be distracting for the user (and Flash can make it hard for Google to crawl your page and rank you). The Airbnb page is simple and sleek, with clean and stylish imagery that suits its purpose. The user is able to clearly see their options and move through their experience with ease. The site also has complimentary content to boost its primary function, and the user interface is simple and virtually invisible.

Do consider your brand

If you’re selling candy, a black and white monochromatic website will probably be anachronous with your products (unless you are selling humbugs!) But you don’t have to compromise on style – Candy.com is a great example of this!

We have some great tips for DIY web designers over on our Do’s and Don’ts of DIY Web Design Blog. We also love talking about web design, so why not drop us a message about what we can do for you, or take a look at our web design page for more information.

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