Kara Tan is a co-founder of Altitude Labs, a full-service app design, and development agency that specializes in data-driven design and personalization.
A lot of things needs to be considered when creating a new website as web design is often a tricky subject. In order to simplify this further, a list of do's and don't's have been created that every designer should take into account when designing a website.
1. Similar experience
Visitors will be visiting your website from different devices, it's mandatory that you create the same experience for them irrespective of the devices that are used to visit your website. It could be from a desktop to tablet to phone or even via smartwatches. A big part of UX is that no matter what device is used to visit the site, the visitor should have a similar experience notwithstanding.
2. Easy-to-use clear navigation
When it comes to usability, navigation is its cornerstone. The website's beauty is useless if users cannot find their way around it. Every website navigation should follow three principles:
- Simple - it should be simple in structure, as much as possible.
- Clear - navigation options must be clear to all who see it and not ambiguous in meaning.
- Consistent - navigations system on the homepage should be same on every other page on the website...
The website navigation of your website should be designed in a way that visitors can get to anywhere they want to get to with the least amount of clicks as possible.
3. Color of links visited
A key part of navigation are the colors of the links. When a user clicks on a link, the color should change to indicate the site has been visited. This helps users prevent unintentional revisiting of the same page twice.
4. Scanning pages
It's only normal for users to visit your website and scan through. The average attention span of an internet user is lower than 8 seconds so they need to look through quickly to see if there is any part of your content that interests them.
If a visitor wants to find a task or content, they will scan through until they find what they are looking for. As a designer, you can help them do all of this with good visual hierarchy - which is basically the arrangement of elements in a way that shows importance.
5. Double check links
Users often become frustrated when they visit a site only to find out that they are redirected to a 404 page. Users expect every link clicked on your site to take them to the place where it says it would. Getting a 404 response is a big turn off for a lot of people and you could end up losing visitors due to this.
6. Clickable elements
When designing a website, ensure that clickable links look like ones. Visual elements that look like links or buttons but are not clickable can confuse users. They are underlined words but they are not links or have any specific call to actions. Users need to know which area of your site are clickable and which ones are not.
7. Make visitors wait for content to load
Attention spans continue to shrink per year with the current number putting the attention span of the average internet user to 10 seconds in getting them to focus on a particular task. When they do end up waiting for a content to load, they become frustrated and could end up leaving your site if it's not fast enough for them.
8. Open internal links in a new tab
This is a rude behavior that makes it difficult for users to use the Back button which is the normal way users return to previous sites or pages that they visited prior.
9. Too much promotion
Running too much promotion on a site can steal the show and make it harder for users to find the content that they visited the site for. This is called banner blindness which means anything that looks remotely like an advertisement is ignored by the users.
10. Hijack scrolling
This occurs when a web designer manipulate the behavior of the scrollbar so it behaves differently. It could involve the use of animated effects, fixed scroll points or even a redesign of the scrollbar itself It takes the control away from the user and turns them off. When you're designing a website, you want visitors to have total control over their browsing activity and movement through your application.
11. Usability for beauty
Some web designers sacrifice usability for beauty and it ends up affecting their conversion rate later on. It's important you stay away from busy backgrounds behind content or poor color schemes that may make it harder for users to read the content appropriately.
12. Blinking text and ads
Content that flashes or flickers can trigger seizures in susceptible individuals. Not only can it cause seizures, but it is also likely to be annoying or distracting for most people that visit your website in general.
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