Laptop and Cell phone with the Vagabond Tour and Travel website showing.

What makes a good website in 2018?

1) Purpose

Good web design always addresses the “why” of your site first. Are your web visitors looking for information, entertainment, some type of interaction, or to transact with your business? Each page of your website needs to have a clear purpose, and to fulfill a specific need for your website users in the most effective way possible. Part of our web development process is identifying the “why” behind your company’s digital media strategy.

2) Communication

People on the web tend to want information quickly, so it is important to communicate clearly, and make your information easy to read and digest. Some effective tactics to include in your web design include: organizing information using headlines and sub headlines, using bullet points instead of long windy sentences, and cutting the waffle.

3) Typefaces

In general, Sans Serif fonts such as Arial and Verdana are easier to read online (Sans Serif fonts are contemporary looking fonts without decorative finishes). The ideal font size for reading easily online is 16px and stick to a maximum of 3 typefaces in a maximum of 3 point sizes to keep your design streamlined.

4) Colors

A well thought out color palette can go a long way to enhance the user experience. Complementary colors create balance and harmony. Using contrasting colors for the text and background will make reading easier on the eye. Vibrant colors create emotion and should be used sparingly (e.g. for buttons and call to actions). Last but not least, white space/ negative space is very effective at giving your website a modern and uncluttered look.

5) Images

A picture can speak a thousand words, and choosing the right images for your website can help with brand positioning and connecting with your target audience. If you don’t have high quality professional photos on hand, consider purchasing stock photos to lift the look of your website. Also consider using infographics, videos and graphics as these can be much more effective at communicating than even the most well written piece of text.

6) Navigation

Navigation is about how easy it is for people to take action and move around your website. Some tactics for effective navigation include a logical page hierarchy, using bread crumbs, designing clickable buttons, and following the ‘three click rule’ which means users will be able to find the information they are looking for within three clicks.

7) Grid-Based Layouts

Placing content randomly on your web page can end up with a haphazard appearance that is messy. Grid based layouts arrange content into sections, columns and boxes that line up and feel balanced, which leads to a better looking website design.

8) “F” Pattern Design

8. “F” PATTERN DESIGN
Eye tracking studies have identified that people scan computer screens in an “F” pattern. Most of what people see is in the top and left of the screen and the right side of the screen is rarely seen. Rather than trying to force the viewer’s visual flow, effectively designed websites will work with a reader’s natural behaviour and display information in order of importance (left to right, and top to bottom).

9) Fast Load Time

Everybody hates a website that takes ages to load. Tips to make page load times more effective include optimizing image sizes (size and scale), combining code into a central CSS or JavaScript file (this reduces HTTP requests) and minify HTML, CSS, JavaScript (compressed to speed up their load time).

10) Mobile Friendly

It is now commonplace to access websites from multiple devices with multiple screen sizes, so it is important to consider if your website is mobile friendly. If your website is not mobile friendly, you can either rebuild it in a responsive layout (this means your website will adjust to different screen widths) or you can build a dedicated mobile site (a separate website optimised specifically for mobile users).

Leave a Comment