Web design is about a lot more than just making your site look aesthetically pleasing.
That's not to say that things like color schemes and high quality images aren't important, because they are.
But it's about more than just visual artistry.
The other half of web design centers on user interfaces (UI) and user experience (UX).
People need to be able to find exactly what they're looking for, as quickly as possible, with as little thought as possible.
There's a popular design book called Don't Make Me Think.
Make that title your mantra.
People only have so much time in the day. If your website's confusing, and they can't navigate it easily, they'll just leave.
If your bounce rate is higher than you want it to be, there's a solid possibility it's a design issue.
That's especially true if your site wasn't put together by a professional web designer.
If you're a solopreneur handling everything yourself, it's all too easy to accidentally sacrifice usability for what you perceive as aesthetic appeal.
A recent post from ShoeMoney hones in on two of the biggest offenders: tiny, unreadable, faint text that's hard to read; and confusing navigation.
Your Users Need Glasses to Use Your Site
This is a central element in web design. Readability is key.
But if a person with 40/40 vision needs glasses to read your content, they’ll go somewhere else.
There are tons of fonts out there. So which one do you choose?
First, don’t use Comic Sans. For the love of anything pure, do not do it!
And there are some pretty awesome looking fonts that would make for horrible web copy. Don’t be tempted by flowery fonts or bad ass fonts no matter if you are a heavy metal band or an actual flower company.
If you choose the right fonts, your website will magically look a whole lot better. And the font you choose will have a psychological impact on your brand. So be careful.
If you want to seem respectable, use Serif fonts. They’re clean and easy to read. If you want to seem like a stable company, use Sans Serif fonts, they’re clean and modern and bold.
If you want elegance, use script fonts like Bickman Script. If you want to convey friendliness, use Cooper.
Minimal research is needed to find clean and excellent fonts. So, there’ no excuse for illegible type fonts on your website.
Your Users Get Lost As Soon As They Arrive
Navigation should be the first thing you think about when designing your website. Flow charts are excellent for this.
Start with your home page and work your way outward. Every link should go somewhere meaningful on your site. And there should be zero dead ends.
Intuition is a great thing. It helps us navigate life without having to think too hard.
But when something defies our intuition, we get frustrated. This is where intuitive web design comes in.
There are certain givens in web design right now. When you design a page, you need to balance the left-right assumptions of your users.
Where do you immediately look for a menu on a web page? The left and right corners, right?
This is intuitive to most people. Don’t put the navigation bar where people will never find it.
You can learn more about common website mistakes that scare off customers over at ShoeMoney.