Designing websites is an amazing job.
When creating a website, you see many things that you do not pay attention to on a daily basis.
Website design combines web design (designing a website layout), user experience, and many other things.
As complicated as it sounds, it is not. how you can turn website design into great fun that will give you a lot of satisfaction and the recipients of your website?
What is Web Design?
Web design is a relatively new term, so there is disagreement over what this direction is and who can be called a web designer. Let's try to clarify.
The concept of web design in a broad sense refers to the process of creating websites, which includes technical aspects of development, structuring information, creating a visual shell, and transmitting information to the Web.
For a more complete understanding of what the creation of a website is like, you need to imagine what stages the page goes through from its conception to the start of its functioning on the network.
Drawing up technical specifications: The beginning of work is characterized by detailed planning of the goals and functionality of the site, estimates are made for its structure and design, and then a detailed list of works is drawn up, which is approved by the customer. The project manager is in charge of this.
Usability: At this moment, a fairly wide range of questions is determined, from what the structure of the pages on the planned site will be to what the most convenient option for presenting information will be in this case. This requires the collaboration of a manager and a designer.
Graphic arts: The designer creates a visual representation of the site, including a variety of elements designed to both make the page more functional, and simply decorate it. After that, the site layout in the form of a graphic drawing is approved.
Layout: Working together as a programmer, the designer implements his idea in the form of code that will allow the image to be displayed in the browser.
Web Mastering: The last stage, when the site is placed on a hosting, filled with information, and proceeds to its promotion to the top of search engines. The site is already available to users.
Where to start web design?
Designing websites starts with defining the role that the website should play, that is, its purpose.
You've guessed right - there are all kinds of websites that come in handy for other purposes. We distinguish the three most popular: landing pages, one-pagers, and classic websites.
There are of course big sites (portals and so on), but that's a completely different topic.
The simplest websites are a landing page and one-page.
Although they are usually small (only one page), they have quite a lot of content. However, they differ in purpose.
What is a landing page? Which is most often used to collect contacts or concentrate on traffic related to some action. There is usually not much content on landing pages, but you can clearly see the purpose of the page. Landing pages don't usually have a menu.
One-pagers are "stretched" ordinary web pages. All information is on one very long website.
The most important content is always at the top. So, in short. One-pagers have menus that refer to subsequent section headings.
Designing and creating websites of this type requires a specific approach. Although they seem simple, they are very demanding and it is better to start your adventure by creating pages from something else.
Especially that designing pages is most often associated with "ordinary" pages. They have a home page, subpages with the offer, news, and contact. You could say that this is standard on the Internet.
In addition, users know their structure like their own pocket.
If you need a business card online - a simple one-pager is enough. Do you want to put a bit more information on your website (offer, blog, etc.) and expand it over time? A classic website will be just right.
Now that you know what, it's time to start how, i.e. web design.
What is the purpose of your website - this is where web design begins
You need to know what the purpose of your website is. Thanks to this, the page you design will be understandable to users.
If you run a business, the user must know from the beginning what you have to offer.
For example - you have a car repair shop. The user must know that he has entered the website of the car repair shop and can use specific services.
The purpose of such a website is to inform you about these services, and thus - attract new customers.
Having a clearly defined goal is essential when it comes to web design. Therefore, you need to think carefully and clearly define the purpose of your website.
Once you know what the purpose of a website is, you need to think about who the audience is.
Web Design - Define your audience
Your website will not only be viewed by search engine robots. Therefore, you need to consider who the audience of your website will be (and are).
After all, that's what you want to reach out to, right?
Determining your website audience is directly related to the purpose of your website. After all, they are to achieve your goal.
Website design defines such profiling as " creating a person ".
So you have to think about what exactly your users will want and who exactly they will be. Personas are just "perfect users."
You definitely have some user profile of your website in mind. You have to think about what exactly he needs, what his preferences are, why he is on your website and what should be on it so that you can achieve your goal.
For example, the ideal user of a car repair shop website will be a person who needs a car repair.
He wants to know what services the workshop provides, where it is located, what hours it is working, and how to contact it. They will look for this information on the website.
It is on your side to put them in a visible place.
In other words: creating a person will allow you to better adapt your website to the needs of your users.
Remember - (good) website design is closely related to responding to the needs of specific people. That is your ideal users.
Once you have defined your audience, it will be easier for you to define what the user wants to find on your site.
Creating a website for the user, i.e. what is to be on your website
Once you know the purpose of your website and determine who its ideal user (or users) is, you can start working with the website.
The time you spend thinking about the purpose of the website and the needs of users will pay off.
Especially that such a well-thought-out website will respond to the needs of your users, and thus - achieve your goal.
The next step in web design is to clearly define what should be on the website.
Designing a website at this stage is about organizing the content.
Start by writing down what you want on the page. It can be a long list, you don't have to worry about it suddenly becoming dozens of items.
Then try to group these things together - it will help you a lot in the next stage. Leave the prepared list for a few days. Two will do, really.
After this time, take a look at the list again and treat it as a user. See which things are relevant from the perspective of each person you have.
Each of them will be looking for slightly different information, so you need to take that into account. For example, someone looking for an auto repair shop will search for a contact, location, and opening hours. This information must be clearly visible on the page.
Now is a good time to clear your list of excess information. Some of them may be completely unnecessary.
You can remove them from the page or add them at the very end. This grouping of information into categories will help you to separate it on the page. You'll see how it will make your job easier.
When your group information, number it in order of importance.
The most important things at the top, the least - at the bottom. Once you have broken down the information this way - find the key things in each group.
This information should be on the home page. You don't have to develop them, they just need to inform users what you offer them.
If they want to know more, they will definitely move on.
Ideally, you should provide the most important information in the form of keywords that are search phrases. Then the home page communicates well what you have to offer and positions itself well.
What subpages does your website need?
Once you know how you can share information, you can start creating subpages. Think again if this information is duplicated. If so - think if it should be so (and if it is needed by users to achieve your goal). Each of the subpages should correspond to one of the groups you have created.
If you have three or four groups - perfect! The structure of your website is practice-ready.
If you have more of them, consider how these groups relate to each other. Maybe they have a common denominator? Remember that it is better with fewer elements.
Minimalism is very useful when designing websites because it allows users to see what's going on right away. They do not have to look for the information they need because they are immediately visible.
The structured information on the website also has a psychological effect: if the website is made smart, then on the other side there are professionals who are worth trusting.
And from there, it is only a step to achieving your goal by users.
Paper and pencil - they make web design easier
It's good to scratch yourself. Especially when you don't have an idea of how to go about visual web design (following the trends) Remember: it's always worth being inspired, so
it's a good idea to browse a few pages that you like and draw conclusions. That's why it's good to start designing your website with a piece of paper. Once you have the elements that should be on it, you can break them down into subsequent subpages. Make each page one page.
Place subsequent elements on each of the "subpages" (remember to maintain the hierarchy of importance). You don't have to be afraid of deletions.
Testing - a key element of website design
The help of loved ones cannot be overestimated. Before showing your website to users - ask your friends what they think about your project.
Remember to ask them the same questions.
This will make it easier for you to refine the design.
Of course, it's worth starting by asking them how they like the site. Then ask if they understood what you want to convey and if they could easily achieve the purpose of the page.
To make it easier, of course, you can tell them what your goal is. This will make it easier for them to answer you if the purpose of the website is clear.
Then gather these comments and think about how to implement them. And is it worth introducing them? After all, this is your website, but your friends are also good testers - their opinion is worth taking into account
Positioning the website and SEO - you have to remember this when you start designing your website
If you want to reach people, you need to remember about positioning your website. Good keywords, alternative photo descriptions, title, and description of each page - that's the bare minimum.
You must also remember the hierarchy of headings - thanks to it, search engine robots will find it easier to orientate themselves on the page. If you act locally - remember about the so-called local SEO. That is, about adding place names to the selected keywords.
Graphics on the website
Designing a website is also about choosing good graphics. If you have your own photos in good quality, the topic is almost closed. Photos on the website do not have to be in high resolution. In practice - the smaller (i.e. the less disk space they take up), the better.
A website with a large number of large photos loads slowly, which has a negative effect on its positioning and forces users to wait. The ideal width of the photos should not exceed 1200-1400 pixels.
It's always a good idea to compress them and add alternative descriptions. Remember: browser robots cannot see graphics, but are happy to "read" alternative descriptions of photos.
The most important elements - web design in a nutshell
The main page is always the most important. This is where you put key information and elements that users should find first.
Remember that the higher these elements are on the page, the faster users will find them. The home page is also the first page that the user sees. Therefore, it must be legible and contain key elements.
There must be a menu on every page.
It helps to navigate users on your website. Remember that this element should be as understandable as possible.
So the typical and hackneyed names of subpages in the menu are what your users expect. After all, website design is often based on proven solutions. Home page, offer, price list, contact, customer feedback, etc. - such a menu structure will make users find what they are looking for faster.
Internal links are also an important element of each page.
So if you put a segment dedicated to the offer on your home page, it is good to include a link in this segment that will direct users to the subpage with the offer.
When placing texts on the page, remember to maintain the so-called hierarchy of headings. The header may appear as bold large text.
In fact, headers play three main roles on a page: they inform about the subject of the text below, organize information on the page, and are useful in positioning (search engine robots will find information in headers faster than in the text).
Also, remember about the hierarchy of headings - thanks to it, users will know which information is general (relating to a particular group of information) and which is detailed.
Most importantly, there should only be one H1 heading per page; such a header should contain the name of the page (i.e. on the contact page it should be "[your company name] - contact" or "Contact with [your company name]").