Web Design

02 June 2017

Industry Insights

Web design is constantly changing with new trends and technological updates being introduced almost every day. In such a fast paced digital world it’s important your site doesn’t look outdated, staying on top of industry trends to ensure your site stands out next to competitors will help attract customers and increase conversion.

We’ve pulled together 5 key components to keep in mind when creating the perfect design.

1) Objectives First and foremost it’s vital to establish the objectives of the site, whether you’re designing for a client or yourself you need to be clear on what the website is going to be used for. If the core objective is sales you’re likely to take a different approach to a site dedicated to blogging or an informational site.

2) Research and ideas It may seem old fashioned in an era of all things digital but pulling your ideas together on a piece of paper or white board will help you to start building a hierarchy and layout for your website that will eventually evolve into your wireframe. Jotting down ideas is reportedly the most efficient way of brainstorming!

Don’t forget to look at what your competitor’s are doing and learn from their designs. Take some time to scroll through their sites and ask yourself the following questions. What are they doing that you’re not? What could they be doing better? What do you like/don’t like about their designs? Answering these questions will help you improve your own design.

3) Layout and navigation Navigation plays a huge part in whether your site will sink or swim. Good navigation should be clear and easy to follow, making the user experience a relaxed and enjoyable one. Don’t over complicate the navigation design with over the top fonts, colours and cluttered imagery.

Your site should tell a story and a clear layout will help to highlight the key parts in that story. Start with a stripped back, layout and add in elements when the design process evolves. Taking a minimal approach will help the users escape the noise of the online world…embrace white space! Here at Outpost we are firm believers that less is usually more.

Another way to ensure your navigation is visible and user-friendly is by implementing the ‘sticky header’. This is where the header stays put as you scroll and navigate across the site. Check out this example at Newfangled.com

4) Content The content you host on your site plays an important part in attracting and engaging users, driving consumer action and communicating your brand values. When thinking about what content to host on your site we’d recommend making messaging concise and relevant to the target audience. Striking visuals and strong messaging in the form of imagery and video will ensure the user remembers your brand and message. The cleaner and easier the content is to read the better. Cluttered web pages are often hard to read and can cause confusion – remember you want to keep people on the page!

5) Mobile Desktop is no longer the primary device for accessing the online world. In February 2017, Ecommerce Week reported that over half of traffic to retail websites is now coming via smartphones and tablets. It’s vital businesses look to optimise their websites for mobile devices, using a responsive design will ensure the layout works on different devices so there is no need to build a separate mobile site. A Google study showed that 61% off users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and will visit a competitor’s site instead. A seamless experience across all devices is invaluable.

Not all content works well on a mobile device, one of the biggest things to rethink is the main menu. Welcome the rise of the ‘nav burger’! Traditionally the menu on a desktop site is a horizontal display of main categories dropping down into sub-categories. This horizontal display doesn’t resonate on a mobile device so this is where the ‘nav burger’ comes in. Made up of three line characters it has been designed to replace the main menu bar, find out more about it here at Newfangled.com

Web design is a great way of creating a user-friendly hub of information and inspiration of almost anything. For more information on how we can help you with web design contact us at info@discoveroutpost.com