Visually Appealing Websites
Do you ever hop onto a company's website for the first time and feel like you've just entered into a hot world wide web mess? You think you're on the right page, but you're not quite sure. There's a lot going on…you can't read the information well…there's a pop-up that's driving you nuts…and there's music playing that you can't get to stop. Instead of looking for the information you need, you “jump ship” and go to a similar company's website instead. It's clean, easy on the eyes, and you get all the information you sought out to get in the first place.
The internet tells us that as a web viewer/reader we have an attention span of about 10-15 seconds before we decide if we'll “stay or go”. Now that technology has sent us down the road of exploring the internet on our mobile devices, we're sure that time span has dwindled down to probably half. Creating and maintaining a visually appealing website is one of the most important things you can do when you're in the process of developing your web presence. More often than not, that 10-15 seconds is not only the first impression your business will give, but the ONLY impression.
So what is it that we're “processing” in that 10-15 seconds? What elements of design keep us around…and what elements of design send us away?
Color is a powerful tool. Color sets the mood of your page from the get-go. A “best practice” when picking your color scheme for your site is to chose colors that compliment your business branding, and to pick two dominant colors. Think about what's easy on the eyes on a screen.
The basic principle in choosing fonts for your site, or design in general, is to limit them. There are countless fonts available, and it's tempting to use them all, but stick with two in the entirety of your site. Consider having a “fancy” or “artistic” font to add a little detail to your design, but your second should be basic. The first “artistic” font is great for headers and the basic font is what should be used for the mass of your content. This keeps your content easy to read across the board.
Images can really be the icing on the cake for any web design. Images should first, and foremost, be licensed to you, owned by you, or at the very least come with the permission of the owner. Not following this simple rule can result in thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees, so avoid using images that aren't yours.. Images in your design should be relevant, and of good quality.
Follow the 3 C's of content. Clear. Concise. Compelling. Your content should be to the point, organized, and interesting. Keeping your content current and updated is a simple way to keep your viewers coming back.
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