There was a time when having a working knowledge of basic web design was adequate to produce some nice designs for an average business owner on the Internet. Today, this is not the case.
In today’s Internet-dominated environment, it becomes mandatory to observe certain web design protocols as web design gives way to more advanced web development. That being said, our article below covers some of the basic website design tips that must be adhered to by developers in making a website profitable for e-commerce owners and a pleasing experience for customers.
- Ease of Navigation
- Ease of Access and Ease on Exit
- Pleasing Color Scheme
- Integrative Contract Info and Two-tier Support
- Search Engine Optimization, Social Media and Mobility
- Getting Help When You Need To Get It
According to one major small business marketing survey, half of 350 small businesses surveyed do not have a functional website. Why? Most claim it’s because they are too costly to build and maintain–but they’re thinking about it.
Ease of Navigation
Keeping it simple and not too complicated is one of the most important things a website designer needs to keep in mind. One of the Internet’s top retail sites, which will remain nameless, requires first time visitors to return several times before they can get familiar enough to look and find whatever it is they are looking for–the first time around.
Over the years, this online retailer has re-designed the site many times over attempting to make a better navigational experience for their visitors. However, as they’ve also grown as a major retailer, more sections and services have added to the convoluted design. In other words, keep the design simple!
Ease of Access and Ease on Exit
Going along with navigation, visitors need to also know such things as “Where does this site begin?” Although it may sound absurd, some major websites cause their visitors to have to ask that question.
Other websites make it almost impossible to let surfers know when their transaction went through by not offering a tangible means to confirm the transaction; moreover, some even leave visitors hanging in the air not knowing if there’s another page that’s supposed to follow.
Pleasing Color Scheme
The days of going to a page having black as a background color and tiny, dark text on it have almost come to an end. Now rarely seen, thankfully, it must be kept in mind that black or red is not the best color to use when designing a site.
Color schemes tend to change over the years on the Internet: some become vogue, while others fall out of favor for various reasons. One of the most practical website design tips is simply realizing that a website with colors that are hard on the eyes and too small to read doesn’t do much to entice return visitors.
Integrative Contract Info and Two-Tier Support
As part of one’s navigational design, having functional integrative contact information and a means to get needed support other than by a FAQ page, is a must in today’s web development mentality. Sometimes, a FAQ page doesn’t do much to answer a customer’s questions, and some websites designed make contacting the right e-commerce person almost an impossible thing. A phone number or two at the site is advisable as is an email address with an auto-response system to let people know that the site got your inquiry.
Customers need to know that there’s someone responsible on the other side of their monitor screen that may be able to help them. Frankly, the more complex the organization or e-commerce site, the greater chance there’s a need for more support other than a mere “send email” or contact form. A minimum two or three-tier system is recommended.
Search Engine Optimization, Social Media and Mobility
Having a thorough knowledge of today’s search engine optimization (SEO) technology becomes the norm when designing a website. Without it, it becomes virtually impossible to even appear in a search engine unless it’s towards the very end–20 pages or more from the first page of the search engine. You’ll be competing with hundreds of thousands of other sites in all probability. In other words, if you want the public to find your site at all, then prepare to have SEO techniques implemented throughout the website.
The social media today seems to be the trend in Internet spheres as people try to connect with others, and e-commerce sites take the opportunity to make more sales. Furthermore, being that hand-held mobile devices such as smartphones are in such wide use today, be aware that designing a website is not one and the same thing as designing a website for mobile use. However, 23 percent of the original 350 websites surveyed have websites sites that aren’t mobile-friendly–but they are moving in that direction in the future.
Get Help When You Need To Get It
The last of our “must do” website design tips is getting the help of a pro when you need it. Whatever your platform, if you’ve entered the world of the Internet, then be prepared for lightning-fast changes that require complete paradigm shifts in your thinking processes–and your time as well. Although you may not have to implement all the changes at once, changes will come for certain.
If you do your own web development that’s fine. However, you’ll also have to take time off from other aspects of your business to attend to its design and maintenance–a full-time job in itself. At this point, the development of your e-commerce site would be better served by having a full-time designer as part of your support staff. Choose wisely.