Back in the “brick and mortar” days of business, companies used an impressive building or office to entice customers and establish themselves as trustworthy and reliable organizations. While the physical presence is still important (for companies that have one), consumers increasingly judge a business based on the appearance of their website. This makes it very important not only that you should have a website, but that it is appealing, organized, and professional in appearance. Use these web design tips to enhance the visual appeal of your site and make a good impression on your customers.
Remove unnecessary clutter – “Whitespace” in web design refers to the negative space, or space that is not filled with your content. Visually, this space is as important as the areas containing your content. Akin to a rest in music, the empty space gives viewers a place for their eyes to rest, and gives you the opportunity to control how the viewers will visually navigate your page. Plan whitespace into your overall design.
Plan your layout – Plan where you will place your logo, your navigation, your main content, your call to action, and your whitespace. Keep your formatting elements aligned vertically to give your site a more structured and neat appearance. Try sketching it out in advance on grid paper.
Give your viewer room to breathe – Make sure your content areas are not overly dense. Keep paragraphs short and to the point, and incorporate bullet points where appropriate. Leave space between blocks of text or graphics.
Consider your color scheme – A random hodgepodge of colors is a visual nightmare. You should have one main color and one or two supporting or secondary colors. You can also use multiple shades of the same color. These colors must go well together! Explore some websites that specialize in color scheme design.
Avoid busy or visually distracting backgrounds – Cultivate a clean and professional image by avoiding a distracting background that will draw attention away from your content. If you do use a graphic background, make sure it is very muted, and place your content in a box with a neutral background.
Use a professional logo – Spring for a professionally designed logo. The logo is a single graphic that represents your entire business! You want this important element to send the right message. Put your logo at the top of each page of your site, and use it as a link to your homepage.
Invest in professional photography – A good photographer will have the equipment and expertise to make your pictures (and thereby your website) stand out from the crowd.
Make sure your site is compatible with multiple platforms – Test your site from different browsers and devices to make sure it will look the way you intended to all viewers.