Website design has been one of the most financially stable careers in the last twenty years. And many businesses cite popular and well-designed websites as one of the primary reasons for success. But like most careers there exists tremendous competition as website design professionals jockey for the top contracts and opportunities to show their stuff.
Becoming one of the best web designers often takes creativity, ingenuity and the ability to evolve and adapt to current trends and web technologies. For instance, within the last 5 years we’ve seen a need to add links to social media home pages and unique company apps while maintaining call to actions that ultimately generate or retain business from clients. We’ve seen newsfeeds and pages essential truncate or edit whole stories so that major points appear at the top of the page so that visitors don’t need to scroll down to the bottom.
Businesses need to convey so many messages regarding their services that it’s practically a science. And website designers are the professional scientists making it all happen. Website designers stick to many tried and proven characteristics when it comes to website design, but the most successful know the importance of staying on top of the trends and developing new ways of exhibiting a company’s message while working the fine line of visual appeal and practicality.
If we’re willing to accept this token, then we should also consider that the best website design only exists momentarily and will shortly be outdone by another website designer using existing sites and new tools to design an even greater more efficient design.
But even with advancements and improvements to website design there are many tried and proven techniques and characteristics that most designers likely never steer to far from. For instance:
Color palettes. A company’s brand is near the top of the list in all marketing matters. And besides identifying and maintaining a great tagline, slogan or logo, a company almost always sticks to color recognition. Often, website designers are given a simple color scheme to follow in their design, but are given the freedom to find colors within the color palette to compliment a company’s brand.
Easy to find call to actions. If you think of some of the most successful online businesses you may notice that it’s always easy to find where you need to go to hand over your money. It’s no secret that web designers and the companies they work for need to make it simple for you to purchase a product. That’s why you are likely never to have a hard time finding where you input your credit card information.
Updates. Websites are living and breathing entities. The best ones are at least. Websites without visual or textual updates are stagnant and are more likely to be re-visited just a few times before a customer or client has gained all they will from it and move on. So what does this all mean? It means that website designers will add features that will update with seasons or with recent company news or recommendations, etc. The best websites give us customers a reason to come back to find out more.
Uncluttered. This is often linked to having an easy to find call to action. Research has shown that many visitors follow distinct identifiable patterns when it comes to how they view something on a page. Now it stands to reason that most people who read one of the Latin-based languages will first look towards the left side of a web page (as we would when we read anything in print), but people are also likely to focus their eyes on images or buttons or colors that stand out apart from the rest of the page. Some of the worst designed Web Pages contain too many distractions and are likely to be too confusing with too much clutter. The best designed sites will organize pages within a site so that they are easy to navigate.
Useful. While it’s true that more and more business have a need to have a website, there is still a great need to identify what it is each business is going to accomplish with their website. If a business is small and needs to establish a local presence, then it would likely stick to things like hours of operation, directions and some company news. What it probably doesn’t need are links to national organizations, updates to news that is unrelated, nor any superfluous applications or modules. Websites need to be functional and have a clearly defined purpose or run the terrible risk of becoming irrelevant really quickly.
All of this being said, it’s important to note that the best website design practices are always changing, leaving a whole new breed of website designers waiting just on shore of uncharted waters.