When creating a website, it’s important to focus on the the usability of the interface. How will your user see your site? Is it clear and straightforward or busy and confusing? Here are some elements of website design that help a user interact with your content.
One of the most important parts of a good website is how easy it is to navigate. The faster a user can move through your site, the longer they are going to stay. In a post by hubspot.com, it talks about how navigability is important to consider. Your menu shouldn’t be too cluttered or have too many levels. This allows a user to retrace their steps easier. One website that I thought did this really well was EveFit. This website is a health and exercise site targeted towards women. Below, you can see their menu that is clear and visual appealing.
When you see this menu, you can choose what you are looking for. Workout plans? Recipes? Maybe you’re looking for motivation within the community. There is no confusion as to what you’re clicking on, even if you’ve never been on the site before. This menu is also available on the sidebar for easy navigation so you can easily jump from page to page.
A simplistic, clean website is very appealing to the eye. In a post by CommonPlaces, they talk about the use of a “flat design”. This method uses “two-dimensional/flat images which are aesthetically pleasing to look at, in combination with lots of open space, and bright colors” (CommonPlaces, 2016). A lot of modern blogs take on this concept. I think that a lot of people are afraid of white space, but it is nothing to be afraid of. For example, the blog, The Emasphere, uses few words and blank space to her advantage. Check out her homepage:
This sleek look draws the users attention. The bold colors and simple text work well and is very attractive to the eye.
Visible language has three principle factors. They are:
With all three, you create an effective and readable page. Giving your page structure that allows for easy navigation is key. Economizing the important visual information keeps it clean and simple so it doesn’t get too crowded. As for typography, using a consistent and legible font will make it easy for the user to read through your content.
Less is more. Making your page too busy will just drive users away. Music, videos and overwhelming imagery will confuse whoever is navigating your site. Some sites greet you with intense songs or animation. Others are just far too bold. Take this example from the Yale School of Art.
It is overly busy. With the image in the background, it takes away from the actual content of the site. I cannot focus on anything other than SpongeBob’s head in the background.
Another example is this site called Arngren.net. The images are stacked on top of each other. How is one supposed to find anything on this site? I don’t even know where to begin or what I would be clicking.
In our current society, it is extremely important to consider what your site will look like on mobile devices. In order for it to be a truly good design, it needs to be appealing on other devices. Most people surf the web on their iPhones and expect to be able to navigate just as easily as they can on their desktop. Companies such as Apple have nailed this concept.
When you first enter the site, it is a simple site that is easy to scroll through. The menu is simple and leaves no room for confusion. It fills the screen without being too zoomed in or out. It is clear that it was designed specifically for mobile devices.
Overall, the user has to be comfortable on your site. They need to feel confident in navigating their way through your content. If they aren’t, it is bad web design.