Web design is of the utmost importance. Research shows that we make a decision on the credibility of a website within one twentieth of a second – therefore it is important for your website to be eye-catching, informative, organized, and easy to maneuver.
Branding is key. Since we have learned to read from left to right, our eyes automatically scan websites from the upper left first. As a result, many major companies have their logo located in the upper left corner of their website for this reason. Maintaining colors schemes makes transitioning from page to page seamless and eye-catching.
Keeping the layout similar on each page will contribute to the organization and overall appeal of your website. Most websites offer a menu of clickable links across the top of each page, ensuring that the user can access new or different information with a one click. Being consistent and organized will add to the credibility of your site. This is called the HALO Effect. The HALO Effect is when a person’s first impression influences the evaluation of the subject’s character. For example, a well-designed website that offers a great impression in the first twentieth of a second, will cause the user to perceive the website and the company as an authority on the subject.
Too much content can overwhelm, confuse, and distract your audience. By utilizing the white space on your website, you can draw the attention of the viewer to clickable links or graphics that will lead to more information. If the viewer has to read too much, then they will lose interest. Give them the option to “click here to read more”. These clickable links can lead to the full article or more information.
Landing pages are great results of the “click here to read more” option. For example a City’s website may offer landing pages for their community service events. These landing pages would give pertinent information about each event; the who, what, where, when, why, and how. These pages should also not overwhelm, or confuse the viewer. Dedicating one landing page per event is much more eye-catching, user friendly, and organized. This prevents your reader from having to scroll through all of the community events for the year.
Pairing your branding and layout into one seamless design ensures that the website catches your audience’s attention. By offering important information with clickable links to outside landing pages, you will ensure that your content is not too overwhelming or taking up the user’s valuable time. By incorporating all four design concepts, you will ensure that you can captivate your audience within the first one twentieth of a second and make your website the credible resource for the user to refer back to time and time again.