It is obvious for many people as well as companies that the Internet can be a good way of being able to earn more through pushing your products and services online. Having your own website increases your visibility to potential customers who are also using the Internet. One of the ways you can even increase your brand’s popularity online is by having your own website with an excellent web design.
A good web designer is more than a person that knows howto make a webpage look good, they are skilled individuals that are able to take those creative ideas and build a well organized website to meet the mission of the business. While there are a number of things that could be considered when searching for a good web designer, it is advisable to look to the core functions of what a good website should be.
Usability & Visitor Friendly
In order to obtain a user friendly site a web designer must first organize the site as well as the content. Without organization it can be quite difficult to find one’s way around a site. Since information is the reason that most people visit websites this is important. That is the absolute beauty of the internet, information is right there at consumers finger tips. Make sure during the review of the designers portfolio that the flow and organization of other sites that they have created is well organized and flows appropriately. Other factors in a sites ability to be user friendly are the navigation system that links properly and works without fail. Web users become very distracted and frustrated when they click the navigation bar to find that the link is broken or takes them to a completely different area! The reliability of a website is extremely important as well, the site should be properly structured so that it loads correctly, every time and does not make a user sit there waiting for too long.
A site must look good, provide good graphics and have a pleasing color scheme to catch the eye and hold the attention of visitors. Remember this is the first impression given to a visitor so it must be a good one. The web designer should be one that is creative and has a flair for delivering an aesthetically pleasing site, which also accommodates or matches the theme of the site. For example, the appearance could be compared to a catchy slogan that businesses are associated with. Remember to also take the advice of the web designer for appearance suggestions because they are well versed in how sites work, as well as the impression that they give.
Your website should be easily accessible by your users. You do not want to turn away potential customers by having a website that does not function well or does not load properly. Your web design should make it easy for your users to use and should not add extra steps to get to the content that they want to see. This is why you should avoid using splash pages or welcoming pages in your site as this makes it tedious for the user. Make your website straightforward and you will be able to make your visitors stay longer in your website.
A good web design also ditches the use of audio materials in a website. Audio files can actually do more harm than good in a website. If an audio file kept looping in a website, it can become very annoying. It also adds up to the bandwidth that is needed in order to load your website. Again, this can become cumbersome for the person accessing your website and might make him leave it before he can explore the content that you have.
Also, your website should be kept simple and clean for your users. Do not confuse your users with the arrangement of your website. Your web design should be easily adapted by a user without figuring out too much how your layout works. You should label the sections of your webpage and make it clear to your users so that they know how they can find information that they need on your website. You should also avoid putting in web pages that are irrelevant and do not serve any purpose as this will only make navigating in your website harder. Keep in mind that your visitors will not spend their whole day just browsing through your website so be considerate of your users. Also, they might just move on to another website if they find the content in your website not relevant to what they need.
Another thing that you should consider, while touching the point mentioned above, is that your users differ in their familiarity of usage of the Internet and they are definitely using different types of computers as well. Your website layout should be able to accommodate this. Do not overly use flash in your web design as many people will not know how it operates, and you must also know that old computers may not be able to load it properly. Keep it as simple as you can so you can serve almost everybody who uses the Internet.
Lastly, when putting content on your website, be sure to filter it according to its importance. Provide things to your visitor only if you think that they will find some use to it. You can also put in some links that will help your visitors get more information about a certain topic. Your web design should always put your visitors in mind and how it might improve their experience in visiting your website.
There are a few things that separate a good web designer from a bad one, but the effects it later has are significant. For instance if you hire a good web designer, you are assured quality work from this designer and you would get your money’s worth. Hire a bad web designer then consider it money wasted as the outcome will undoubtedly be poor.
So, what differentiates a good web designer form a bad one? One factor is how professional they look, if your web designer has designed their site poorly with messy navigation and 2nd grade graphics, then you should obviously stay clear from these web designers. But if the site has a nice clean layout and is easy to navigate, I would advise you to inquire more about this designer, because if they’ve done a good job on their site, chances are their going to do the same on yours.
Another factor would be the designer’s portfolio, if the designer even has a portfolio. If the designer doesn’t have a portfolio then stay well away as this usually means they are inexperienced and will make quite a few errors. These designers may charge less, but in the long run, it’s not worth it. Look for a designer with a nice looking portfolio with design work that you would like. This is very important as every designer has their own style. If the style doesn’t suit you, then find another designer.
Last but not least, pay close attention to the designer’s approach. What I mean by this is how they contact you and how often as well as the language they use. If their English is poor, chances are they don’t speak English, in which case, this will create a barrier to communication, which you need to be able to go over concepts. The designer should also contact you regularly, keeping you informed on the project.
Check out our pick for web design tutorials here at ICD CDEA: TutsPlus