Effective web design starts with a complete understanding of a company's target audience. It is paramount to the end user's success that there is constant collaboration between designers, content creators and strategists. However, there are some general design practices that can set you in the right direction, regardless of your industry or the characteristics of your personas.
1. Use simple design components.
The user should always be able to complete their primary goal swiftly and with ease. Keep interfaces simple and navigation consistent throughout the experience.
2. Stay away from the almighty carousel.
This web relic is not effective when your main priority should be focused content. The user's memory is practically being erased with each new slide.
3. Maximize important content.
The most important piece of content on the page should always be the most visually engaging. This can be achieved by means of size and contrast.
4. Avoid using industry terms for navigation.
The simpler the term, the quicker the user will be able to complete their personal goals.
5. Links should always be obvious.
Now more than ever, accessibility is playing a major role on the internet. Pick a specific color and style that is unique for CTAs.
6. Emphasize titles.
Users in general tend to scan page content before reading further. Section titles and important content should be called out with visual variety to make this easier.
7. Add calls-to-action.
Always give the user an optional next step at the end of each page. Cross-site linking can alleviate confusion and any extra work on their part while navigating your website.
A website is a living, breathing experience that marries a user’s personal needs to that of a company’s business goals. Start that relationship off on the right path by using these simple design methods.