But content is not the only concern when creating a website that will hold visitors’ attention. The importance of website design, color and layout is fundamental to marketing, possibly even more so than content. If a website does not appeal to visitors visually, bounce rate is extremely high as they don’t hang around long enough to even read the content.
Wouldn’t it be a tragedy to produce killer content for a site and it never gets read?
Get your website’s design, color and layout right and visitors will stay longer.
Color in Website Design
Consider color carefully – for backgrounds, highlights, banners and text. Color is very subjective and can sometimes evoke opposite emotions in people. It can also have different meanings in different cultures. For instance, red in some European cultures can be associated with danger, love or excitement. But in China, red is for celebration, happiness, good luck and is the bridal color.
So… identify your target audience and understand the importance of color for your website design. If you want a global audience, then it might be wise to mix different colors.
Another good rule of thumb is to avoid extremes that are a blow to the eyes. Use a mix of hues, tints and tones to attract people and keep them engaged.
Visual Design and Website Layout
It is part of human nature to make snap judgments based on first impressions. The importance of website design and layout is huge because it takes mere seconds for a visitor to decide if they like your site enough to stay.
A study conducted by British researchers asked participants to comment on first impressions of certain websites. 94% of comments were about design related issues and only 6% about the content.
First impressions can depend on many factors relating to the layout and visual design of a website. These include photography, graphics, structure, color, page symmetry, font, amount of text, and white space. Other studies have concluded that the design of the “above the fold” area on your home page needs to be great. Otherwise people won’t scroll down, let alone visit other pages on your website. Once you lose a visitor, it’s hard to entice them back.
Balancing these factors will lead to longer visit duration and higher conversion rate.
The sections that attract the most interest, in descending order, are:-
- Main image on the page
- Main navigation menu
- Search box
- Written content
- Bottom of the website
The message is clear – invest in design!
Responsive Web Design
Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a specific approach to provide visitors with an optimal viewing and interaction experience across a whole range of devices, from desktop computers to mobile phones and tablets. This makes for easy reading and navigation by reducing the panning, resizing and scrolling that is needed.
There are major benefits to incorporating RWD into your website design.
- The site is fluid, so content can move freely across all devices and screen resolutions.
- Optimal viewing experience, regardless of location or device.
- Recommended by Google as best practice for website design.
- Reduce costs substantially. You only need one website for all devices instead of one for desktop computers and another for mobile devices.
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