A Little Bit Of Pretty…

Posted by kdmdesign

A Little Bit Of Pretty...

Visibility • Reach • Customer Service • Competition • Credibility

 

Last week we touched on websites, and gave you five reasons, shown above, as to why websites are an important tool for any business.

This week we would like to talk more about websites and discuss how important the visual aspects of a site are.

So, we understand how a website can help our business and know that it can reach a widespread audience, no matter where they are. We understand how it can provide our business with a much-needed visual presence, and, it is something that gives our company brand that little more credibility. Now, let’s talk about why good visual design is important for our websites.

Donkey in the darkAccording to the Netcraft January 2014 Web Server Survey, there are currently over 851 miliion websites in the world today, all of which are hoping for that magic click, to invite in the masses, and all of which, promise to take us to the world of our forbidden desires!

Sadly this doesn’t happen for most of us, and more often than not, I visit many websites on a daily basis, who’s primary aim, seemingly, is to launch a visual attack on my eyeballs, rendering any creative excitement I have, or ever will have, catatonic.

In addition to this, some websites are the most complicated things to navigate your way around, and in order to get from A to B you must first, become champion of the Krypton Factor and then, navigate the London Underground in the dark, backwards on a blindfolded donkey!

Sometimes you can never find what you want on a website. Sometimes, the information is simply not there, and sometimes, you can’t see the wood for the trees.

So, lets discuss how to avoid an out and out assault on our clients eyeballs, annoying, or boring, the living daylights out of them, and allowing them to see just exactly what it is we do, with ease.

 

Here are a few things to consider when designing an effective website.

Make it clean and inviting

We have all had the pleasure of visiting www.ohwhatfreshhellisthis.com at some time or other, so let’s ensure your website doesn’t make it to the hit list.

Choose your elements carefully, ensuring you only really include what you need within the design and organise them in a coherent fashion. Employ white space in your design and ensure it is clutter free. Elements must compliment each other and share a common style –  a design, which can be employed throughout the whole site.

Ensure your viewers aren’t frightened off by some flashing, rainbow coloured monstrosity, running around the screen – keep it simple, stylish and clean.

Visual hierarchyVisual Hierarchy

Employ visual hierarchy in your design. By placing your elements in an organised manner on page, it allows the eye to flow round the design from element to element, whilst absorbing the required information, in the right order.

Visual hierarchy is the order in which the eye identifies what it views, or rather the pattern the eye takes across a path of elements and their distinction.

Elements, which prove to provide the most contrast to their environments, tend to be recognised first and foremost by the mind. Visual hierarchy is used frequently in the visual arts, and graphic design in particular. This belief is based on the Gestalt psychological theory suggesting that the brain has an intuitive capability to arrange individual elements into an organised manner. The brain separates elements based on their physical characteristics of size, character, colour and alignment.

Text

Make sure all text on websites is legible, as this is where most of the information about our company lies. Provide snippets of information, which will lead the viewer to further information, should they desire it, don’t give everything you have to offer in the first instance.

Type

Ensure you have selected complimentary typefaces for your website, which may be the same or fit well with typefaces used so far in any visual design work you may have, and, that fit the look and feel of your company.

Make sure the typefaces you use compliment each other. Whilst some may work separately with one graphic, or a visual, throwing more into the mix is where things can get tricky. Despite what you like, NEVER, compromise the design.

Our guidelines for typefaces are choose two to see you through, three at a push. Employ these typefaces throughout your brand and stick with them.

Make sure you use hierarchy of type, style your text, ensuring certain words or sections are sufficiently highlighted in order to direct the viewer to the relevant area with ease.

Ensure you use reader friendly typefaces. Not all computers do have the same libraries. So while you may think you have the prettiest fonts to fit with your site, think about different systems, which may substitute that, ‘little bit of pretty’, with the software default. Nice!

Also, wherever possible, use real text. This will help with tagging and with your SEO, allowing the search engines to find you easier.

Navigation

Don’t assume everyone who visits your website are code creatures and regular site surfers. There are some out there that do find technology and indeed, the Internet, quite daunting.

Place navigation in an obvious position and clearly mark sections of your website. Keep your navigation in the same position throughout the site, so your viewer knows exactly where to go to navigate the site. Finally, guide your viewers to their desired sections/location within a quick click or two where possible.

Picture perfect

Ensure all imagery you use is the correct size for your site. Some websites require us to have magnifying glasses to see some of their imagery, whilst others, have obsessions with Lego men and Space Invaders.  Make certain all imagery relates and resizes well to its design, both on desktop and mobile sites.

Colour

Colour is so important in any design. Choose colours that suit your company and the line of business you are in. As with typefaces, keep them to a minimum and don’t have your site looking like a swatch book. Do a little research into colour and find the right combinations for you and the right colour to attract your audience.

Be responsive!

I don’t mean wake up and pay attention, I mean drag your site into this decade, do what others are doing and allow your clients to find you looking dandy on whatever device they have. More and more sites are becoming responsive, as time goes on, making it a more pleasurable viewing experience for our sites at smaller sizes.

So whilst most of the world, think that Java is a type of coffee, and the avid code creeper speaks it as a second language, visual design needs to bridge the gap between the two worlds.

Creativity and knowledge will not only deliver a clean and effective design solution but it will help bring that little bit of pretty to the world also.

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