As we all know, web design trends are changing from one year to another. Sometimes they appear and disappear in a matter of months, other times they maintain themselves for year. Still, there are some basics that are unchanged from the very beginning of web design – and below you can find the five most important tips to keep in mind, no matter how old school or modern your website would be.
1. Never use Welcome Pages
Welcome pages – mostly used by business websites – are used to briefly tell your visitors about who you are, what you do and what you are trying to sell them. These pages are completely unnecessary, and annoying for most of the visitors. Remember – the visitors come to your website to discover your offers and services for themselves. There is no reason why you should leave them waiting on the welcome mat instead of letting them enter your website directly.
2. Go Easy on the Banners
Ads are the way of websites to finance themselves to be able to offer their visitors loads of quality content each day. They have their role, and they serve their purpose right, but only as long as you don’t exceed with them. Hiding your content under a series of intrusive banners or between loads of animated ads, and an excessive number of calls to action (like click here for more information for example) will be a turnoff for your visitors – and will ultimately tell them that you are desperate for money. In the end, they will either use an ad blocker (and your ad efficiency will tend toward zero) or abandon your website completely.
3. Keep your Navigation Clean and Simple
A website is not a maze, but a tool you use to sell your products or services, and make some money in the process. Providing a clean and straightforward navigation menu for your visitors is vital for them to find their way around your website. If they can’t, they will surely move on to a competitor.
4. Use “breadcrumbs”
Make sure your visitors always know on which part of the website they are at the moment. The easiest way to do this is to provide them with a so-called “breadcrumbs” navigation, which indicates not just the part of the website they are at, but provides them with an easy way to take one step back. Be sure not to confuse your visitors, so they won’t abandon you in the end.
5. No Audio and Auto-play Video on Site!
I personally hate when I visit a website and a nice tune starts playing automatically as soon as I arrive. I like to listen to music while browsing, but I have my tastes, and they are most likely not the same as yours. Background audio and auto-play video are maybe the most annoying website elements ever invented – avoid them at all costs, or your visitors (yours truly included) will quickly leave never to return.
Keeping these five basics in mind will help you create a more professional, usable and user-friendly website, offering your visitors a better experience – and giving you the chance to turn them into customers in the process.