Outstanding web design is a marriage of art and science. It occurs when behind-the-scenes technical programming is infused with aesthetic appeal. The end result is a visually engaging and profitable marketing tool that appeals to both human visitors and search engine spiders. While this convergence of technological and creative skill can manifest itself in many ways, there are a number of specific factors that go into making any web design project a success.
Here are 4 Key Ingredients of Outstanding Web Design:
- Consistency. The first ingredient of quality web design involves how well each individual aspect of the site relates to the rest. In other words, the overall look, feel and functionality of the site should be uniform. One way to achieve this is by using the same fonts and color scheme on each page. Return visitors to the site should be able to immediately recognize they are in the right place, regardless of what page they find. A site that uses a bunch of different fonts or random color schemes is confusing and distracting – and can prompt visitors to quickly hit the back button.
- Visual appeal. How the site looks is another important feature of good web design. A well-designed web site is both welcoming and engaging from a visual perspective. Appealing images, graphics and complementary color schemes are all ways to appeal to visitors in those crucial first seconds on the site. From a business perspective, the only way to convert those valuable first-time visitors into long-term repeat customers is to immediately grab their attention and compel them to spend more time browsing the site. This is very difficult to accomplish if the visual impact of the design is either non-descript or unappealing.
- Ease of Navigation. Yet another important component of successful web design is how easy the site is to navigate for both human visitors and search engine spiders. In fact, this is a great example of how the invisible programming behind the site is critical to its overall success. A well-designed site will be structured in a way that is intuitive to all visitors, regardless of their online experience level or educational background. First-time visitors to the site should be able to find exactly what they are looking for quickly and easily. A clearly labeled navigation bar and thoughtful organization of the information contained on the site are both important ways of accomplishing this.
- Quality Content. Most web surfers come online to find information. Providing high-quality original content is one of the best ways to accomplish this. In fact, content that has been optimized with targeted keywords is one of the best ways to draw organic (or non-paid) search engine traffic to a web site. Great web design incorporates this piece of the puzzle seamlessly into the functionality and aesthetic appeal of the site.
Although this list is by no means comprehensive, these factors all play an important role in effective web design.