Everybody – and I mean EVERYBODY – is getting a website these days. Granted, some just want a place to keep portfolio items so they can refer potential clients to information. But by and large, businesses are depending on their website to generate business. With millions of businesses on the internet, how can you make your website stand out? Here are some ideas.
Remember Your Goal
What is your goal for having a website? Do you want to entertain visitors? Do you want to challenge their values? Do you want to drum up business? These answers are important, because the design of your website will have one, or more, of these effects on your visitors. If your primary goal is to inform and attract potential customers, then your website should be business and consumer centered. If you are artistic, and want to display your art on your website (whether it’s painting, photography, music, etc.), consider special effects such as fade-in and fade-out. If you like to make up challenges to entertain people, use hidden tabs or disappearing tabs. Just remember what your goal is, and determine if the special effect will get you closer to your goal.
Consider Mobile Devices
Hand held devices are the new phonebook/phone/map that people carry in with them. If you’re shopping, and want lunch, then you go to your smartphone or iPhone and type in their location, and look for nearby restaurants. If your website has a lot of Flash on it in this day and age, mobile devices will have problem loading it. Flash is the software used to have interactive and moving images, strobes, and other special effects. Flash has slowly been replaced by HTML 5 So, it might be quite rare to come across a website using that.
In addition, your website needs to be formatted responsively. The landing page of your website will be too big for a mobile screen if it is not responsive. To really see the benefits, take a look at the Swedish Metal Website using a mobile device, you’ll notice how everything looks as it should, even on a small screen
Make Your Site Readable
With the exception of artistic sites, the general rule of thumb is to save people time by giving them what they want. If a browser is looking for a roofer in his area, he’s not going to be intrigued by butterflies floating across the page in the form of cursors. If a shopper needs a “get a free quote” tab, that tab had better be there, and be in the same spot every time. You would be amazed at the number of business websites out there that have hidden tabs! This means that the potential customer has to drag the mouse across the page to find tabs they want. While this may make the website look architectural or artistic, someone looking for an emergency plumber will move on.
Take care, too, when designing your website to make sure the text is easy to read. A busy background or low-contrast colours can obscure your message. Make it readable, and you’ll find that you have more success.