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Top 5 Principles of Web Design for Small Businesses

Creating a beautiful website these days is much easier than it used to be whenever I first started to gain interest in web design. They are several free website builders out there that you can sign up for to create a website that is sleek and engaging for most of your site’s visitors. So, it is easy for someone new to web design to assume that a web site looks pretty, that its automatically effective, functional, and suited for every user that comes to their site.

These generic websites, or templates, are not designed with your small businesses in mind. That is because every website and business all have different goals, experiences, and effectiveness that they are wanting to achieve for their customers.

That is because website design is more than just looking being visually appealing. Yes, design is important, but it is also the combination of how well it functions, it’s usability for the user and the quality of the content.

Since your website should be reflection of your business, you want potential clients to leave with a positive impression of your website and have a clear understanding about your cores values and why they should choose you over your competition. Google does care how sleek and modern your website is to look at. Their main goal is to provide their users to the most reliant websites with the answers that people are searching for. If your website is poorly designed and does not meet Google standards, your site will not perform well and leave with nothing by high bounces rates and low conversions.

A good way to make sure that your potential customers are given the right impression of your website is with Bracket Designs top five web design principles

1. A Clear Purpose

The best way your website needs to always be designed with their users in mind. The most effective way to do this is by having a clear purpose for the viewer

Web designers ensure every site, page, and section they work on has a clear and definitive purpose that it aims to address. This could be anything from providing information and offering entertainment to allowing a type of interaction and completing a transaction.

Our website designers make sure that every, section, page and website we create always reaches the goal of having a clear purpose. Some examples would be providing rich information, creating an engaging interaction with an element on the site and getting them to sign up for a newsletter that you publish monthly.

Busy and over designed websites with too any elements don’t work either, you have to find a balance between too little and too much. Because if you go overboard with content then the user will end up feeling overwhelm and confused. Therefore, great web design is built with the purpose of always being relevant, simple, and engaging with your potential clients.

2. Speedy Load Time

So, you have made sure that your website has is always clear and purpose. What about when your site takes too long to load? You can fix that issue but making sure that all your content is optimized to load quickly to avoid gaining a lower Google ranking. This issue is that we are a society of instant gratification and have a plethora of choices of companies to do business with. So, there is a very small percentage of people who are willing to wait around for your websites content.

There is no reason to freak out though if you do have a slow website, there are so many tools and tricks that you can use to help improve the speed of your website.

Some examples of how you can improve your websites load time is optimizing the images that you are using, integrating your code together into a single file that stores your CSS (how your website looks, colors and style are stored here) and JavaScript (interactive aspect of your website, like a pop up window). Also, minifying your HTML, CSS and JavaScript code will optimize your site as well.

The challenge of improving your websites speed and performance is a never-ending task, so it’s important to stay up to date with any changes that occur by using Google PageSpeed Checker on a regular basis.

3. Typography

One of the most overlooked impacts of a website’s performance is not just how much text content there is and the how much reading someone does on your site but the typography that is used throughout your website as well.

Just by understanding the basics how to properly use the typography on your website, will put you a lot further than most sites on the internet. By using contemporary looking fonts like Futura, Gill Sans and Arial within your paragraphs and avoid having decorative fonts, will keep your website much more readable for visitors.

A question that you might have now is, “Okay, but what’s the most ideal font size then for your paragraphs? 16px is what is recommended for most small business websites. Also, makes sure to keep your font styles to no more than three across your website. That includes headings, paragraphs, buttons, form, etc.

If you follow these rules for fonts and even colors, you will keep the viewer focused on your website and keep them from leaving to check out your competitor’s website instead.

4. Communication

After you have a basic understanding of typography, the next principle that you should take into consideration is making sure that your communication is consistent and clear for your audience.

Society wants to receive information as quickly as possible on every type of medium, so you need to make sure that your message gets to the point by keeping it simple and straight forward. A good example of this would be the different types of product that your business might offer customers. You would want to provide the product images and information in the most organized way possible. At the same time, making sure to use good design practices by using bullet points for information and subheadings to avoid confusing the user.

Adding more information isn’t always the best way to communicate a message. Your ultimate goal should be getting your message across in the fewest elements and words as possible, while still keeping the attention of your potential client.

5. Mobile Friendly

You simply cannot avoid using responsive design on your website. Especially, since half of all web traffic is mobile. It is paramount to make sure that your website works and can be viewed across every type of device and screen size that a user might be using. To be honest, who wants to sit there and, on their phone, must zoom in on every element on a site to find something? Most importantly, by designing your website to be responsive will also help your Google search rankings as well.

If your website isn’t mobile friendly, it’s best to have your website rebuilt from scratch. It’s honestly the easiest way to save time, money and frustrations. There is a term in the web design community called, mobile first. This is the idea that you always start a website design by designing the mobile version of a website first then move to tablet and finally desktop. By doing this, you avoid a lot of headaches by having to figure out what to do with all the elements you made if you design for desktops first.

The perk of doing it mobile first is that it allows you enhance your design by following the most current user experience practices.

We love digital marketing because every single day, there is something new to learn and discover. You find out how people think, how they engage, what they want and desire. You can help more of your visitors find you by making sure that your website is always performing to its highest potential by following these five principles today. If you are curious to see how we could implement these principles into your website, feel free to contact us.

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