Five Elements for “Best in Class” Web Design

Web Design & Development
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Travis McAshan
Published Dec 2009
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Websites are a critical component for any business that strives to succeed in today’s financial landscape. But just having a website is not enough, you need to invest knowledge and expertise into the site design for the most efficient and effective online presence possible. Every website has the potential to reach its target market and maximize the return on investment, but not all succeed. It is the sites that are consistently using five core design components that experience true online success.

1. Look and Feel (Presentation)

The first component to a well-designed website is the look and feel, or presentation, of the site. It is the visitor’s first impression of your site, brand, and company as a whole. Illustrations, graphic design and photography always enhances a site’s look and feel, but not the expense for any of the other components. Visual elements should always act an appropriate enhancement of written content and functionality. Design consistency is also essential to providing the user with confidence and freedom to find information on your site.

2. Usability

In recent years, website usability has become increasingly important for delivering a quality experience online. Website usability is the ease at which a visitor can use the site. It starts with good site architecture, or structure, for quick navigation and links to easily accessible content. It should also be a priority to stay current with the latest web standards and accessibility standards, such as using CSS, HTML, XHTML, JavaScript, or PHP to your advantage.

3. Content (Website Information)

Effective content writing is one of the most important aspects of the overall design. Your company’s value proposition, and product or service should be the ‘star’ of the homepage. The text content, or site information, needs to be fresh, informational, and relevant to your target market. Most visitors will only scan content, rather than read as meticulously as you do, so extra attention must be invested to optimize its scan-ability.

4. Traffic (Online Visibility)

Your website can be the epitome of design, but it won’t be appreciated if no one sees it. A website will fail if it doesn’t have quality traffic. Quality traffic comes from three different sources. People who come directly in their browser, through a search engine, or a link from a different website.

5. Results (Goal Conversion)

The most important goal of a website is to create results for your business.  For most companies, this means generating leads and prospects and converting them into sales and clients. If your site’s presentation, usability and content are professional and you are getting quality traffic, you stand a great chance of winning business and increasing your conversion rates.

Putting It All Together

Being found on the internet is a difficult, but rewarding achievement. Once you are found, it is critical that a well designed website awaits the visitor that performs well via presentation, usability, and quality content. Only then can you ensure quality traffic and increased conversions. However, not all businesses have the internal capacity or resources to invest in these five design components. Glide Design is an Austin web design company that focuses on the five components of “best in class” design. They specialize in custom web site and logo design and deliver high quality solutions with creativity ingenuity, and tenacity. They build relationships first, and web sites second.

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