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What Makes a Good Website?

What Makes a Good Website?

7 Essential Elements of Good Web Design

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

– Steve Jobs

You know good web design the minute you hit the site, because it intuitively knows what you need and delivers it. Good design is when the look, the feel, and the operation of a site work together to make you feel like you matter as a user. Design is at work when you’re hardly aware of navigating from one part of the site to another, because it feels so natural. What makes a good website? It’s when the site does the thinking for you, and you get to enjoy the experience.

So how do you go about designing a great business website? The Imagefix web design team has come up with a list of user-friendly website design tips. If you want to create a site that works to deliver what makes visitors feel good, these are 7 tips to make it happen.

  1. Understanding Customer Intent – knows its customers, knows what its purpose is.
  2. Technical Excellence – isn’t buggy, slow, or sticky.
  3. Openness and Trust – cares about safeguarding visitors’ personal information.
  4. UX Design – A Focus on Users – treats visitors like a respected friend.
  5. Unique, Authored Content – provides content that is clear, relevant, and worth reading.
  6. Good Looking – demonstrates an understanding of colour design and great imagery.
  7. Easy to Work With – does the thinking for you.

1. Understanding Customer Intent

What makes a good website? First and foremost a deep understanding of its audience. Why should visitors choose your site rather than others? A clear mission and goal for your website are imperative. Is your product or service a mere potential solution or does it genuinely enhance their lives? Strive to make a meaningful impact and provide value, rather than just the basics to your customers.

How does your website demonstrate an understanding of visitor intent? By anticipating the problem that has brought them to your site and guiding them to exactly the product that will solve it for them. It’s not just about selling; it’s about knowing the reasons, problems or desires that make your customers click through.

2. Technical Excellence

Good website design loads fast, is accessible on any device, and doesn’t have a load of snaggy errors that need workarounds. Behind every good website there are numerous carefully researched decisions that accumulate over time to create technical excellence. In the early stages these will centre upon your choice of a trustworthy hosting service, and a website creation platform (Imagefix uses WordPress) that supports your business aspirations.

A successful website design is SEO optimised and is easily accessible for search engine crawlers. It ensures swift loading speeds, regardless of the user’s location, and is responsive, which is to say it functions just as well whether it’s being accessed on a mobile, laptop of desktop.

Technical Excellence

3. Openness and Trust

There was a time, not so long ago, when a lack of regulation allowed website owners to gather, hoard and sell personal data as part of the website operation. It is now illegal to misuse customer data and the onus is upon websites to demonstrate that they are trustworthy. At the very least your website should have:

  • SSL Certificate – an SSL certificate keeps user data secure, verifies ownership of the website, and prevents hackers from creating a fake version of the site. Websites with SSL certificates have https in their url.
  • Data Protection Policy – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives visitors the right to know what personal data you collect, where it is held, and how long you hold it for. Publish your Data Protection Policy on your website.
  • Cookie Policy – cookies track, store and share user behaviour for profit. A cookie policy alerts visitors to your site to the cookies that are active on your website, what data they’re tracking and the purpose of their activity.
UX Design – A Focus on Users

4. UX Design – A Focus on Users

UX web design makes the user experience a priority, where every design element contributes to their overall satisfaction. UX design is about creating websites that are relevant and meaningful to their target audience.

Designing an experience involves making the website visually appealing, intuitive, and easy to navigate. UX takes it a step further by addressing three key questions:

  • What are the needs of our visitors?
  • How does our product/service we fulfil those needs?
  • How stress-free can we make the interaction between visors and our site?

6. Good Looking

Fonts, imagery, and colours are key ingredients to a good-looking website.

  • Fonts should be consistent and easy to read. A highly stylised font may be perfect for your logo, but a disaster anywhere else. Visitors scan content, so you’ll want a font that helps them to do this. Arial, Helvetica and Georgia are considered the easiest fonts to read online.
  • Colours matters to your visitors, but you can tie yourself up in knots trying to second-guess which colour will ‘make them buy’. Instead, choose a primary colour that fits with your product. Coke is red, Amazon is orange, Twitter is blue. Then choose one or two complementary colours, and work consistently with them across the site.
  • Imagery creates a mood, shows what you’re selling, or provides inspiration to visitors. Whatever the purpose of the images on your website, they need to be high quality, relevant (rather than wallpaper), and meaningful. Visitors like images but they’re also expert at spotting poorly cropped photos, or blurred images. Take time over your images, and invest in getting them right.
Good Looking

7. Easy to Work With

Remember what it’s like to go to a really good restaurant? There’s no waiting around, attention is given to where you would like to sit, and your drinks are on the table within minutes. The menu is a delight to spend time with and you don’t feel rushed. Of course, the food is excellent, you never doubted that it would be.

Good restaurants do the logistical thinking for you, so you can concentrate on the sensory delights of good food, drink and sharing time with others. A good website is similar, in that it is intuitive; it seems to know your every move and anticipate your needs unerringly. It makes everything you want to do simple, ensuring that the experience of buying enjoyable.

When users have a satisfying experience of a website, they’re more likely to view the brand as trustworthy, reliable, and customer-focused, ultimately strengthening brand loyalty and advocacy.

About Imagefix

Have we answered the question ‘what makes a good website?’ Each one of the design principles we’ve outlined above are addressed in the course of our early discussions with clients. At Imagefix we take time to learn about your business, your target customers, and the unique value proposition you’re able to offer.

Throughout our web design process there are plenty of opportunities for client feedback, guaranteeing collaboration at every stage. This enables us to deliver a website that aligns with your vision and meets your requirements effectively.

Would you like Imagefix to create a web design for your business? Call us today for an informal chat with one of our web designers – 01525 715608