Today’s blog post comes from Daphne and Luck of the Salt Design Co. Blog. These two beautiful women operate their own web design business in the lovely coastal seaport of Vancouver. Each week they offer great tips for bloggers and small business owners on how to improve their website. I am happy to feature one of several helpful blog post from Salt Design Co. on “Handy Design Tips for Your Website.”
Daphne and Lucky will be launching an online course coming soon, but be sure to check out their e-books for Branding Strategy, SEO + Web Design, Creating Community with Social Media and Living Life on Your Own Terms. Now, without further ado, let’s jump to Handy Design Tips for Your Website!
Handy Design Tips for Your Website
Being small business owners ourselves, we know the struggle of wanting to collaborate or hire other businesses to do the things we may not excel at. Whether it’s a monetary issue or something else entirely, we get it; sometimes you just gotta do things for yourself.
That’s why we decided to create the LAUNCH Web Workshop! We wanted to teach other small business friends the ins and outs of Squarespace, leaving with them with the skills to create and maintain their own websites. So, if you, like our other badass lady friends from our previous workshops, have your own website, here are some handy design tips to consider when designing your own!
This one kind of goes without saying, but let’s say it anyway. A little professionalism is important for your website (but this does not mean that it cannot have any personality). Just remember that this is supposed to represent your business which is why you would still want it to hold a level of competency that your viewers can trust. Also, remember that less is more.
Which brings us to our second tip. Ensure the content on your web pages has room to breathe. You should have nice spacious margins (the white space bordering your content) on each page and consistently throughout the whole website.
Along with wide margins, your website should have ample white space. This will result in less clutter on your pages and will also allow your viewers to easily digest the information presented on each page.
The design details of your website should be consistent throughout. If you use a certain look for headers on the page, make sure the other headers all look the same. This rule applies to all copy, imagery and graphics. You should also be applying your Brand Strategy to your website. Read more about what Brand Strategy is and why you should consider it for your own business.
BALANCE ON SCREEN
It’s important to think about the visual weight between images and text on the screen. Avoid content heavy sections (but if you must, remember white space is key to making it not overwhelming). If you’re not sure, take a step back (like a literal step back) from your computer and stare at your screen. How does it look farther away? You want the information to be laid out on your site in a manner that is comfortable for your eyes and is visually appealing. Consider designing in a grid. Grids can often help guide the design of a page so that you’re not just laying things out in any order.
BALANCE IN TEXT
Avoid any fonts that are hard to read. Learn to pair fonts and experiment with what looks good together. You’re looking for contrast, but still making sure the tone and flow of each font still work together. Generally, a classic font pairing is a Serif font (such as Caslon) with a Sans Serif font (like Futura).
Knowing how to present content on a website effectively is important as you will be able to influence where you want your viewers to look. The important information should be more prominent and obvious to your audience. Create some visual weight (such as a bold headline, or enticing photo) to the area you want to be most visible first. Instead of overloading one page with content, consider spreading your content across multiple pages. Again, this reduces any chance of overwhelming your viewers.
The menu bar of your website should not be overly complicated. Avoid using alternative names in your navigation to avoid confusing your viewers. Your viewers should not have to figure out how to make their way through your website. Consider having a stripped down top navigation paired with a more detailed site map at the bottom of your web page.
Everyone uses their cell phones to check websites, so be sure you’ve checked that your website translates well on a mobile screen!
We hope these tips help guide you to making a more effective website for your business! Don’t forget to check out more web design posts on how to crush your business goals with 6 small changes to your website and how to prepare content for your homepage! Plus, if you sign up for our Newsletter we’ll make sure you get the hot news right in your inbox, plus a ton more design tips and freebies!
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