Creating a website with an intuitive web design is always a challenge. The way people use websites is constantly changing and evolving, which is why it’s very important for designers to be flexible enough to adapt to the changing times. One trick in achieving this is to be intuitive when brainstorming for ideas and concepts. This basically means that if you are a designer, you should learn to anticipate what people want, how they interact online, and how you can provide them with what they need. In essence, you are trying to predict the kinds of designs that people will find interesting and useful.
Killer Tips for Creating Intuitive Web Design
1) Always remember the 5-second rule
What is the 5-second rule, you may ask. This rule was inspired by the fact that on average, a visitor to any website or blog spends about 5 seconds in deciding if the website is worth his time or not. With that said, if the website doesn’t interest the visitor within that time-frame, then it’s not an effective website. There are a lot of factors relevant to this. Among the most important of these factors is the design of the site. If the site has a design that is too cluttered or too unfriendly to the eyes, then it will push visitors away. Needless to say, what you need to do is come up with a design that will catch the visitor’s attention from the very start.
2) Navigating through the site should be as easy as possible
Navigation is among the most important aspects of web design. Visitors should be able to browse from one page to another with ease. A lot of webmasters often make the mistake of making the navigation tabs too miniscule that visitors find it very frustrating to browse through the content. This alone can make a reader close the window and go find content somewhere else. That said, you should take the time refining your site’s navigation tabs.
3) Build the design around the site’s core message
The overall theme of the site should fully complement the the site’s purpose or message. For instance, if the site is about environment conservation or anything related to nature, then it’s probably best to use a color them that’s identifiable with nature. Such colors may include green, blue, brown, etc. It’s about making the visitor feel like he has come at the right place. First impressions are very important in design. If you don’t pique the interest of people at the start, then it will be difficult to gain their attention down the road.
4) Think about what the users need, not what you need
Before you start creating the website, you should already be aware of your target audience. This is very important because during the design process, you will always be taking into account the needs and interests of your target audience. It’s about what they want from you, not about what you want from them. Marketers often make the mistake of understanding this the other way around. As we’ve said, you must design everything with your audience in mind. It doesn’t matter if you are deciding on the header image or how the side bar should look like.
5) Be consistent with the design
Being consistent means every aspect of the design follow the same theme. For instance, as a general rule, you should use the same typeface throughout the website. The site would look all over the place if you use different typefaces on different pages. Also, make the colors consistent. Using three or four colors on the main page is often enough. The goal here is to make the site look friendly to the eyes.
6) Minimize unnecessary distractions
This is a tip that a lot of designers do not follow. Intuitive web design means understanding the needs of people and giving exactly what they want, no more and no less. As the saying goes, simplicity is still the best way to get people’s attention. A common mistake that webmasters make is that they put too much widgets and buttons on their sites. When they do this, the site looks cluttered and a total mess. Visitors will not know where to go or how to proceed. The buttons and widgets will only confuse them. With that said, just keep the ones that are necessary. Just because a widget is shiny doesn’t mean it adds value to the website.
7) The design should encourage interaction from visitors
This is the web after all, where everybody has something to say and they often want to chime in on things they are passionate about. Therefore, your design should accommodate options wherein visitors can leave comments, voice out their suggestions, or interact with other visitors of the site. Take Facebook for instance. The social networking site is immensely successful for the simple reason that it’s an interactive site where people can talk, chat, and converse with their contacts. Learn from Facebook and integrate interactive options in the design of your website.
8) Use a balanced combination of text, videos, and photos
Again, you need to take into account the type of content that people want to see. The most effective way to get the attention of readers is to give them balanced content. This means that you churn out text, videos and photos in a regular basis. This will keep them interested in the long run. Furthermore, keep in mind that online visitors have rather short attention spans. That said, breaking down your site’s content into digestible chunks in the form of articles, photos and videos will be very helpful in keeping them interested.
The next time you are tasked with creating and designing a website, you should remind yourself of the tips discussed above. These tips will significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of the final design that you will come up with. As we mentioned at the very beginning of this article, creating a site with an intuitive web design is a challenge but it’s definitely something that can be done.