The World Wide Web is full of websites hoping to attract visitors, whether they are there to sell products and services or merely there to provide important information. Because of this, every web designer tends to have the exact same goal: to bring visitors to their website and keep them there. Unfortunately, this isn`t always easy since both web design and usability have to be taken into consideration when it comes down to it. If you are having trouble fulfilling those goals for your own website, then here are several tips to help you out:
1. Make a good first impression.
First impressions tend to go a very long way, so make it a point to ensure that your website looks great at first glance. Visitors won`t appreciate it if they visit your website and see something that doesn`t look very put together. Now, this doesn`t mean that you have to focus solely on your website`s appearance, though. There is no need to use a ton of Flash and Java effects just to make a good impression, for example. While looks do play a part in the beginning, usability is still the most important thing, so try not to add too many fancy graphics to your website unless they can actually enhance your visitors` overall experience in the end.
2. Focus on functionality.
Having said that, the best way to create an amazing website would be to outline all of its functional requirements first and foremost. Most of the time, an online presence isn`t static because change happens all the time – design work included. This means that design is actually an ongoing process, wherein you will have to find better user capability and efficiency as time goes by to help you achieve your original online-searching goals. Either way, though, it will always be possible to integrate usability with presentation. However, it would generally be more advisable to begin with usability and then work on your website`s overall appearance afterwards. Ideally, you should create a website and then see what works and what doesn`t work first. Then, implement the necessary changes while addressing your site`s functionality and just deal with how it looks later on.
3. Communicate with your visitors.
Truth be told, the only real way you can figure out if your web design is appropriate and usable is to ask your visitors directly. To do this, try adding a short poll or a feedback form regarding user experience onto your website that they can fill up when they have the time. Their replies are sure to provide valuable information, and may even point out problems that you might not have even noticed yourself. Getting this kind of feedback firsthand will also help you combine function and form for an amazing user experience that will make your visitors keep coming back. Just make sure that there is an opt-out available, as well, so that your visitors don`t feel like they are being forced to fill up the forms while they are there.
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