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You need a website and you need it to be effective – so as a beginner, the first thing you’re probably thinking of is the visual design. Whilst this will indeed be a great factor and will indeed influence the success or failure of the site, it’s not the first thing you should keep in mind. The secret to a good website is: functionality and utility.

Your visitors need to feel at home (and yes, the visuals do make a big difference), so you should make sure visitors can navigate freely, get all the information they need and want, and hopefully they will take the bait and want to do business with you. How do you accomplish this? Here are the most important principles to remember for a truly effective website.

The mind of the user

Don’t think of your own preferences – consider the user. Understand that your visitors will need the following:

  • No reading; only scanning. Get familiar with the F-pattern most readers exhibit. They don’t read the whole text, they only scan it to get the gist and to look for the interesting parts.
  • Credibility. High quality content is at the top of their minds, so make sure you provide them with interesting information that they are looking for.
  • Give it to them – now! Web users want instant gratification and usually are not patient when it comes to the information they want. Meet your customers’ expectations and give it to them right away.
  • The first option. It’s not always the right one, but your readers won’t usually be making optimal choices – they’ll choose between two or three that are easily available. Take advantage of it.
  • Control. Users hate it when new windows keep popping up. Give the reader control and let them choose what to read and what not to read.

Other tips

  • Avoid thinking. Your visitors want information right away and don’t want to think.
  • Focus attention. Use graphics to your advantage.
  • Features. Sell, sell, sell. Show visitors the best of what you offer and what you have in store.
  • Great writing. Use professional writers who are familiar with SEO optimisation.

Here’s one more thing you should remember – and this is regarding visual design and aesthetics, as any web design Crewe professional will confirm. It’s all about what the user wants and what your potential customer enjoys. Don’t make your website pink just because it’s your favourite colour; make it pink only if you feel it’s perfectly in line with your brand or if you feel your customers will be attracted to it. Furthermore, don’t be afraid of white space; keep it simple and don’t provide your visitors with sensory overload. Stick to the message. Reel them in.