When designing a layout there are several elements to consider to ensure that the website is not only user friendly but also intuitive with an effective layout. These are some of the elements that are important to consider when designing a website:
The navigation pane or controls always need to be placed effectively. This can be difficult considering the wide range of devices that may access your website. It may for instance make sense to place most of the navigation controls at the top of the screen when the device used as portrait style screen. However, moving these navigation controls to the left when the device uses a landscape style display may enhance the user experience. A minimalistic approach to menus and other navigation elements is a good idea as this will simplify movement of these elements for different platforms or devices.
It is important to consider that users not only have different devices that they may use to access your website but that other variables also affect the way the website appears on their browser. They may change the resolution of their display or even resize the window. All of this will affect that they view the content on their browser. It is important to design your website in such a way that these variables are taken into consideration so that the users are always able to view the content in the most optimal way for their unique setup.
3. Action buttons
As mentioned previously the users unique set-up affects the way that content is viewed. It is therefore essential that important action buttons or links are always a prominent part of what the user sees. These calls to action might be the contact button if you are offering a service or access to sales features of your website.
4. Symmetry across platforms and pages.
Although moving some of the elements around to compensate for different devices this may not necessarily ensure that the overall design and feel of the website is maintained across platforms. The users of smart phones or other mobile devices might require a toned down version of the same site that is optimized for their device. It is also important that the use of color, font and general layout is used consistent over all the pages of a website.
5. White Space
The use of white space is an essential element of web design. This ultimately ensures that a use of contrast and spacing creates a divide between different sections of your website and can also be used to emphasize important sections.
6. Animations and Transitions
It is important to find a balance between overlooking and overusing elements that draw attention on your website. Lack of animations or transitions may create a disinterest in the content on your website whereas overuse may confuse or annoy potential users.
Learning how to build a professional website means delivering what your customers want in the simplest and cleanest way possible. Keep in mind that your online presence will create an overall impression of your business and will be essential in ensuring your competitiveness and ensuring that you effectively target as large an audience as possible.