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Web Design: What Makes a Good Platform?

Web Design: What Makes a Good Platform?

May 24, 2021

Your website is the one-stop digital space that represents your brand – a place that shows off your services, products, and features while creating a platform for people to make connections around your company. Consumers are heavily impacted by their experience on your platform and more often than not, brand impression is contingent on this fact! 


Optimizing the front end presentation of your company’s image is an essential step towards increasing visitor engagement. This starts with understanding, and re-evaluating website design. 

What is Web Design?

Web design is the process of brainstorming, visualizing, and implementing content on a centralized digital platform. Effective web design relies not only on front facing visuals, but also optimizes functionality and user experience in order to drive traffic. Web design is broad and includes elements and platforms such as web optimized apps, user interfaces, and mobile friendly interfaces. 

Visual and Functional elements

Visual and functional elements in web design work together to create a satisfying platform that the user interacts with. Here are some examples of both to consider for your website:


Visual

  • Written Content
  • This is the meat of your website, your content is what makes your website worthwhile to navigate. Strategic text placement that guides the eye is an essential consideration to web design 
  • Fonts
  • Fonts are an extension of your brand image, so choose a font that compliments your overall design. Your font should strengthen the brand cohesion of your website!
  • Colors
  • Colors are usually the first, and most important thing that customers notice on your website. Focus on colors that complement your overall design and align with your brand image!


Functional

  • Navigation
  • Ease of navigation is important in determining whether your website functions properly. Optimize your website navigation for your target market in order to improve visitor’s overall experience.
  • User Interactions
  • Instead of automatic pop-ups, consider simplified interactions to give the user a sense of personalization and control. 
  • Site Structure
  • The way your website is structured plays an essential role in both user experience and search engine optimization – poor navigation can lead to difficulty understanding your website and by extension, poor site ranking. 

Adaptive vs. Responsive Web Design 

Understanding the difference between adaptive and responsive web design will help your company determine the best tool for your website design needs. 


Adaptive web design websites are customized for specific screen sizes using static layouts. There are two main kinds of adaptive designs: adaptive based on device type, and adaptive based on browser width. When the site or device detects the space, it selects the web layout most appropriate for the screen. This form of web design allows for faster customization and faster-loading pages. However, certain effects and features of your website can be restrictive to the certain responsive sites you’ve optimized it for. 


Responsive websites are fluid, using flexible layouts that adapt to the size of the screen regardless of device – responsive design relies on changing the design pattern to fit the space available. These websites can use breakpoints to create a custom look and are constantly changing according to the screen they are being viewed on. Responsive design allows for a wider range of experience regardless of device type and has more variety in website templates. On the other hand, they are generally harder and more meticulous to design. 

Good Web Design: Elements that Drive Engagement

Strong, Purposeful Color Palette

Color schemes/placement is one of the, if not most essential elements to good web design. A strong color story can be the difference between a good, and amazing website – creating cohesiveness throughout your brand. 


The biggest mistake businesses make is incorporating too many colors to their design. A spectrum of colors reduces the cohesiveness of your website and becomes too visually distracting – aim for two or three colors in your main design elements. Start out by picking your primary and secondary colors and stick to its color way when creating new elements for your website, graphics, and other platform visuals. 


Calls to Action

A well designed website can be a great tool to convert traffic into valuable leads. Websites are meant to serve as a bridge between your content or services and those who are interested in your brand. Retaining this connection should be the goal of your website. 


Calls to actions can be strategically incorporated into your website at different conversion points, such as in email newsletter, exclusive invites, or free subscription services. Gathering the contact information of your visitors at these points allows you to continue a point of contact and hopefully convert them into customers. 


User Friendly Design 

At the end of the day, an effective website is one that is optimized for the users, not just palatable to search engines in order to boost rankings. Making sure that your platform is accessible to your target audience should be the first point of concern before ranking considerations. 


Good user experience comes in many forms. A successful website will know how to capture the attention of a visitor in moments – It only takes 0.05 seconds for a visitor to decide whether or not they'll stick around on your website. High quality content and imagery catches attention but good website flow is what will guide the user’s eye throughout the page and drive engagement to your content.


By prioritizing user experience, search engines will be able to detect value as your users revisit your site and spend more time on it. Placing emphasis on user experience optimizes your website for visibility in the long run and establishes the grounds to foster loyal visitors.  

Web Design Starting Points

Now that you are familiar with the tools of web design, and a clear picture of what makes an effective website, you can jump right in and create your own platform! There are many options on where to start: complex website design requires a process of designing and converting said design to code in order to build out a sophisticated platform. On the simpler side, there are many website builders that offer package services and layouts that require very little experience to navigate. If you’re looking to build out a solid, all-inclusive website at a fraction of the price, StratDev’s team of talented developers offer full-stack website creation services that can help optimize your website to fit your brand needs. 


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