What are the most important factors in the design of a website?

When building a website there are many aspects to consider; design, content, and images. But beyond these, there are a few factors that are vital to ensure your website is successful. Success can be measured in different ways but making sure you hit these targets will ensure you set your website up to rank well on search engines and that your visitors will be able to easily use your site.

Trust

Trust is the building block of any great relationship and your relationship with your designer is no different. Designers have learned the principles of design, what looks good and what doesn’t, how to frame and organize content in a digestible way, and honed these skills with each project they work on. It is a no-brainer to leverage this expertise and work collaboratively to shape the design based on their advice and best practices. 

Of course, this is a two-way street and it’s important that your designer listens to your feedback and strives to address it while still maintaining the integrity of the design.

Performance & Site Speed

Did you know that in 2021 mobile devices account for a little over 50% of all website traffic? Did you also know that 53% of your mobile site visitors will abandon your website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load? That is an enormous amount of traffic that can be potentially lost due to poor website performance and long load times.

Whenever you are working with a designer to build your website it’s important to keep in mind that every image, every functionality, and even fonts used in a design are factors in your website’s loading time. Making sure to let them know early that speed is a concern so it is built into your project from the start is vital.

User Experience

Have you ever been frustrated using a website trying to find a vital piece of content or information you need? The discipline of user experience (abbreviated as UX) on the web is making sure that there is minimal friction for visitors using your website. 

Designers and developers studying UX learn the psychology behind how people use websites and make sure their designs work with the visitors and not against them. Building a website with UX in mind makes sure that the website remains easily digestible to your visitors.

One important part of UX is making sure the website is accessible to everyone no matter how they browse the web. Sixty-one million, or 26% of adults in the United States have some type of disability, so ensuring your website is American with Disabilities Act compliant (or ADA compliant for short) should be a top priority. Making your website accessible doesn’t have to compromise a great design, it just means your developers should make sure they build the site to work with screen-reader software and other assistive technology on the backend.

Great UX is invisible; that is, your site is vastly improved by its consideration but its absence can be the difference between a successful website and a failed one.

Contiguous Experience

Because your website may potentially have half of its traffic coming from mobile devices, you should ensure that these visitors have the same experience as someone viewing the site on a desktop computer. This means that there should be no content that exists only when viewing the website with a certain device. Of course, the design will have to adapt to each device size but there should be no lesser version you are serving to your visitors. Thankfully these days responsive designs are standard and designers are better than ever at creating designs that can be adjusted for viewing on any device.