It is important to gain the trust of the website visitors and users via a good website design. The users tend to make a quick decision of the interface based on its appearance and that plays a crucial role in on their overall view of the website. It is easy to gain the trust of a visitor by designing a good interface but it is just as easy to lose it. A badly designed interface can taint trust forever.
Image Courtesy: Impresspages.org
There were several studies carried out in the U.K. based on which it was found that about 15% of the users accepted the truthfulness of the content found on the website based on the appearance of the website alone. Thus, web designers need to be aware that the design serves as a single primary purpose and that is to gain the trust of their targeted audience. Similar research shows that the users usually determine their opinion about the quality and trustworthiness of the website in the first few seconds of viewing the website. Hence a good design will not only entice the user but will encourage the user to go ahead and read and trust the content or brand. At the same time a poor design will generate a sense of distrust in the users mind about the product, content or brand being displayed.
Image Courtesy: Whatarage.com
This isn’t to undermine the work of the designers. It is quite understandable that designing a website is not an easy task. Furthermore explaining your design ideas and layout to the manager or client is an even tougher ask. However, I have listed a few website designing tips based on my experience in the industry:
Doing and saying the possible:
Not keeping promises is the easiest way to lose the trust of the people. It happens quite often that prior to the launch of a website the user are promised several features which are not finally included once the website is launched. Also in terms of navigation of the website. Users click on their desired link and instead of the appropriate content being displayed they have to view an advertisement which then redirects to the content. Such factors tend to put the user off. It is a simple rule that if the user don’t find what they expect or promised by the website, they are not going to be spending a great deal of time on the website.
Being inconsistent is almost like committing a crime. For example if the interface that welcomes the user does not somehow match with the inner pages of the website it will affect the usability of the website from the users perspective. If they don’t see what they expect, it will confuse them. It does not have to be large inconsistencies either. Several small inconsistencies will become magnified over time and cause untold damage in terms of traffic to the website.
Clarity of design in another essential factor while for a web designer. Clarity is essential when it comes to text and colors. Readability is important as is the proper contrast of colors. For example it is not a good idea to give the website viewers an unnecessary headache just because some font looks better on another color. Proper color scheme and color should always be maintained. An good example of a website that lacks contrast is mentioned below where it is hard to read the text due the color choices. http://www.pomona.edu/museum/exhibitions/2013/project-series-47/index.aspx
Context as important as Content:
It is a well known fact that content is king. No matter how good the website, without content you don’t really have anything. In that same way context matters a great deal when comes to designing a website. As an example when you writing content and place something that is completely out of context and out of the blue in the content, this will not only confuse the user but he will begin to doubt the authenticity of the very content he is reading. The same applies to website design as well. If you don’t design your buttons are images in the right manner it is bound to confuse users and mean a loss of important traffic.
Your tone matters:
The design should ideally be bold and strong and emphasis the important bits. The designer should not be scared of showing off what is on offer and making sure with their design that the user sees it. Just as a strong tone of voice exuberant confidence and encourages the customers, similarly your design creates the same effect.
Show Results Immediately:
Though this may seem as the most obvious thing to do you will be surprised how many get it wrong. To put it in simple terms, any action on the user’s part should result into the respective action on the website. A very basic example being if a user searches for something the results should be instantly be displayed with the appropriate filtration.
Change transition is a very important topic of discussion. It is more important in other forms of media than it is in web design and development. However the fact we humans suffer from change blindness is something that should be taken into consideration while designing the website. Many hardcore designers who are involved in designing a broader list of solutions for an organizations have a bigger issue with. They tend to design websites to perfections, where each page is like the previous one and only minimal content and images changes exist. With designs of these kind the users often miss certain important things since everything looks the same. Pop-up or highlighted messages are good solution for this. A good example of a bad website design is the website visit http://toordal.com/.
If you were to browse through the pages of this site, you will notice that there is very little change in the design elements from one page to another. As a result of this it is very easy for the visitor to miss the additional menu items that are appearing in some of the pages. If the website had stuck to proven drop down menu design techniques their inner page would surely have received more hits.
Never make choices for the user:
One advantage of doing things over the internet and on a website is that the user is doing it at his own leisure and exerting his own choices. Assuming what the user wants and forcing things on to them is a big turn off. A simple example is a website form with a newsletter option at the end that is already ticked off. Or a login form with the remember be already selected. Such minors details are often missed by the users the first time round and it is only later that they realize the true facts of the matter. This tends to irritate the users and they will definitely develop a level of resentment towards the site over time.
Keeping it simple not simplistic:
It is necessary to keep things simple when it comes to website design. A lot of complexity tends to cause a loss of interest on part of the user. Then again what matters is the targeted audience and the platform that is targeted. For example: the mobile users are not very patient and require all the information in concise format and fast. But at the same time that doesn’t mean you provide them with fewer number of options compared to the desktop version of the website. Since then it defeats the very purpose of having a mobile website.
It is the job of the designer to make sure the users and visitors find what they are looking for and provide them with a satisfying experience as well. It is only if the users feel that your websites is lacking information or not trustworthy that they will seek similar information from another website and try to verify it. Thus as far a user satisfaction goes the design plays an very important role. Alakmalak is a website design and development company and has been around since 2000.
They have come a long way in terms of the sheer scale of website development and size of clients is concerned. Their portfolio is quite large and consists of websites developed for a wide range of clients and an equally wide range of domains and subjects. The company has evolved as per the changes trends and outlooks of the users and clients alike. Having developed more than 2000 websites for more than 26 countries around the globe, their work speaks for itself.