Insights / Website
“And the first place for best website design goes to…”
The emcee then proceeds to read out a name that isn’t yours. The crowd goes wild and you’re clapping too, but on the inside, you feel frustrated. You’ve poured your blood, sweat and tears into this website, only for it to fall short and lose. You ask yourself why. After all, your website looks amazing and is up-to-date on the latest trends and designs. What do other websites have that you don’t?
This article will cover some of the key elements that most website design/development competitions base their judgments on. These points would benefit even those who aren’t looking to get competitive with their website, as they would still help in building an amazing personal/brand website!
User Interface (UI)
It goes without saying that your website still needs to look tip-top. The overall look that you choose for your website should be aesthetically-pleasing while bringing across your brand identity, personality and image appropriately. With visual design, there are 2 main tips to keep in mind in order to elevate your website:
Stay True to Your Brand
In that sense, the user interface design should stay true to how you want to consistently present your brand, in addition to being relatable to your audience. Is your brand in the luxury and premium category? Or is it in the youthful, movement-driven department? The overall atmosphere of your brand should be communicated through the visual design in order to accurately register the persona of your brand in the users’ minds.
Create A New World For Users
Moreover, design should be more than simply being “pretty”. Therefore, it should seek to create an unforgettable experience for the users through its visuals, which would then engage them to continue exploring more content from the website. In some ways, it's almost as though you’re creating a world for them to get “lost” in.
2. Content & Writing
Your website’s design might be breathtaking, but if there isn’t any content behind the looks, I’m afraid you’re going to lose out on brownie points. The term “content” doesn’t only refer to the textual information on a website, but also to everything else that lends to the overall message of the website.
This would include elements like:
- Images & Videos
- Sound effects
- Products & services
In all these cases, the content included in your website should be engaging, relevant, brand appropriate, concise and proofread. All these factors reinforce your brand image and brand voice, which strengthen viewers’ overall perception of your brand. If your content does not have a clear message or direction, users would be confused as to what you really stand for and the potential to really engrave your brand into their minds would be wasted.
Furthermore, if your content is not properly presented (e.g. with grammatical errors everywhere), your website and brand might lose its credibility by coming across as unprofessional to the users. Great content provides meaningful insights in a masterful manner and leaves people wanting for more.
User Experience (UX)
1. Functional Interactivity
You’ve got your design and content plan settled, but the real challenge now is actually making it functional. That’s where UX comes in!
When a website works well, loading becomes a breeze and users can glide through the entirety of your website without a care in the world. With the help of tools such as live links and scroll-to-top buttons, users could conveniently navigate through the website. Your website should also work across different browser platforms independently and should also be able to be responsive in adapting seamlessly to devices of different sizes and dimensions. One should also take into account those with special access needs and how they can also engage with your website.
All these features that motivate interaction may be categorized into 3 types of audience interaction, which are:
- Interaction with the website itself
- Interaction with other users
- Interaction with the makers of the site (you)
Depending on your brand, you can consider which of the 3 types of user interaction to focus on and enhance in your website for optimal interaction. Every feature you include should go towards encouraging participation and not just spectation (unless it serves a purpose).
2. Structure & Navigation
Most websites house a library's worth of information, and if it isn't easily navigable, users will have a nightmare of a time going through your content to get to what they want to know.
There needs to be order and organization in your website, which will take users to where they need to be in just a few simple clicks. An intuitive website design would anticipate what users would be looking for in relation to the brand and would then organize the structure of content according to the prioritization of information.
User-friendliness encapsulates all the previous points into one, in which a website should be made with the user in mind. The design and content should be created to be digestible by the targeted audience and the navigation should ensure their ease and convenience as they sail through your website. The main message of your website should be apparent to them from the get-go and all the pages involved in your site should serve to enrich their understanding and experience of your brand.
Creativity & Innovation
Ultimately, go crazy with your website. You don’t want to make it look like any other basic website out there; that’s been done before. Explore your creativity in both areas of UI and UX and let it show off your brand’s personality. Yes, you’ll need to keep all the other points in mind as you do this, but don’t be afraid to explore your options and try new things that will help your website stand out amongst millions of others.
Think about how you’ll be able to differentiate yourself and make your brand engaging through the use of new technologies. For example, you could opt to use add-ons that either gamify or provide convenience to your website, which would elevate users’ experiences with your site and brand.
Every website is unique, and although these are the main criteria that judges in website development competitions would base their decisions on, the most important point to remember is that you should retain your identity at the end of the day. Your website should reflect the beliefs, ideals and heartbeat of your brand in the best way possible! However, if you’re not joining a competition and would just like some guidance on creating the most stunning website for your brand, hit up a website development agency right away!