This month, I attended a “lunch and learn” session about the web design process. I gained knowledge about the design and development of websites, but the single most valuable thing I learned was that every aspect of your website design should be created with your audience in mind. Yes, it’s important that your website showcase your brand and be reflective of your organization, but it’s even more crucial that it caters to your audience’s needs. A few pointers I walked away with are:
- Chose a font type and size that would be easy to read and appealing to your audience.
- Use the “Three-Click Rule” – website navigation should be no more than three clicks deep for desktop users, and even less for mobile users visiting your website.
- Keep the design clean and simple, Flash free, and avoid stock photos and templates which can look cookie-cutter and do nothing to differentiate your brand.
- Design websites according to user preferences. Mobile users to your site are most likely looking for different information than desktop users, so content placement may be different depending on the device.
It is also critical to use good content for increased search engine optimization, and to ensure your website’s content is fresh and regularly updated. Keep these tips in mind also when creating your social media presence. Brand consistency should be maintained, but your audience may be different for each platform.