Beautiful web design doesn’t just come out of thin air, great web design comes from a carefully planned and thought out process that not only communicates a product or service but is functional, easy to navigate, communicates the right message and is as enjoyable as possible. To help make a website beautiful it is usually the case that a web designer will ( and should ) use an invisible grid system. In this blog post, we are going to discuss three ways you can use the grid system to create beautiful web experiences.
When I was doing a piece of design work recently I had a conversation with one of my colleagues who was adamant that you shouldn’t use more than one font per design. Now I respect the views of others greatly, in fact, the whole point of the design is to delight others whilst communicating key messaging. But this way of thinking, can be very rigid and lacks room for creative freedom which is important when designing anything. How many fonts can you use in your designs? I believe, sometimes, more than two!
You have probably heard it over and over again “is your business online yet?” or “create your own online presence”, but where do you start? Do you hire a web designer or do you try to save your money and design it yourself? One area to consider if going for the web designer option is the website hosting you choose.
In this post I am going to share what you should consider when first developing a new website and what to do as your website contenet grows and hopefully, your audience and profits increase, I have wrote the post in a fashion from the very start of a websites life to the large succesful website. To begin, lets discuss what website hosting is …
UI or user interface is getting a much larger attention than ever before. Getting your webpages just right for your users is really important but quite a difficult task when you are designing something in the way you think looks best.Google Analytics offers a way for you to test different layouts for particular pages and then find out which pages are most likely to complete conversions than others. I want to show you in this post how you can also do this to improve your websites UI.
If you haven’t already the first thing you need to do is create a google analytics account. This is a totally free thing to do and it will allow you to study your website, what is working, how users navigate your site, what pages are most used and which pages aren’t so successful amongst many other things. It is well worth your time and I am sure many of you already have this great feature on your site. If you don’t then what are you waiting for? Simply follow the instructions that google provides and sign up right away! ( If you need any help or guidance please leave a comment below).
Goals are a versatile way to measure how well your site or app fulfills your objectives. You can set up individual Goals to track discrete actions, such as transactions with a minimum purchase amount or the amount of time spent on a screen.
1.Firstly on the main dashboard of analytics press conversions and a drop down list will appear like in the image above. Once about press goals > overview.
2. You will then be given a page like that below. Put in the url of the page you are wanting to set up an experiment in the blank box.
3.You can set up a goal for many things. How about making sure take the action of arriving on a particular page that will lead to a purchase? Use the url destination radio button. Or what if you just want people to stay longer on a page to make sure they read the information you are providing? Then choose Visit duration. It is pretty self explanatory. Once you have made your selection of which goal radio you will be given another form to fill in. For this example i am seeing how many people will arrive at my blog from the home page so using URL destination (See image below).
With our goal set up, we can now start to create experiments in google analytics to determine which of our pages will perform the best in terms of visiting the blog from the homepage.
1.Under the ‘Content’ section of the main left menu, select ‘Experiments’.
2. You will need to make several variations of your webpage that you want to improve conversions on ( i recommend at least 3 ) in order to have a more meaningful test. Whatever CMS you are using you just need to create more pages and publish them in order for google analytics to be able to find those pages you want to test the original to.
3. Watch this video from google and it will guide you through the rest of the setup.
4. Once you have completed this stage it just a matter of time waiting for visitors to come and try out your new page.
5. Google Analytics will give you a tone of results and a percentage of what the likely hood is that your new designs will outperform the other or not.
Step 8: Arriving at a Winner
As mentioned in the previous step it is just waiting for enough visitors to use the page to arrive at a winner. Whether it takes three days or three weeks to arrive at a conclusion, you can be confident beyond reasonable doubt that the winner of the experiment will indeed be the best performer in terms of the goal that is being measured.
Step 9: We Have a Winner, What Now?
Depending how confident you are that one of your new design will outperform your original design in terms of the conversion set then you can replace that page or not.
Also, you need to consider all variables that may have effected the experiment. How many people visited the original design compared to the other design samples. Do the visitors have the same tastes in design or not? As you can see it is important to analysis the data and not just take it at face value.
If you need any help with your experiment don’t hesitate to contact me and I will see what I can do to help you, best of luck in improving your UI.
Yes, as promised here are 5 more blog directories to submit your fantastic and informative blogs to. I do spoil you guys!
BlogsAvenue is an blog directory on the Internet that allows you to get more exposure for your online publication. Every submitted blog is available to the public, and it displays some useful info like: a thumbnail of the homepage, some site information (owner, URL, category, etc.), the rating of the site, a set of SEO info (PageRank, Google / Bing backlinks, etc.) and the reviews (if any). Plus, you can check a statistics graph with unique daily visitors and pageviews for the present day, week and month referring to the blog site. Registration is necessary.
To add your site to BlogsAvenue, you must register first. Then select “submit blog” from the right sidebar panel. Here, add your blog URL, title and description of your site (160 chars minimum), RSS feed URL, and choose a category that represents what your blog is about. Last, add the BlogsAvenue reciprocal code to your blog to activate the submission.
Go Blogz is a free directory and search engine where you can submit your URL to promote the content of your blog to a wider audience. Registration is not mandatory.
To submit your blog to Go Blogz, just add the title and URL of your site. Then, write a brief description for your blog and enter a reciprocal link. Last, add your e-mail address and you’re set.
Malatya is a free RSS directory where you can submit your website RSS feed to obtain more traffic and exposure for your content. Registration is not mandatory to use the service. After you submit your RSS feed, the editors at Malatya will manually check your feed before displaying your content inside the directory.
To submit your RSS feed to Malatya, please choose a relevant category that describes your blog content and then enter the URL of your RSS feed.
Society of Socialpreneurs
Society of Socialpreneurs is a blog directory and social business network where you can submit your website or blog and get more exposure. The blog submission process is free as long as you place a button with a reciprocal link promoting the directory on your own website. Registration is not mandatory.
To submit your blog to Society of Socialpreneurs, after you post their button on your website, just provide your name and e-mail address, the title and URL of your blog and write a description for your blog.
Pingates is not a blog directory nor an RSS directory where you can submit your website. What Pingates does is send a “ping“, a notification, to a handful of sites alerting them that your blog has been updated. Then, the web crawlers of these websites can come by and notify their readers of the update. No registration is needed.
To ping your blog using Pingates, simply type the title and url of your blog, select the sites you want to send a ping to (you can also check all of them with a single button) and then click on “Send pings“.
I will add one more blog post about top blog directories to add your blog to in the near future.
When creating a professional web design the designing effective homepages is one of the most important pages on your site. It is usually your shop window, the door to your potential sales and the place where your users will usually know whether they want to go any further on your site, so you can imagine, its vital that you get this page right, you don’t want to give a bad impression before your users have even entered the site but what is it that really makes for a great ux homepage?
We all need purpose
Everything in this world created by us humans needs purpose and websites are no different. You may argue that there are many pointless websites out there, but even if they are pointless…that is still a purpose, by being pointless, isn’t it? . Your first step in designing a homepage is firstly identifying your website’s/business goal & then developing your homepage’s purpose. Keep in mind that your main website goal is slightly different from your homepage goal.
Is your main goal to sell more of your product or service, create more brand awareness or start communication? Then does your homepages purpose relate to this? Are you wanting to target a specific service that isn’t selling as well, or are you wanting to try and sell a product or a service? Is it purely an information site? Do you want people to subscribe to your blog or gather emails for newsletters and promotions? Whatever the reason is a well designed call to action is vital to influence your website users into taking the action you want .
Call to Actions
What is a call to action? A call to action is a way of asking visitors to do something, take action! Usually, for most businesses it is to close a sale or to at least suggest finding out more information about a product or service that will eventually lead to the close of sale the business wants.Sometimes though, it might not be the goal to sell, it may be to get your visitors to sign up to a newsletter, make contact or subscribe to your blog. Never use “Click here”, “Read More” or “Learn More” these are not good call to actions, they are not informative or appealing enough to entice someone to act. ( 37 Call to Action to Get People to Read, Click and Buy ).
A well designed call to action will entice people with an exciting offer or something that will really appeal to your target audience.
So you have decided what business goal you are going to try and create a call to action for. You want to sell a specific product but saying “Buy this amazing product” is not really going to sell it. You need to put the customer first, customer is king when doing web design and you really need to understand their needs in order to create a perfect homepage. One way of doing this is creating persona’s. A customer persona is creating an artificial customer, someone who might use your site, what they are looking for, even their hobbies and other websites, apps and things they might use outside of work. Here is a website with a quick guide in how to create one ( Website ). I will be creating another blog post on this and a free template to download in future.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, thus whoever your target audience is, the visuals must be targeted to them. Is your market 16-29 ? Then look at design trends for that age group, what are they buying? What are they listening to? What would appeal to this group? Are they 40+ the established professionals? What would appeal to this group? What about your business industry, what is working on the business leaders sites?
Keep in mind your branding colours at all times when designing your graphics, make it identifiable as your company but don’t be too concerned that you make all your pictures match the brand colours, it will make it all just brand in a little too much and be quite a dull page.
No one likes complex navigation. Minimalism is the way forward
Although seeing a pretty graphical website at first does make everyone think oooooooooooooooooooo…pretty, if it isn’t a useable interface people will become frustrated and the pretty pictures will soon become ugly. Websites are about usability. Make sure you can do these three things when accessing your site : –
Identify the brand and product you are selling instantly by including your logo and company colours from your style guide.
Make it easy to find the contact details of your company
Make it easy to navigate to any page that the user wants
Why do this you are asking? Well it has been scientifically proven that after 8 seconds the user will make a decision whether or not to leave.
The content of a book is not on the front page, websites are no different
The homepage is not the place to go crazy on textual information! It is the page to guide the user to whatever it is they need from your site. It is important to include a “brief” description of what your company does with a link to the about page. The home page is not the place to write a long blurb about your company’s history or founders how will that enhance the user experience? It won’t. If the user really wants a back story then that information should be left for the “About Us” page.
Make more than one option and test it
You’ve used the tips i have provided and drawn a few different layouts but how do you know which one would be the most succesful? Google Analytics provides you with a treasure trove of great tools to delve deeply into what pages are working, what is successful and what isn’t. It also provides an extra option called “experiments”. With this tool you can test a multitude of homepages that you have created so that when a visitor arrives on a particular page you the user will be given one of the new pages. Google Analytics will then give you some results to allow you to compare how succesful the new pages have been compared to the others in order for you to choose the best option for you to make the most conversions ( I will be writing about how to do this in the very near future ).
If you have anything else to add please do make more suggestions and best of luck with designing your homage web design.