At about this time every year, you can find articles on various Charleston web design blogs about the “10 Worst Websites of the Year,” or something along the same lines. The examples you will find in those articles are websites that do everything wrong, from incomprehensible navigation structures to endless glitches to just plain ugly-looking color schemes. Why put out articles like this on web design in Charleston, SC? Is it just because the authors want to gloat and point out the differences between bad web design and the great websites that they create? That might be part of it, but actually, you can also learn a lot about how to create good web design in Charleston, SC by thinking hard about terrible examples. Subconsciously, you already know what your brain wants to see in a website, and if you can look at a bad site and put into words what it is that you object to, you are well on your way to avoiding that problem in your own creations.
Navigation is probably the biggest area where web designers go astray. The most common problem is trying to do too much at once and confusing the website visitor. That could mean putting a link to every single page of your website right on the home page, assuming that it’s ideal to offer the visitor single-click access to whatever they’re searching for. In reality, seeing 20 different links at once just overwhelms the visitor, as you will quickly realize if you have the misfortune to visit a site like that. You would much rather see just four or five links to larger categories, then narrow down your options later.
Minimize the Chaos
People who design a website for the first time often get carried away with the sheer volume of color, font, and other graphic design choices that they have in front of them. There are so many great options—why not use all of them? Before you give in to that temptation, check out a few websites on one of those “worst 10” lists and notice how many of them use several different fonts and a kaleidoscope of clashing colors. They look a little bit like an art project created by an enthusiastic child—certainly not the impression that you want to create for your organization.
The websites that you think of as your “go-to” resources are most likely extremely simple in terms of graphic design. Just take Google, for example, with its single search bar, icons for a few frequently visited sites, and a simple logo. As we often say, web design in Charleston, SC is not the ideal venue for exercising your “outside-the-box” sense of creativity if your goals are to get visitors to stay on your site, encourage them to navigate to other pages, and prompt them to contact you directly. Instead, make things crystal clear and remove any colors, fonts, and moving images that will distract the visitor from the purpose of the site.
Make it Work!
Surprisingly, functionality is a major issue for a lot of websites. It’s not as simple as you might assume to get your new website’s pages to load immediately on any kind of device—that might mean creating slightly different versions of the site for computers and mobile devices. Beyond that, though, consider factors like page load time. Websites for professional photographers, for example, often run into trouble with slow page loading, as each page typically has many high-definition photographs to display. Even simpler websites, though, can take several seconds to load if their hosting arrangement is not ideal. Those seconds seem like an eternity to the average smartphone user today, and that user won’t have the patience to wait for each of your website’s pages to load.
Ask the Charleston Web Design Pros
Don’t let your website end up on a list of the “10 worst websites of the year”! Even if it’s not that bad, the fierce competition for Internet users today means that only the most carefully designed and user-friendly websites will end up getting the kind of traffic we all want. For your new or redesigned website, have the experts at PalmettoSoft put their skills at your disposal.