Why Web Design Is Not Only About Coding!
Initially, web design was all about creating pages that suit the algorithms of search engines to ensure you are among the ten spots on page one. Search engines mainly Google came up with new technologies and updates to sift the good from the bad, the trick for most designers and web masters was to create web pages that withstood these changes and aimed for the coveted first three spots on the results page. However, two things are now demanding a shift in the concept: the most recent Google changes and the realization that high viewership does not translate to customer conversions.
The backhanded tricks and shortcuts employed by designers and web masters to get high ratings such as creating multiple sites with duplicate content and stuffing pages with keywords among others have been noted by Google and such sites are dropping fast to the bottom. Eliminating farm links and allowing the latest and relevant data to be easily updated means that web designers have now to create fast and light pages whilst webmasters need to keep the latest content on their sites.
The other and perhaps greatest factor was the low conversion rates of browsers to clients. The numbers indicating the influx of site viewers did not simply correspond to the numbers showing how many clients were converted by the website. A little digging showed that tag titles, photos and other luring information brought in the viewers but did not convince them enough to subscribe to the service or product. Either that or they did not stay on the site long enough to be converted into believers. To counter both of the above shortcomings in websites demands looking into the concept that is ergonomics.
What is ergonomics?
How human beings interact with factors in their environment, physically, socially and importantly psychologically. The field of ergonomics is quite broad but narrowing it down in context to the web, it relates to people’s actions and reaction when they are browsing online. Research shows that many humans browse the website with the following mindsets.
When web searching, most people treat a website as they would a newspaper. They flip through the pages until they get what interests them. In this case, a user will skim through your site and one of two things happens. They will get interested and stay or lack what they want and leave.
The KISS principle- Most users keep it simple when using the Internet. Despite the features on web search engines that allow them to search by content, date and even location, a good number do not even consider these tools.
Web browsing is similar to shopping. The first instinct would be to walk into the first store that catches your eye instead of going around until you get the perfect. Though some users would rather look for the best few do so especially when it comes to the Internet.
How to make user-friendly websites as a designer
- Use less variety when it comes to font sizes, different colors (both text and background) and font typefaces. These tend to distract the user and create visual noise making them leave the site as soon as they click on it.
- Place relevant, useful and informational content on the website. It might be interesting and have relevant keywords but it will not help them to turn them into clients.
- Reduce the links on a single page giving the user too much option and drawing away from the primary factor, the original website. If the site requires many links have leading and subheading links. Such that some are displayed only after accessing the category, they want. It helps them in navigating and specific searching.
- Give text in simple, easy to understand language and keep it short. If the website has a lot of information, give it in leading pages. Users will prefer categorization in different pages rather than scrolling one long article all the way to the bottom. Short is fast and easy to read. Having leading pages also allows you to increase your chances of recognition by the search engine bots.
Both search engines and the users will go for simple yet relevant websites resulting in better rankings for the sites and a better reputation for you respectively.