Honestly, it is fascinating to see how new websites are emerging almost every day. People out there actually are taking designing and designers seriously and not just tagging them with someone who “makes pretty things” and “delivers as per the deadline”.
But again, here’s the issue, watching a couple of videos and reading a few motivating books is enough to make you believe in something that is not absolute. The same goes in this situation, being a website designer is not just about it. It goes beyond psychological factors and imminent user experience research work (there’s more to it, might cover it sometime later).
So, all we're saying is that to conquer and kickstart web design, watching a couple of videos, and trying to find the motivation to do something from someone else’s work is not enough. As a startup/ entrepreneur/ business, you need to have that hawkeye to evaluate all the aspects as per your “needs and wants”.
I’ve got you covered here, need not fret! Here are some quintessential areas you can keep in mind while kick starting web designing,
- The Five-Second Testing.
- Make it easy, kick start with a web design strategy.
- Put in an effort to design and develop.
- You have to fail but fail fast.
- Don’t play “guessing games” with the users.
With this context,
The Five-Second Testing.
It’s the BACK button that is used the most on any website. And trust us, as vague as it sounds, it holds that much credibility.
And that gives direction to the thought that you just have 5 seconds to make an impeccable impression at first glance.
Anyhow, Five-second testing is a form of usability testing that ensures you make sure how well a design communicates with the user.
A usability test is run by showing an image/app design/ graphic design/ prototype or for that instance, a website to a user for just five seconds. After this interpretation, they need to answer questions based on their memory and impressions of the design.
Why just 5 seconds?
It has been discovered that visitors only spend a few seconds assessing your website and contemplating whether to stay or leave. Another study has also found that users can make an initial decision in as little as 50 milliseconds. Isn’t it quicker than the blink of an eye?
So you have to make it quick, use characters of surprise to amaze your user. Use graphics and texts to persuade them. And once, you have their attention, bombard them with your value proposition.
Make it easy, start with a design strategy.
Get it together and have a design strategy in place.
Apart from all the conspicuous and awe-inspiring graphics, you need to plan everything that you put on the website.
To do this, ask yourself as many questions as you can. For example, what is the message you are trying to convey to the user with your design? Is the website design representing your association with value? Is your website leaving any impact on the user through the design? Why is the design even there in the first place?
Alright, I’ll make it even easier for you. Don’t know where to start the strategy planning, then help yourself by following the methodology, design thinking.
After having a concrete design strategy, all you have to do is to evaluate the strategy from beginning to end. Once you have thoroughly jotted the web design strategy, move it to web development to turn your website into a reality!
Put in an effort, to design and develop.
As you are already putting efforts into other facets of web designing. Then, why not do the same while designing and developing?
And this is where sitemaps and wireframes do the magic!
Not the ultimate magic. But trust us, they are the crucial elements that give you an idea about what your website will look like. And you can make updates according to the desired needs.
A sitemap is a categorization of pages, a kind of table of contents that outlines what pages relate to which content on a website. It allows the user to see the layout of your pages and the order of their hierarchy. It’s the process by which pages relate to each content.
Whereas, a wireframe relates to the visual design of a website. It often starts very sketchy on a piece of paper and is later developed using software tools to make it more concrete.
Therefore, it's about time to do the research and brainstorm. It will allow you to understand the essential elements of your website and design it conveniently, with less hassle.
You have to fail but fail fast.
Ever heard about the “MVP” website? In basic terms, it is a perpetual experiment.
A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product that is developed quickly and placed in the market to learn users' wants and revise the products to meet those wants.
An “MVP” website isn’t developed precisely until it is perceived to be perfect; it is developed with the only intention of seeing how users interact with it so that it can be improvised further.
The foremost assistance of developing an MVP website is that one doesn’t run the risk of meticulously developing a website just to find that it doesn’t accomplish the wants of the user. It is developed quickly and inexpensively with characters that are placed in response to the observation and interaction of the user.
Have consecutive feedback regarding your website design and pivot your design as per the user's interest.
Actual user experience guides the design process, not just the intuitions while developing. It allows a site to “fail fast”. But it’s a win-win situation. If no one wants or needs what the website offers, you get to learn this without spending a penny.
The lean methodology works the best here.
Don’t play “guessing games” with the users.
Let’s talk about dating, nowadays.
If you are interested in someone you’ll keep putting hints in from of them, until they finally get the idea. However, in reality, no one likes playing guessing games or reading hints when they are interested in something. Well, it’s different when we talk about dating. If that person is interested in you they will get the hint.
But hey, it’s different here. Users will not be interested in going through this situation until they are actually getting what they want. This will just bring you a high bounce rate, nothing more than that.
The reason might be, you are pressuring them in guessing and letting themselves guide through the website, aimlessly. But again, you might say that this will make them curious to know more or will engage them to be on the website for more time (which you do want, but not in this manner).
Make sure to let them feel comfortable with simplifying the service you are providing vividly.
Instill a vision for what they are looking for is exactly right in front of them. Communicating the message effectively is one of the design exercises that shouldn’t be underestimated. It's not just about how you portray it, but how to portray it and resonate with the user in just 5 seconds!
Clear and concise navigation that is consistent on all pages. The navigation labels tell the user where they will be taken when they click. The navigation should be kept short to avoid confusing the user.
And the list goes on. There are different audiences out there, and the website should be designed and tailored to their needs and wants. The interface shouldn’t be cluttered. It is very crucial to maintain order and simplicity. So, if your design may win from cutting down unnecessary information and simplifying the interface, give it a try - but always evaluate the effect.
As Somogyi Miller puts it:
“Believe in what you are doing. If you are solving a problem, believe in your solution or method. If you are selling something, make sure it’s the best version it can be and always be improving it. Never fly blindly because you think you know more. Always assume you are missing something and do the reading, research, and work. Trust your advisors. Honoring the people who came before you and using their advice is key to your success.”
To tell you the truth, we’ve been striving to this process and have realized this is a problem faced by multiple businesses in the startup ecosystem. And, one of the aims to create Spoke Design Labs was to fill this gap and help startups curate their best web designs, by making the process transparent and creating a source of truth everyone can relate to.
So, these are tried and tested ideas you can incorporate that are relevant to all startups out there!
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