12. January 2017 · Comments Off on Most Costly Mistakes in Website Design · Categories: Web Design · Tags: , ,

The secret to securing your success in our digital realm isn’t much of a secret. The overall success rate of your website boils down to three primary elements: design, content, and speed. The visual design and layout of your website determines whether or not a visitor will continue to explore its pages while the content is used to solidify visitor interest. However, if you have a terrible website design, then it doesn’t matter how eloquent or breathtaking your content may be. In all likelihood, no one will go past the front page.

Throughout this article we’re going to delve into the various design elements that are considered not only the most common, but also the most costly, mistakes. If you’re serious about creating an effective and powerful website, then you must spend as much time working to avoid these mistakes as you do working to create a new and vibrant website.

Mistake #1 – Overused PDF Files

The majority of website visitors loathe PDF files to gain access to standard information. The primary reason for this is because PDF files disrupt their reading flow. The last thing you want to do is implement a design strategy that inhibits easy reading. The disconnected navigation and irregular formatting of PDF files is among the quickest way you can ruin user engagement.

Mistake #2 – Walls of Text

This is considered one of the most erroneous mistakes within the website design world. When was the last time you came across a giant wall of text and thoroughly read it? The answer is likely never. The average internet user simply scans content to grab bits of information they find useful. However, if the information is lost within a wall of text, this level of interaction is inhibited. More times than not, a user will simply exit a website before attempting to read a block of text. Break your text up into smaller paragraphs and utilize sub-headings and bullet lists.

Mistake #3 – Unwavering Font Size

Perhaps the most annoying encounter a website visitor will experience is font size that doesn’t adjust based upon the device they’re using or their browser settings. If you choose to utilize static font sizes, you’re putting the needs of your visitors in the background. One of the pillars of effective website design is respect. Therefore, you must respect visitor preferences when it comes to text size and allow them to resize text to fit their specific needs. Actively specify font size not in a fixed number of pixels, but rather in relative terms.

Mistake #4 – Bulky Unoptimized Design

Whether you use a generic third party template from a company like ThemeForest or you build something from scratch, a very common mistake we see in web design is unoptimized design. This can include bulky CSS that isn’t minified, too many JS calls, or even redirect strings within the site’s own code. Unless you have the world’s fastest web hosting then you’re most likely bogging down your website. To test the speed of your website, consider a tool like Pingdom to run one-off tests. Then you can adjust your code, install a caching plugin and make server tweaks, then re-test and see how your site’s speed has improved.

12. October 2016 · Comments Off on Reading Web Content – The F-Shaped Pattern · Categories: SEO, Web Design · Tags: ,

In the quest to cultivate a high-performing website, there are many elements that must be considered. Of course, the key to sustaining visitors and retaining their attention is based in the design of each page. While there are numerous categories and design tips you can follow, the most effective tip – especially for those who feature content heavy websites – is laying out content according to how the majority of Internet users read.

According to the latest eyetracking studies, where researchers monitored the areas of a website the majority of visitors look when the page first loads, the typical user reads content in an “F-pattern.” This is to suggest that when your website loads, their eyes move along two horizontal lines immediately followed by a vertical column. This F-pattern holds the key of enhancing user engagement while simultaneously stimulating your conversions as you’re able to customize the information laid out based upon their natural reading style.

The Three Components of F-Pattern Reading

This dominant reading pattern exists across all industries and demographics. As mentioned earlier, the typical user consumes written content and all accompanying visuals within an F-Shape. This unique reading pattern can be broken down into three primary components:

1.) First Horizontal Movement – When the website loads, the user typically scans across the upper portion of the primary content area. This is where you should place the most imperative words and information as this sets the stage regarding your authority and whether or not the user believes their questions/needs will be satisfied.

2.) Second Horizontal Movement – This area is typically found immediately beneath the first horizontal movement, but it generally doesn’t extend as long to the side. The overall website “real estate” covered in this second movement is shorter, much like the lower horizontal line in the capital letter “F”. This is where you should place supporting information that further intrigues readers; however, you should not be too obtuse regarding the phrasing. The most successful implementation of this design pattern are websites that utilize the second horizontal line as a means of providing further details to satisfy the primary question/need of a website visitor.

3.) Vertical Movement – Finally, after satisfying the first two movements, users will briefly scan the left side of the content. Typically, users are searching for bulleted lists that contain keywords and key phrases. Within this section, you must maximize their vertical scanning by avoiding pictures and other media and providing an easily readable list of essential pieces of information.