The design of a webpage is arguably its most important feature. The design dictates what peoples first impressions of your webpage are and how they interact with it. Here, we’ll go through the basics of designing a friendly, useful and interesting webpage.
The home page of your website is, most likely, the first thing users will see when they get to your site. You want to design your home page in such a way that it is friendly and welcoming to newcomers, accurately represents the idea and design of the rest of your website, and allows users to quickly access the most important and most used parts of your website. The home page should have all of the following:
- A short, yet accurate description of the website and whatever use it serves. Don’t go too into the nitty-gritty details, be concise and to the point.
- Links everywhere! The home page should simply serve as a means to get to the part of the website that the user wants to access. Don’t fill the entire front page with advertisements for other parts of your website, just make sure that the user can access what they need to get to. Since you don’t know what the user needs to get to, try to put links to all of the most commonly used parts of your website. The links shouldn’t take the user to super specific places, start with a more broad idea, but we’ll get more into that later.
The Navigation Bar
The “Navigator” as I call it is the backbone of what the user sees of your website. It will allow users to quickly access different parts of your site from any part of your website, and, unlike any other part of your website, remains consistent no matter where the user is. You want your Navigation bar to be where your users go to go where they need to get, if that makes any sense at all.
- Your navigation bar should have links to all of the most used and important parts of your website, while remaining broad and not too specific; for example, if you’re website is to sell clothing, don’t have a navigation bar link that sends you right to a specific piece of clothing. Say the user is trying to find a red pair of sneakers, you’d want to have a link to “shoes” or “footwear” on the navigation bar, and then have that page lead to “sneakers” and so on until they find exactly what they were looking for.
- Your navigation bar needs to look nice. It’s the only thing on the website that’s always going to be showing no matter where the user is or what they’re doing. Work especially hard to make your navigation bar look nice, we’ll talk more about what that means later on.
The most essential parts of a website are often overlooked, people seem to think that they can have a good-looking website filled to the brim with awful content, and others try to get away with their high quality content, even though it’s almost inaccessible through their awful website design.