E commerce Web Design and Development: Do’s and Don’t
Malls are an endangered species. Gone are the days of busy mom’s frantically running from store to strip mall store while the kids are in school or the teens listlessly hanging around the mall all weekend. Bricks and mortar retailers are failing; online storefronts are the way of the future, and the future has arrived. With this new shopping outlet comes a new set of rules and norms to follow to maximize sales and catch customers eyes. Flashy windows are out; covert, highly targeted SEO advertising is in. Successful website design can play a vital role in the success of your e-commerce business. Your great product and the wonderful idea will not matter if your website is a relic from 1989, with clunky images and terrible design. No customers will want to navigate a website that still uses coding from the 1990’s. No customers will even stay on the website long enough to go through your products. The average customer spends but a few seconds on a website before they click away if they dislike what they see. So here are a few Do’s and Don’t to keep in mind.
Do’s And Don’t to Keep In Mind
DO: Focus on the appearance
- Websites make an immediate impression from the very first moment they are seen. The audience judges your content by the professionalism of your homepage. Try to keep it as uncluttered as possible and make it obvious what your web page is about. A good web page is an easy web page to read.
don’t: Flood it with writing
- Nobody wants to look at a site which is just a page of writing. This isn’t meant to be a Word document. You might have something very important to say, but one long screen filled with continuous text is not the way to go about it. Good web design will utilize your content and still make it look highly presentable.
DO: Create a page structure
- A well-designed website will allow users to navigate easily between pages and content. This will involve a menu system and a uniformity to the pages. The same header or side menu system should be displayed on each page. It gives the user the knowledge that they are still on your site and they don’t have to think about learning a new system for each page.
don’t: Just place boxes everywhere
- We’ve all seen these types of websites before – 20+ boxes, all different sizes, nothing lining up properly and not one piece that actually grabs your attention because you’ve just run into a whirlwind of craziness.
DO: Focus on what’s important
- Are you building a website for a business that sells one specific product? If so, make sure that’s the focus of the home page. Allow yourself space on the inner pages to place calls to action for that specific item. If you’re building a blog that gives out freebies or writes tutorials, make sure they’re getting the proper amount of focus and attention.
don’t: Flood your page with ads
- If you’re going to try and make money from your website/blog, do yourself a favor and lay off the excessive advertisements. If your page loads and has 70% ads and only 30% content, odds are high that people will leave and never come back. Making your ads the #1 priority is a bad idea. Try blending them in and make sure they don’t take away from the content.
DO: Choose the right color scheme
- Knowing what your reader’s emotions are will help you in choosing the proper color scheme. You won’t want a bright and ‘loud’ color scheme if your website is in the meditation niche. You’ll notice that most punk rock bands have CMYK color schemes (pink, yellow, black and blue), while a doctor/medical website will generally stick with a lighter, more ‘open’ color scheme.
don’t: Overdo the colors
- This isn’t a school project and you are not getting any marks for the number of colors you use. A rainbow or a splattering of colors might be appropriate in a few instances, but it’s rare. Choose two or three colors and design your website around this theme, subtle colors work well in a professional scenario and still create an outstanding web design.
DO: Choose the right fonts and sizes
- Fonts are the highly important aspect of web design. Making your section titles the right size and making sure the fonts you’re using will greatly affect the experience your visitors have when viewing your websites. Generally speaking, you should use one main font for the content and then you may switch the titles of the pages to a different font.
don’t: Have 5 different fonts in 10 different sizes
- Picture this – Page titles are in Times new roman, content for those pages are in Arial, navigation links are in Comic Sans and the sidebar is in impact. How ugly does that look? So always remember to keep it minimal.
DO: Set your navigation up properly
- If you’ve got a signup page on your website, maybe you’ll have your main navigation in a blue color, while the sign-up button is in a green color. Regardless, you’ll want to make your navigation easy to spot and easy to use.
don’t: Make your readers search to find something
- Your readers shouldn’t spend 30-40 seconds trying to find a contact or about page. They also shouldn’t have to click through three pages just to get to a signup form. Get the important things out in the open. For the items that aren’t required to have a strong focus on your website, you might want to invest in a search box – Users HATE when websites don’t have a search box.
DO: Make it unbelievably easy to use
- If your site is over-complicated and asks for too much input from the user, then they will shut it down and run away. When designing a website, you have to try to make it as simple to use as possible. If you can, keep any data entry forms limited to three input options – name, email, and comment.
don’t: Overload it with pictures
- A picture tells a thousand words, but too many pictures will look amateurish and like a spam website. When you design your website, you should consider what you actually need and want to put out to the viewers.
DO: Optimize your load times
don’t: Make everything on your page an image
- Text on a website is there to be exactly what it is – text. There is no need to make the text blocks of your site jpg images. Also, making your website background 1MB or more in size will also cause your page to load very slow.
DO: Display your company’s identity
- A website is the public face of a company and the first place a customer will go to if they need a product or information. A well-designed website will reflect the image of the company, from logo through to color scheme. Utilizing the company’s brand colors will cement the association for the customer and help build brand awareness.