The internet is growing and maturing day after day. The number of websites increases every day and this is partly due to the increase in demand for online business and services because people want to do everything from the comfort of their homes. With this rapid increase, one major issue arises for website owners who use them as business tools. This is supply outdoing demand. This can be seen clearly when searching on a search engine where there are always hundreds of results if not thousands per single search. In order to stand out among other similar ones, a website must be unique both in design and development.
Certain factors are important for an online business to thrive. One is to be found, two is to ensure the users/customers stay on the website for as long as possible, three is to try as much as possible to ensure the users/customers come back again and four, to register sales (conversion rate). Website design can greatly affect a website’s performance by ensuring that these four factors are achieved.
Website design is part of the website creation process. It involves user interface design (page layout), graphics design, user experience design and search engine optimization. Website design is often used interchangeably with website development but in actual fact, they are not the same. Website design takes care of the front end of a website (what users see) for instance the appearance and placement of buttons in a page while website development takes care of the hidden functions that allow users to carry out different tasks for instance sending and receiving texts in an online chat.
For an online business to be found, the website must be optimized for search engines so that it ranks above other similar websites in the search engine index. Search engine Optimization (SEO) is determined by how search engines work and using Google as an example, keywords are important in improving the website’s rank if used correctly. Web design looks into this by ensuring that content is edited to achieve optimization.
Website design also makes the website visually appealing by incorporating good graphics while at the same time making the content very engaging. This will ensure that the users are retained for as long as possible and this might lead to more sales or sign-ups for services.
User experience is key for making sure that users come back again and again which in business means more money. User experience basically means what the user goes through while performing a certain task. For instance, if a user goes through the search, selection, purchase and checkout process in an e-commerce website without any difficulties, then there is a high possibility that he/she might return to shop for other items. Website design also looks at placing items on the perfect spots and this has a higher chance of leading to more sales. For instance, placing very attractive photos of tourist destinations at the top of the page then followed by the prices at the very bottom or not including the prices at all might lead to more inquiries and possibly more bookings than placing the price at the very top. Website design has proven to be an important factor before web deployment and every online business should invest in it and see the increase in performance of their websites.
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