With so many organisations using the internet as an electronic storefront for selling their wares, web page design has become a fast-growing occupation. However, there is still a lot of argument as to how best to design a web page with those having a background in graphic arts opting for a website that has visually appeal and those with a more technical background preferring web page design to incorporate elements that are inviting to internet search engines. These two approaches will often collide on the site’s structure, but the common goal is surely to drive more traffic to the website in question.
These two different viewpoints, if combined, can often deliver the best of both worlds and not only help visitors to the site find the information they are looking for, but also make it easy for users to find the site in the first place. Design-oriented web developers may be forced to rely on advertising, such as Google Adwords, to bring visitors to their site. Developers who are more technically aware may not create sites with a strong visual appeal. However, they may end up attracting more organic search engine traffic.
Regardless of the approach, the important aspects of a website will always be the same: content, usability and design are the three most important elements to web page design and pages that are strong in all these three areas have a better chance of attracting an audience and being successful.
While some attractive websites may have an initial aesthetic appeal, if they are laden down with graphics, audio, Flash or video files, they may be slow to load. This can frustrate potential visitors and can lead to less traffic than would otherwise be the case. Each page in a website should take just a few seconds to download.
Content is also extremely important. Both search engines and humans are attracted to good content. If your site has original content which is not available elsewhere on the Internet, it stands to reason it will get visitors. If users visit a site and it does not contain the kind of information they want, they will simply leave in search of better information.
When planning and designing your website, a useful exercise is always to try to place yourself in your visitors’ shoes. What are they searching for? How much of it can you give them? How can you make your version of it more attractive than what’s on offer from your competitors?