Communication Tools: Websites
When designing your website, think about why your customers will visit. Generally, people visit a website to complete an action or find information. To make it as easy as possible to use, your website should be designed with the users in mind.
Website design best practices:
- Select a font that is easy to read – users will often skim for the information they are looking for. Avoid fonts that are overly artsy or have embellished script.
- Choose a color scheme that matches your brand.
- Use white space to break up text and other design elements.
- Add images to engage and inform readers but be sure they have a clear purpose. Don't add graphics just because you can, as this will create clutter.
- Simplify your navigation and limit options presented to uses. Simplicity can help users find what they are looking for efficiently.
- Optimize for mobile devices.
- Make your calls to action stand out.
9 Guidelines and Best Practices for Web Design and Usability provides more information on design and content strategies.
After putting in all the work to create a website, you want to be sure it is accessible for everyone to use. Be aware of colors you use with fonts and backgrounds, as some combinations are not accessible for people with visual impairments. Adobe Color allows you to experiment with colors and font sizes to be sure everyone can read your content.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines provides more information on accessibility standards.
Once your website is complete, be sure to maintain it to resolve any issues that might arise. Outdated websites are easy to spot and cause frustration for users.
Website maintenance tips:
- Check for broken links frequently. How to Find and Fix Broken Links can help you get started.
- Create a schedule for updating content on your website. Relevant and ever-updating information will keep your website feeling fresh.
- Don't commit to content that you're unable to maintain over time.
- Review all content on a regular basis, at least once a year.
Setting up a plan to track website traffic can help you understand who is using your website, what they are using it for, and how they are getting there. This information is a great way to get to know your customers and better orient your website to their needs. Google Analytics is a popular website tracking option because it is free to use and offers an abundance of data.
This Beginner's Guide to Google Analytics can take you through the process of linking the tool with your website and how to analyze your data.