UI designers determine the appearance and functionality of a website, which is especially important for the homepage. Website visitors typically have a short attention span, so effective UI design is essential for increasing the length of time a visitor spends on a site.
Organizations that hire a web designer should ensure that these professionals understand the general requirements for a site that will attract and retain visitors. Fresh Consulting discusses the following components of effective UI design:
- User experience
- Easy to scan
- Call to action
User experience determines how users feel about their interaction with a site. A UI designer must make a site enjoyable to use as well as helpful, although user experience varies greatly by individual. A combination of factors affects user experience such as sight, utility and accessibility. Sight factors include pictures and color schemes, while a site's utility often includes the provision of real-time data. Accessibility frequently involves presenting the most important information first.
Simplicity in UI design generally deals with identifying the most essential components of the site, allowing the site to showcase its purpose. A visitor should be able to determine a site's purpose by glancing at the home page. No home page can perform all of a site's necessary functions without becoming unnecessarily complex, so secondary pages should perform many of these functions. Many homepages simply summarize the other sections and guide visitors to a call to action.
Easy to Scan
Visitors typically scan web pages at first, rather than actually reading them. A user's comprehension increases when you break up the content into small pieces. Small packages of content are also easier to share across a social network. Pages that are easy to read typically use an inverted pyramid to present data, meaning each page, paragraph and sentence leads with the most important information. Use headings to provide a quick view of the content and break up the content with paragraphs that discuss a single idea.
Call to Action
A call to action on a site describes the actions you want the users to perform, and they typically appear on the home page. A homepage should have as few CTAs as possible, and you should generally group them together when multiple CTAs are necessary. Use visual devices such as blank space, size and color to make the CTA stand out from the other content on the page. Associate your CTAs with actionable widgets such as clickable buttons.
Search engine optimization includes any UI design technique that's intended to improve a site's search engine rankings. Traditional SEO techniques often involved writing content for search engines rather than people. However, search engines have now become quite sophisticated, so the best SEO technique today is to produce good content to which your visitors will want to link. This generally means providing visitors with useful information that they will want to share with other users.
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