Important Factors to Consider When Designing and Developing Websites

When developing websites, it is important to consider different factors that will affect how people use, interact and view your site. As an agency that offers website design, we are often asked how people can improve their site usability. The list can be exhaustive, but below we have written a few points that will help improve your usability and create a cohesive look to all elements and platforms of your digital presence.

Important Factors to Consider When Designing and Developing Websites

Competitors

One of the first things you should do before developing a site is to look at your competitors. Take a look at their site, what are they offering? How does the tone of the business reflect in their site? Complete a Competitor Analysis which will help you to assess the strengths and weaknesses of potential competitors.

This can provide a strategic context to identify opportunities when trying to appeal to similar audiences. It is also important to consider how you will stand out and be different. Your direct competitors will be offering similar products and marketing to comparable audiences, so use your USP (unique selling point) and your brand story to differentiate yourself from the competition and make your business appeal personable. You can then apply this to your website and creative materials to display a cohesive message.

Responsive Layout

In today’s world, we consume and view data very differently. Around 60% of internet usage is now viewed on mobile devices. For your website, it is important to think about how it will appear and how you can interact with it on a mobile device. If your site does not serve well then users are likely to become frustrated and leave your site before completing any type of conversion which will negatively affect your bounce rate.

Images and design elements that appear well on desktop may not on mobile and tablet devices. They can become distorted, pixilated or negatively affect the positioning of other elements such as buttons and page copy.

Another thing that can hold significant value on usability is how your site flows on mobile and tablet devices. Your navigation bar, for example, if it is not responsive, will not allow users to flick between pages easily, it could become distorted or appear as a long list that can be accidentally clicked whilst scrolling.

There are tools you can use to check how your site appears and interacts on mobile such as Google Search Consoles and Mobile-Friendly Test Tool ( We would highly recommend using this one).

Important Factors to Consider When Designing and Developing Websites
Important Factors to Consider When Designing and Developing Websites

Audience

Another crucial factor is to think that every element on your site should have your audience in mind. Your target demographic will affect how they view the site, what will appeal to them. For example, a clothing brand aimed at younger adults would need to be visual based with vibrant colours and creatives, whereas funeral directors would need more calming colours and a solemn tone with appropriate imagery.

Once you have determined your audience and the brand personality, think about how they will relate to each other and what will appeal to them on your site. Offering a site that is targeting the correct demographics and interests will make the business feel more approachable and a correct fit to what they are searching for.

Content

The page copy should again reflect the demographic you are targeting. If your site is educational, the language and tone should reflect this and technical terminology should be used. Whereas, if you are selling an up-and-coming clothing brand, the language is less technical jargon based and more approachable and friendly. Your content should be written in the tone and in line with the values of your business as this can help enforce your brand identity.

Any imagery on your site should also be correctly named. Not only does this help provide an SEO opportunity by including your keywords for web crawlers, it also helps usability by elaborating and providing more context for the images.

Important Factors to Consider When Designing and Developing Websites
Important Factors to Consider When Designing and Developing Websites

Functionality

Underpin what features you need on your site, do you require an online booking service, contact forms, eCommerce or calculators? Making sure that your users have the right tools available to complete what they are searching for means that they will more than likely complete conversions on your site and have greater satisfaction by being able to solve their problem.

It is also important to think about where these functions will appear on your site and how they will interact with other elements.

User Experience

In order to create a successful user experience, you need to ensure that users can easily do what they want to do on your site, which is usually finding an answer to a problem. Users need to be able to accomplish what they want, efficiently.

Ensuring your site has fast load times is critical to decreasing bounce rates. Typically, if users have to wait more than three seconds for a page to load, they will leave. Higher mobile usage means that more people will be using mobile connections not WIFI, so your site has to load quickly in order to serve them the information in an appropriate time. To decrease your page load time there are multiple things you can look at including: reducing redirects, and optimising your images and code.

Having an easy to navigate menu and lots of clear call to actions will also help improve your site. Once a user has decided to complete an action, it must be easy, quick and simple for them to do. Using a page layout that makes sense makes it easier for a user to travel through the site onto the pages they require, however it can be helpful to add a search bar to the top of your page, so if users are struggling, they can quickly deduce where they would like to go.

By using a page layout that is consistent across all pages with similar font, pictures and design elements, users will also be able to work out exactly where on the page they will find content or links and increase how quickly they will be able to complete their session.

Important Factors to Consider When Designing and Developing Websites
Important Factors to Consider When Designing and Developing Websites

Design and Branding

In order to convey your business personality and message, it is beneficial to have uniform branding across your online and offline presence. This will create a cohesive look and feel so your brand is instantly recognisable regardless of where a user has viewed it.

Consider using the same logo, brand colours and type of imagery, it is useful to put these together in a brand visual identity document which sets out guidance for how these should look when displayed on different platforms and colour palettes. When using colours ensure that they are accessible. Online, people are used to reading dark text over a light background so using bright neon colours or those that have poor contrast can negatively affect how people are able to read and look at your content or creatives.

When displayed on your website these approved colours and images should again reflect the same look and feel as other marketing materials used for your product or service. So when a potential customer clicks on a post they see on social media, the landing page should feature this look. The customer will expect a certain look for how they viewed the social media creatives so by mirroring this they will start to build trust and recognition with the brand.

The actual design and layout of the site should again reflect the type of product or service that you are promoting. For example, a photographer should have a gallery of images in which to display their work, and an eCommerce site should have products complete with images and pricing in an easy scrollable format. Always consider how user friendly the page is, avoid unnecessary scrolling and clicking and try to explain exactly what you’re offering above the page fold.

If you would like any help with the usability of your site or website development, please get in contact for a no-obligation chat.

Share this story

More insights

  • Tips to improve your social media branding
  • Tips to Make Your Exhibition Space Successful
  • Why Quality Score Affects Your PPC Campaign
  • Tips to improve your social media branding
  • Tips to Make Your Exhibition Space Successful