While it can be difficult and frustrating to figure out just what makes a website engaging, there are several simple considerations that go into every attractive site. While no formula guarantees a successful website, designers can utilize the following techniques to create attractive, professional websites.
Web pages must be structured. Everything on your page must serve a purpose. Not that you can’t be artistic or creative (in fact, you certainly want to imbue your work with individuality), but the best websites simply aren’t cluttered. Even good sites full of visuals or text, such as The New Yorker, don’t have any superfluous content. As a designer, you must be able to take any element of your page and explain why you put it there.
Customize, customize, customize. Customize your fonts. Create original graphics. Commission photos and artwork if your site calls for it. It will cost you more time and money, but it’s worth the investment. In the end you will have a unique site that is as singular as it is attractive — a page, such as The Society, Inc, that visitors will remember and admire.
Get creative with color schemes, gradients, icons and contrasts. Clever implementation produces impactful pages. Just don’t let these design elements dominate your page. Make sure your aesthetic flow is relevant and consistent with the tone of your page. Strive to maintain visual sensibility; just as the page’s written content makes sense, the color schemes and graphics should too. The Church Media Group consistently designs sites with provocative and relevant aesthetics.
If your site is structured well, users will be able to navigate without having to think about it. Ultimately, the design of your website should allow visitors to find the information they came for and explore your site with ease. Change.org is a site that features simple, effective navigation.
While few professional sites would want to emulate the extreme interactivity of children’s games, on the other hand, few things are more forgettable to users than a web page with static text and images. There are a variety of interactive options designers can utilize. Forums, polls and quizzes are widespread tools that encourage engagement. A designer can also utilize a FAQ section, internal search engine and members-only content. There are many more options, and it can be exciting to choose among them. Rather than throw everything in, however, select options that are relevant to your site. The website of the Barry Goldblatt Literary Agency is a solid example of a site that incorporates striking, relevant interactive elements.
Relevance, balance and creativity are vitally important to the development of an engaging Web page. While there isn’t a guaranteed plan for successful site design, all of the considerations above go a long way toward that goal. They are only building blocks, but they are effective building blocks that any designer can utilize to develop a page that is unique, engaging, memorable and beautiful.