Web design is becoming more vital these days. A study conducted a few years ago found that a website visitor only took about 8 seconds to decide whether to stay or leave the website and go to another one. Unfortunately, the most recent study shows that today most visitors only take about 4 seconds before making the decision. If you think about it, that means you only have 4 seconds to make a good impression to your visitor and make him/her stays longer and view what you have to offer in your website. It also means that your web design should be able to grab people’s attention instantly, if it doesn’t, then you will lose the traffic that you’ve worked on very hard to get.
Getting The Visitor’s Attention
Nowadays people mostly interested in something that can provide instant results. Instant meals, instant weight loss, and many other instant products and services always get the most attention. This is also what happen on the internet, if your website cannot give instant results of what they’re looking for, the visitors will leave your website in the blink of an eye.
That 4 second rule doesn’t mean that your website should be able to load completely in 4 seconds, but within that very short timeframe it should be able to deliver something interesting to the visitors that make them want to stay.
So how do you know if your website already has what it takes to make the visitors stay? to test it out, ask yourself the following questions while the website is loading:
- How long does it take before I start to see anything or something interesting in the website?
- What is the very first thing in the website that caught my eyes?
- How long does it take for me to start seeing some text?
- How long does it take to find what the website is about?
Don’t just test the website yourself, but also ask some of your friends to do it and then compare the answers. The more people testing the website the more accurate results you will get.
Ideally your web designing concept should adhere to the characteristics of your target visitors. If the target visitors mostly come from a country that read from right to left, then it should from top to bottom and right to left. But the most convenient design for most websites usually to make it load from top to bottom and left to right.
Another thing you should consider is to make sure that the most eye catching elements of your website to load first. It could be an image, logo, or a tagline that will be simple enough to understand yet very interesting for the visitors and make them curious about the website.
The Proper Graphic Format
There are so many different graphic formats that can be used in web designing, choose the wrong format and it might cause you losing visitors. I bet you often left a website because the pictures are loading too slow, or even worse these pictures might make the entire website to load slowly.
Usually such website is created by a person with insufficient web designing skills, probably just by getting information from some “How-To” articles and books. Hiring a web designing company usually can avoid you from having such problem, but if you really want to do it yourself, you better do it correctly. Here are some basic guidelines regarding website graphic to make your website works better:
.JPG File Format
JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a quite popular image format and widely used by a lot of people in web designing and for many other purposes. This file format is easy to work with and there are several popular graphic programs that you can use to work on it like Corel Draw, Fireworks and Photoshop. However, even though it can contain up to 16 million colors .JPG is not really an ideal image format to be used in web design for images that only have a few colors, because when the size of the file is too big and you have to compress it, the image quality will decrease.
.GIF File Format
GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) allows you to set the background color to be transparent, allowing you to use the website color as the background for the image. This image format can contain up to 256 colors and the image quality will stay the same after compression.
Both .JPG and .GIF are great image formats to be used in web designing, the important thing is to know the best use of those formats. .JPG is best to be used for multicolor images like photos, but this file format can be heavy because often the file size is too big. However as said before, compressing the image could affect its quality. So what you should do is to balance the file size and image quality before you put it on your website. For images with just a few colors like website logos or text created as an image, it’s best to use .GIF format.
It’s really helpful to know these web designing basics even if you hire a web designer to do it for you. This way you will know if the web designer has really done the job correctly.
Keeping the Visitors on the Website
Of course you can’t just be happy with a website that can simply grab your visitors’ attention, but you also want them to stay and keep wanting more from your website. Make your website interesting enough for your visitors so they don’t just stay longer, but also keep coming back. You can reach those goals with the followings:
1. Good Website Navigation
This is a very important part of a website. With a good navigation your visitors will be able to get around the site easily which makes it comfortable for them to find whatever they need from the website.
2. Offer Valuable Content
Make the content of your website useful for the visitors, put some effort to give them real information. Besides written content you can also provide videos, everybody likes to watch videos.
3. Offer Some Extras
Bonuses like free ebooks, tips, or monthly coupons always can attract visitors.