Does Your Website Design Suck? (Pt. 2)

Now when we're talking about
color were talking about things like you know your site color palette, your backgrounds
the colors that you're choosing for your links, text colors, headers things of that nature.
Now I think color is very interesting because there's been a lot of research that shows
the colors have, they have like an emotional pull for them. They've done these studies
where they show people different colors and they've tested and they show that it activates
different parts of people's brains so what that means is that means when we're developing
or creating a website, we need to kind of keep in mind what frame of mind or what emotion
do you want to try to evoke in the people that are visiting the website.

So some of
the problems that we typically see right off the bat — poor choice of colors. You know
another problem is that people are choosing colors that maybe don't necessary work well
together. It's good that you are using different colors to try to attract and highlighting
focus different areas but those colors go well together again we talked about the human
brain likes to have things that are on harmonious and then they can work together to do just
that is built-in in a piece of us and that just gets those things and if you choose colors
because of your favorite then they don't really work well together. There's something about
that gives you a weird feel. And them the last problem that I typically see with color
on a website is just lack of contrast and specifically contrast in terms text laying
over the top of a background color or some sort of a graphic or something like that.
Solutions, or the three things that we should really be looking for when we're talking about
color for the development of a website, first thing is make sure that you're choosing the
right color for the type of emotion that you want to to invoke right so if you are maybe
like some sort of financial services or insurance one of things you're going to want to do is
you're going to want to make sure that when people come to your website they feel calm,
they feel reassured.

So you're probably going to want to use a lot of blues and grays, those
colors are really good for that. Yellow is another one of those colors that is bright,
and youthful. So if you take a look at things like, I don't know, day cares things that
cater to the younger, the more youthful crowd or that are trying to make people feel more
youthful, you're going to see a lot of yellow tones in there. Red it's passion, it's action,
when you want people to do something on your website like click a button to download a
form or something like that, make it red. What's interesting is after you watch this
video and start surfing around, keep an eye on the colors people are using. I think that
you'll find it because the colors that you did you respond to are going to be different
if you see a page that has a red button versus a blue button chances are you're probably
going to click on that red button, so that's interesting to see that.

The second problem
we had was with colors that don't really work well. And the solution to that is to ask to
come up with was called a color palettes. And What a color palette is, is it's just
a series of colors that are designed to work well together. Now there's different ways
you can go about creating color palette of colors that complement each other not necessarily
complementary colors what I like to do as I like to take a look at a lot of tools online
where you can enter in, I want a royal blue and they give you four other colors that work
with them, tons of tools so in no in the resource guide we put together, if you signed up for
the sweepstakes, we'll go ahead and include some of those links so you know where to do
it.

And make sure that your colors kind of work well together it's called color harmony
again it's one of those things that is hard to pinpoint when you see it but it definitely
has an effect on peoples reaction. If there's colors that are just don't work well together.
And then the third thing is lack of contrast, and this is one of those ones that I just
know I understand a lot of times designers want to put a brown background or fades or
gradients and they want to do all kinds of cool stuff that Photoshop will let them do.
But make sure for your end user's perspective or for their sanity if you will.

Make sure
you've got a lot of contracts. The best and easiest most readable text is black text on
a white background. If for whatever reason and you can't make that work or doesn't work
with the design of the site or whatever else you're doing make sure that you've got a lot
of contrast there okay. Don't put black text on a brown background. Don't put a hyperlink
on top of of a blue or purple because as soon as you click them the text disappears.

So
keep that in mind in terms of how your text is going to react in terms of the background
because it was hard to read people aren't going to work that hard to to try find your
content because there's about 82 billion other places where they can find that information.
So that we got in terms of color and the next thing we're going to talk about it layout.
Alright so here we go, the last of the three design elements that we are going to be talking
about today now the last thing that we're going to talk about in terms of effective
web design is going to be layout.

And when we talk about layout we're talking about things
like the site structure and the navigation, how works in the placement we're talking about
the presentation of the content basically how things are going to be arranged on the
page to make it easier for your for your visitors to kind of be able to consume your content.
One of the things that is interesting is that there are a ton of study done all the time
on this kind of stuff right. They're got eye tracking studies, they've got heat maps where
people are clicking and stuff like that and what's interesting is that no matter what
the website are going to look like in general when they superimposed it on a map over the
front of the website went up happening is the way people consume their data is a similar
online and off-line.

So if you are to picture your website would you want to do is draw
big F right over the top of your website that's how people, at least in the Western world,
consume their content. We read top left to bottom right that's how people look at the
web so that's why you see a lot of times logos in the top left corner navigation going across
the top. Now let's go ahead and talk about what some of the common problems are and then
we're going to talk about best practices are. Some of the problems people have with their
site structures are number one, using what are called liquid layouts. A liquid layout
is when a website will actually expand to fill 100% of the browsers so sometimes when
you go to a website, the website is centered in the middle of the page no matter how big
your browser is your website stays in the middle. A liquid layout expands to fill the
screen now the problem with that is that depending on resolution because now you've got people
on 17 inch monitors and you've got people on 30 inch monitors rights so those there's
a large range there in terms of you know in terms of browser compatibility browser capabilities
and resolutions.

Your site if you have a liquid layout is going to be jumping everywhere you
got images that are to be rolling around text and all kinds of stuff not real good when
we know that site structure has a lot to do with how people consume your content so what
we want to do is make sure we've got a solid layout. The second problem I see all the time
are inconsistent navigations. Sometimes it's on the top sometimes it's on the bottom sometimes
there's a home sometimes there's not. The way to keep it is be consistent with your
navigation and we don't really need to talk much more about that. It's just be consistent,
that's your map how people are going to get around your website. They've got to be able
to know and know that, that thing is there for them. And last problem that I see a lot
and especially with smaller business website is the lack of a proper structure. If you
keep in mind the way people are going to be consuming this content.

When they come to
your home page the purpose of your home page is you want to be able to tell people who
you are what you do and get them deeper into the site as quickly as you can your homepage
isn't there to tell about everything that you do. It's a traffic light, so to speak.
So when you go to a homepage if you see that there's 38 different things to do I can guarantee
that that website has a high bounce rate or what that means is there's a lot of people
that come that website and from that page turn around and leave. What you want to be
able to do is get people on your landing page get them pointed into the right direction,
get them to take a click, and now you got them deeper in the site they're more invested
in your website.

They are willing to spend a little more time to try and find what they
are looking for. That's why when you take a look at proper site map it should look like
an upside down tree. We've got a homepage, that's going to come down and have some second-tier
pages those may come down and have third tier pages, but but in the end it's going to look
like a big triangle. That's going to be a proper structure. A lot of times we'll see
websites that have just one layer and a ton of boxes going sideways it's too much. There's
that old marketing adage says "a confused mind always says no." And nobody is gonna
sit around and try to figure out again like we talked about before, if you go to a website
and you're like "what?" People aren't going to hang out.

They're going to be like, see
ya later, they're going to click on the back button and find the next search result. So
the solution to those three problems is not a one-off kind of thing. Again we want to
do things knowing how people consume their data. We wanna do things like put your logo
in the top left corner. It's the first place people are going to look. We want to make
sure we have a top navigation. Top navigations in research and statistically out perform
and side navigation, left side navigation. Right side navigation rarely are you going
to see, but top navigation typically work better than left, proven fact.

Large, clear
headlines — again we are in a world of skimmers right. We're busy, we've got all these things
going off, when they're looking at your website their phones are probably ringing and getting
text messages and all this stuff so they're not going to sit there and read 1000 words
on your home page you want to make sure you have nice, clean, clear headlines so they
can skim and see exactly who you are and what you do and make a decision in 3-5 seconds
whether or not they're going to want to go further. Another thing is whitespace. A lot
of times you see people try to cram a bunch of stuff and I've actually had more than one
client tells me that the spot or something on their website that doesn't have something
"just put something in there I like the whitespace".

Absolutely the wrong thing to do. Whitespace
is good because what it does is it let's you define the different elements on your site
so you know — so pad things out a little bit. Let them be their own individual elements
don't try to have this blog post running into that and these things squished together. Just
make it easier for your end users. And the last thing we want to make sure we have nice
clearly defined calls to action. The idea behind the website is that people are typically
coming out here looking and they're looking because they want to try to solve a problem.
Whether their looking to buy a product to solve a problem, looking for some information
whatever the case if so we want to get them what they need nice clear call to action.
Hey, if you like this camera click here to buy or click here to download this or get
instant access or whatever the case is.

Again we do a lot of research on this kind of stuff
and there are these marketing firms that spend tons and tons and millions, and million dollars
doing this so we're going to be smart and leverage their knowledge and use that. Now
one of the best graphics I seen that puts this together was put out by a marketing company
called kiss metrics. I mean this webpage to be quite honest with you was a good-looking
webpage and all it was, was a bunch of sample text in gray boxes so again when we're talking
about layout talking about site structure the idea is that once you get people landing
on your page you don't want them to leave.

You want them to be able to consume your content
the best way to do that is to be able to make it nice and easy for them to get that information
and you do that with nice clean headlines, well-defined spaces here's a piece of information
and let them find what they're looking for and move on to the next thing okay. Alright
folks there you have it, that's the end video number one of 6.

Hopefully by the end of this
video there were a couple things you were able to take away from this. The first thing
we want to be able to just kind of walk through and give you and understanding of is design
is more than drawing pretty pictures. There's a lot of psychology and emotional things are
going on with it. What is your website really telling you? Is that representative of the
brand image that you want to be able to put forward. The second thing that we talked about
and this one here's really crucially important is that visitors don't respond to bad websites.
They just go away typically people are just going to go away and you're not going know
a thing about so this is really important to know them to be of the master then the
next thing we talked about were the three areas of focus or the three areas improvement
— typography, which is just the fonts we use. We talked about color theory and we also
talked a little bit about site structure and layout.

So that's it if you'd like more information
about the video if you want have access to the action guide we put together and a chance
to win a free website redesign as part of the sweepstakes that we're putting together
with this make sure that you click the button, I think it's going to be over here somewhere
to sign up for the sweepstakes. And also we are really interested in how you feel about
these videos. Was it too much, not enough, could we have some more of this or more of
that.

So if you like the video make sure that you hit the like button, please leave the
comments below. And with that I'm out so Mike Linville here of Black Dog Education, I wanna
thank you again for spending this time with me and we'll see you next week.}.

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