The web. How often do we hear this term? Most of us cannot imagine a world without the web, where information is available to us at a faster pace, in a more accessible manner, and often with more insight than we know what to do with.
That being said, e-commerce, or the act of buying and selling online, has become one of the most important aspects of the web for both consumers and businesses (this business plan writer can testify to that). Because the web offers convenience like nothing offered in a physical store, more and more people are getting online to find the products, services, and information they need. And more and more retailers are performing online business for sale rather than relying on their brick and mortar stores. From books, clothes, and electronics to contractors, lawyers, and other public service professionals, the Internet has made it easier than ever for people to connect to businesses.
However, this means that companies who conduct business online have to be more aware than anyone about their presence online and the new market trends. One of the best ways using which a business can learn about the latest trends is by attending the business networking event, as this not just helps their business know the new trends, but also helps them collaborate with similar business thus helping build a vast network.
How Your Website’s Design Matters
Any number of aspects of your site can positively or negatively affect your business. From a web development standpoint, these include:
- Page speed
- Ease of navigation
- Color scheme
- Overall design
One of the most important of these, though, is your design. It’s no secret that a quality and well thought-out design will attract more attention and will highlight your products or services to your website visitors. No one wants to buy from a company that has a layout they find outdated, complicated, or just plain weird. No, people want a design that captures and holds their attention, gets to the point quickly, and looks better than any of the competition’s websites.
This means that web designers, more now than ever, should know how to create effective web design layouts that both present correct information from the company and capture a visitor’s attention and interests.
Web Design Layout Ideas: Homepages
When a visitor gets to a business website, they will make a decision about the company in just a few seconds. If the information presented is false, confusing, or not interesting, it will be difficult to inspire that visitor to continue exploring. Worst case scenario, the visitor will leave.
This is why your homepage design layout is so important. All the best, most interesting information should be located on this page, front and center.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can effectively order website information in a clean, compact homepage design.
First, and most importantly, make sure your design is clean, with no frills or special design effects that could get in the way of information. On that same note, choose a color scheme that is neutral and professional. Everything you choose in your overall design should be with the company in mind.
Top of the Page (Header & Navigation):
- Company Identification. Visitors want to know where they are and whose company they are looking at. The company logo, their slogan/motto, and their phone number are all essential to communicating important information with website visitors.
- Navigation. Convenience and compactness are essential here. You want your visitor to find what they need quickly and without hassle.
- Main Banner. A larger banner should appear under the navigation that catches the attention of visitors and highlights the company. Featured products/services are often also highlighted in this area.
- Contact Form. The main way to get in touch with the company should be one of the most prominent aspects of a homepage layout. These forms matter to conversions, analytics, and sales and should be a main focus above the fold.
Pro Tip: Consider using custom scrolling or animated banners to quickly catch the attention of visitors.
Middle of the Page (Above & Below the Fold)
- Coupons, Deals, and Specials. Nothing entices a visitor more than a great deal. Highlight the company’s products and services with web coupons and specials above the fold to capture a visitor’s attention quickly.
- Company Summary. Under your coupons, highlight what makes the company special. Designing small image buttons in this section is a great way to entice people to click through to internal pages.
- Content Area. The written content of a site’s homepage should be located slightly above the fold so that visitors can see the page’s headers easily. If interested, the visitor will then scroll through the rest of the content.
A sidebar is a great place to highlight scrolling or constantly updating information without it getting in the way of more important information.
- Customer Reviews. People trust other people’s reviews, and a sidebar is a great place to highlight these. Consider adding an animated feature here that automatically scrolls through different reviews.
- Blog Posts and Social Media Feeds. If the company engages in social media or blogging, the sidebar can be a great place to highlight their activity without disrupting other aspects of the design.
Bottom of the Page (Footer):
Most people don’t scroll to the very bottom of the page, but it’s still good to have information here in case people do.
- Second Navigation. This helps lost visitors find their way through the site.
- Company Location and Contact Information. Most websites put this information at the bottom so that it’s out of the way and inconspicuous.
- Copyright Information. This should generally be the very last thing on a design. Though important for legal reasons, it’s best to keep it out of the way.
Some of the most effective web design layouts are ones that are simple, engaging, and informative. Remember, less is more!