With most activities such as searching for products, placing queries and purchasing going online, the need for user-friendly websites is ever more prevalent. Before seeking assistance from web design agency, one should first define the goal and target users.
For instance, who is visiting your website? Why would they visit your website? What is the unique selling proposition that would make them come back to your website? Answer these basic questions, and you have an outline for your website.
Getting to Know Web Design
A website is a collection of web pages offering a variety of content to its visitors. The range includes text, images, video and audio, among others. Additionally, there is no one way of classifying websites.
Ask around, and some will do so based on technical aspects such as static layout, dynamic layout, fluid layout and single-page layout. Yet, others would do it based on the type of company, whether e-commerce, magazine or social media website.
Types of Layouts
There are several types of website layouts. The prevalent and common ones are below.
A static layout gives a fixed width for presenting your website. This layout does not offer a provision to update the web content. An advantage is faster loading time. The purpose of such a layout is to provide information and not promote interaction.
A dynamic layout is one where content is updated regularly. It is user-based and can be complex or simple depending on the customers and development needs. It is customer-oriented. Different users view different information as per demographics, such as location and search history. More so, users can add filters or tags. So, when looking to design an app around such a layout, these aspects merit consideration.
The responsive layout goes a step further than the dynamic one. Information on websites is structured to make it most easy to read and navigate. Such websites showcase different content depending on the browser size, whether expanded or contracted. A classic example would be viewing the website on a laptop versus a pocket-sized mobile or smartphone. You would have observed a stark difference in the content – Facebook can act as a good reference point here.
Fluid design layout
In the fluid design layout, the web content on the page automatically reduces or increases in size as per the browser width. This design is set to be compatible across devices. More so, users view the same content irrespective of the device. The web design also calls for setting multiple widths for videos, images and content.
Types of Business or Brand
Most businesses and brands today have an online presence through a website. You would have observed that different industries have a template they follow.
Much depends on the type of industry, whether fashion, lifestyle or business. For instance, Conde Nast welcomes visitors with captivating headlines for articles. Even more so, eye-catching photos and videos. The purpose is that lifestyle magazines serve the duality of entertainment and education; lifestyle images and videos for entertainment and news for education. On the other hand, Forbes, a business and entrepreneurship magazine, does offer catchy headlines but is predominantly focused on imparting information about business and leadership.
Social media site
Social media sites render the dual functionality of fostering connections and educating people about the latest trends in an entertaining manner. Hence, the aesthetic and vibe of such sites are casual and captivating. The websites are for communication, and therefore, the content is user-generated.
The hallmark of an e-commerce website is it serves as an online shopping place. The business aims to fulfil the function of selling items. The website enables users to browse the website for desired products. Also, it has filters such as category, special offer items, top pick purchases and new entrants. For example, the global website of Amazon starts with a slideshow of banner ads featuring special deals and new entrants, among others.
Sharing websites are open-source platforms that allow users to upload various content. The content ranges from images, videos, graphics and others. Users can download these content files and use them to fulfil their objectives. It can be free or paid. A prime example of sharing websites is the Adobe Stock website comprising illustrations, vectors, photos, and templates.
Blogs are, in essence, a type of website that render information or discussion around a said topic. Alternatively, quite a few websites have a designated blog section that includes informative articles. The blog section helps augment the overall credibility of the corporation. Websites today do not only need to focus on technical and design aspects but also on updating the content. This is where blogs come to into play.
There are a variety of blogs out there in the online market, both professional and personal. These can be devoted to daily life or revolve around themes or areas. For instance, WordPress is a classic example of personal blogs written by freelancers.
The primary purpose of corporate websites is to present the products and services of the company. The core or target audience are clients – current and prospect – looking to avail the services. These clients usually are other corporations. For instance, the company websites of global accounting and taxation firms such as KPMG fall under this gambit. The websites render information about the services and their processes. More so, benefits, company philosophy and testimonials and reviews.
Today, most business activities happen online, right from searching for information, making purchases and payments. Online consumerism has rendered it paramount for most brands and businesses to have websites. There are several ways to classify websites, but the primary categories are layout and business. The former consists of static, dynamic, responsive and fluid layouts, among others. The latter includes magazine sites, social media sites, e-commerce sites, sharing websites and others.