So you’re a start-up business planning to build a website to showcase your amazing services. Time is of the essence, so maybe you are thinking “the sooner I can get something up there, the better” – not always!
Your website should represent you and your business so the last thing you want to do is give the impression that it was put together overnight. A lot of thought and consideration should be given to design because graphics convey information to the brain 60,000 times faster than text.
According to research, 90% of the information sent to the brain is visual, and 93% of human communication is visual. So, when the World Wide Web was first unleashed to the world (6th August 1991) websites were mainly text due to the capacity of 56k dial-up modems.
A Brief History of the Web – Web Browsers & Design
The first browser you would have used was probably Netscape Navigator and/or Mosaic, which formed the basis of Internet Explorer. Feeling nostalgic?
It must feel good to be part of the beginning of a historical moment, right? However, if you remember WorldWideWeb you were in fact at the very beginning. It was invented by Tim Berners-Lee – the creator of the Internet!
Behold, the very first instance of web browsing:
So, it is evident that the design capabilities would have been very limited at this time. It was the beginning of this new technology, therefore, a very experimental era. The priority was more “I wonder what we can actually display”, rather than ‘how’ it can be displayed.
The Evolution of Design – Images, Video and much more…
It is safe to say the Internet was in its infancy at this stage. Images would’ve taken a long time to load and videos were out of the question – remember when it used to take 2+ hours to download a 5MB song!? Depending on the link source, it could even take days! Imagine how many years it could take to stream a video!
That being said, it is amazing when you think about how much technology has evolved in such a short number of years. To put it into perspective, television was entirely black and white for a period of 31 years. Within that same time frame, we have moved from simple text-based websites to those that are used for a wide variety of functions: video conferencing, online dating, social media, job applications and much more.
Designing for the web is no longer an ordinary task. There is a vast range of functions that can be incorporated into the design, making the whole thing a little tricky!
Why is Design so Important?
In web design today, you can utilise images and videos which allow you to showcase your business extremely effectively and in a variety of creative ways. For example, some websites are even using a looped background video on their homepage, without creating issues for visitors to load the site. So, don’t limit yourself!
Software such as Google Analytics allows businesses to track their success, for example:
- Which aspect of the page is being clicked on more?
- Which area of the site is most popular?
- Which banner attracted the most attention?
This data allows decision-makers to collect data and continuously improve design, with the ultimate goal of improving ROI – so you can see why it’s very important to give the design considerable thought!
11 Common Mistakes in Web Design
1. Opening new browser windows
2. Poor navigation
3. Unclear Call to Action
4. Too many font sizes and colours
5. Page Titles With Low Search Engine Visibility
7. Not changing the colour of visited links
8. Slow load time
9. Too many graphics
10. Too many advertisements
11. Skewed images