Seven seconds. You have seven seconds to catch the attention of a web user before they have lost interest and moved on to the next thing. Todays generations are so visually driven that if they feel slightly overwhelmed by the amount of text on a page they wont even read a word.
Don’t get me wrong, content and navigation are super important, but if your website is boring, your visitors aren’t going to stick around for very long. Fortunately, by incorporating just a few simple design components into your website, you can almost guarantee to catch the attention of your perspective clients.
Colors evoke feeling. If you were to ask someone what the color red reminds them of, many report associating energy, strength, power and passion. Colors should represent your company. For example, a bank tends to use blue which represents trust. On the other hand, if you own a fashion blog you may want to use more vibrant and fun colors that are appropriate for the industry. Three is the magic number when it comes to color schemes. You can have five colors, but you want to consistently use three colors throughout all your company material. You may have an extra two colors that are used as an accent once and awhile, but you want people to mentally connect your colors scheme to your company when they see it. Think about McDonalds, any time you see the color combination red and yellow, we immediately think McDonalds. That is the goal, to have people see your colors and mentally link it back to you.
Font is an extremely overlooked weapon when it comes to websites. Fonts should reflect the overall look and feel you’re trying to accomplish as a company. If you are a safe and conservative business, like a bank, then you’ll probably want to stick to serif or san-serif fonts like Times New Roman or Arial. But if you are looking to really stand out, then you might benefit from a script or a beautiful handwriting font. No matter what your company ends up choosing, the font needs to be legible and found on both mac and PC computers.
Photos and Graphics
Finally, understand that today’s Web users expect all websites to incorporate visual elements in the form of photos, graphics, videos, or a combination of all of these. Most companies go the stock photos route. Don’t get me wrong, they are EXTREMELY convenient. You do want to stay away from stock photos that look “stock-ish” though. Instead look for photos that look like they may have had them taken just for your site. It is recommended that companies use 50% stock and 50% in house photos. One Visual Trends right now in social media is simple, straightforward graphics. Pinterest is a great visual site, to keep up with trends and find graphic ideas.
So remember, keep it easy, keep it clean and keep it consistent! By keeping these three visual components in mind as you redesign your website, you can keep consumers interested and get past that tricky seven second barrier!