• White Oak Creative Co.

How to Design an Effective Website by Yourself

With businesses becoming increasingly digital, your online presence needs to mirror your brand with accuracy. Your website will not only serve as the foundational resource, but it legitimizes your business. A website needs to be effective and accessible since a customer’s first impression can instantly determine their likelihood to follow, purchase or contact you. So what does it mean to have an “effective” website and how do you design one? The best part is that you no longer need to hire someone to design your website with free and user-friendly site builders like Wix, Weebly or Wordpress. Although ironically named, there is one process in particular that has stuck with me when developing websites. The CRAP principle; Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity.

These principles can be applied in the early stages of building a website, or can serve as guidelines when giving your website a face-lift.

C- Contrast: Contrast comes down to deciding on colour schemes and font pairings that align with your brand identity, combining colours, shapes, and sizes of images to maximize the positive attention your website receives. You want to aim to create contrast with your visual elements, so try to stick to 2 or 3 different design elements to make sure your website layout is both visually appealing and unified. Remember to keep things simple.

R- Repetition: This is the element that will make your brand recognizable by repeating key themes in your design that works to identify your brand. Repetition concerns colour schemes, fonts, page layout, buttons, etc. Essentially, anything that is synonymous across your website that would be recognized by the visitor.

A- Alignment: Simple enough, the alignment concerns the placement of specific design elements throughout your website. Try to create a logical flow that the user’s eyes will automatically follow by strategically placing your text and image margins. You also don’t want to overload your pages with content, so it is always good to have white spaces to give your user’s eyes a break.

P- Proximity: This stresses the importance of keeping related images, paragraphs and titles together to communicate information concisely and in an organized manner. Your site pages will never look cluttered if you think about the proximity of each design element, how they relate to one another and how the style will enhance the user’s experience by being able to find what they are looking for on each page.

Before you begin the daunting task of building your online home, remember that your website is another component to effectively showcase your business and brand. By planning your website before you begin building, you will save time, tears and ultimately create a more effective website. Below are some quick tips that will further enhance your website building experience. Happy designing!

  • Decide on your visual elements before you begin the site building process

  • Ensure elements are evenly spaced (same amount of space above and below a paragraph, photo etc.)

  • Triple check to see if all of your links work/ no links are broken.

  • Just like any professional piece of writing, double-check your spelling and grammar.

  • Make sure your website has a mobile version and always link your social media accounts to your website.

  • If you aren’t technically or design savvy, work with a professional who can guide you through the process

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