The number one goal for website designers is to create a site that attracts a substantial audience base. It is important for a designer to be familiar with the common practices associated with creating an attractive website, especially when said website is rich with content.
Content-heavy websites have the potential to drive viewers away if designed improperly. With surfing the web comes the ability to have access to unlimited information available at your fingertips. This translates to having a shorter attention span, and therefore the desire to digest as much information as possible in as little amount of time as possible. As a web designer, it is important not to overwhelm your viewers with large chunks of block text. A web page drowning in a sea of words is a huge deterrent to users, and will likely drive a large percentage of them away, and, in some cases, never to return to your website again. Content-based sites are tricky at first to develop, but a carefully crafted design can create a welcoming interface that attracts and keeps a large audience base. The designer must put to use his knowledge and tools to construct an enticing set of pages that slowly lead the viewer deeper and deeper into the depths of the website, little by little.
There are a wide range of design principles that can benefit the look of a content-rich website. The most fundamental perhaps being the use of white space. Breaking up a chunk of text into more manageable pieces allows for the reader to process the information more smoothly, and keeps them wanting more. When faced with a body of text with no white space, the reader sees the task as daunting and usually opts out. However, when segmented into smaller portions, the body of text appears easier to digest and is therefore more inviting. It is vital for a website to have key-word heavy text in order for search engine optimization, but with proper web design, it can be manipulated into a non-threatening body of content.
It is wise to sort a body of text into a hierarchy, both visually and informatively. The use of headings and sub-headings not only reinstates the use and importance of white space, but it also gives a coherent way of categorizing text topics. Instead of one over sized paragraph, content relating to one specific topic is broken down into micro-topics along the way. This allows for easy digestion of information in the viewer, as well as a visually professional web design. In addition to this, some designers utilize type-style and boxes to highlight important quotes from the text. These quotes are hooks — intriguing and eye-catching bits of information that the viewer can quickly skim, perhaps leading them to reading the whole of the text. Additionally, having a search bar gives users with a specific goal in mind the option to jump directly to what they are looking for, without having to sift through multiple menus and tabs.
Using boxes and grids to separate information can create a sense of organization and rigid cleanliness, therefore emitting a visually balanced and interesting design. They can provide a necessary contrast amidst a sea of other non-rigid visual aids. Adding images throughout a page of content can help pace the text and keep the viewer interested. A diverse looking page keeps the user from becoming bored with your web design, resulting in satisfied viewers who are likely to return.
Crafting Hidden Text
It is important to design a website so that large bodies of text are kept out of sight, off the home page. The option to access more information should be presented clearly to the user, and with visual appeal. Small portions of information can be presented in a number of diverse ways.
Navigational tabs help to categorize information into accessible sub-headings. Found on the homepage of most websites, navigational tabs are designed to keep the web page organized, and to allow users to view a wide range of topics at the same time. The user can decide which tab they would like to learn more about at the simple click of a button. Sometimes these navigational tabs have drop down menus with even more categories to chose from. The segregation of information allows for comfortable, easy access to a wide range of information.
A rollover can be used to hide information within an block or image. When the viewer’s mouse glides or hovers over an image, a text appears. With the background image’s opacity reduced so it becomes translucent, the text that appears is often a sample from a larger article available when clicked. Rollovers allow for interactivity between interface and viewer, making for a very interesting web design.
Content sliders are used to present alternating slides of information and imagery. The information provided on each slide gives the user an idea of what information is available throughout the website. The slides scroll every few seconds, giving the user time to view the minimal information, and decide whether or not to click and read more.
Some websites show a small blurb of intriguing text, with the option click to expand. Similar to highlighting significant quotes amongst large bodies of text, giving the viewer a small sample of interesting text acts as a hook, inviting the user to read more to find out additional information.
Gilmedia has a team of expert web designers trained to masterfully craft a personalized and unique website for your business. We work to create search engine friendly designs that will optimize user visits and keep your business booming.