Mastering Design Your Own Website: User Interface, Experience, and Responsiveness

There are countless tools and platforms available that make website design a breeze, even for beginners. These tools provide templates, drag-and-drop features, and other functionalities that simplify the process. But before you dive in, it’s important to understand the basics of website design, and that’s exactly what this article aims to provide.

Design Your Own Website

The next vital step in designing your own website is to choose a website building platform. Technology has advanced considerably over the years, making this process relatively painless. There are dozens of platforms vying for your attention. The challenge, however, lies in selecting the right one to meet your unique needs.

Understanding Your Options

Not all platforms are created equal. The landscape consists of both free and paid solutions, each with its advantages and downsides. The most popular platforms include WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify. They each feature user-friendly interfaces and provide an array of tools for differentiating your site from the masses.

WordPress is a favourite among bloggers due to its vast library of plugins and themes, while Wix is known for its intuitive drag-and-drop interface. On the other hand, Squarespace is widely recognized for its sleek, modern templates and robust blogging features. Shopify is a go-to platform for e-commerce for its assortment of e-commerce tools and integration with multiple payment gateways.

Define Your Website’s Purpose and Audience

Once you’ve chosen your website building platform, it’s vital to clearly outline your website’s purpose. Why are you creating this website? What do you aim to achieve with it? It could be anything from selling products, offering services, showcasing your portfolio, informing the public, running a blog, and so on.

In addition, consider the audience you aim to target. Your choice of design, content, and overall structure should align with the preferences and needs of this demographic. A tween-focused gaming site will look much different than a site targeting senior citizens interested in health products.

Here’s a guided checklist for defining your purpose and audience:

  • What’s the main goal of the website?
  • Who’s the primary audience you aim to attract?
  • What kind of content do they prefer: written articles, visual content, interactive media?
  • What problems or needs does your audience have that your site will address?
  • How will your website stand out in a saturated market?

Data drives these decisions. Leverage analytics data and industry research to characterise your target audience. Look at age, location, interests, income level, and other demographic information.

Select a Domain Name

The next pivotal aspect of creating a website is the selection of a domain name. It’s a crucial step as it’s not just where users will find the brand online, but it also plays a significant role in a company’s overall branding and search engine optimization (SEO).

Choosing the right domain name is more than just a catchy phrase or company name. It needs to be easy to type, easy to remember, and representative of what the website is all about. The domain name is a direct reflection of the brand. So ideally, it should be the actual company name or a close variation if the domain name already exists.

Integrate appropriate keywords into the domain name if possible. Keywords are invaluable for SEO and help users to find your website more easily via search engines. Just bear in mind – don’t compromise readability or brand identity for the sake of incorporating keywords.

Also, give thought to the top-level domain (TLD), such as .com, .org, .net, etc. Typically, .com is the most popular and recognized, but depending on the website’s purpose and target audience, other TLDs might be a better fit.

Design Your Website Layout

Crafting the structure of your site is the next pivotal step in the website creation process. Website layout and design is more than a matter of aesthetics; it’s about functionality and user experience.

An intuitive and accessible site design facilitates smooth navigation, which subsequently can enhance user engagement, and overall time spent on your site. Higher user engagement tends to translate into better SEO rankings.

Consider employing Wireframing as a first step in your layout design. Wireframes are basic, schematic visual representations of your website layout – devoid of colour, typography or images. This allows you to properly organise your site structure before diving into the more intricate aspects of design.