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Elements of Website Design

There are three main elements to a website: design, navigation, and content. A lot of business owners tend to primarily focus on the website design. However, It is important to have a good mix of all three elements. If a website looks good but is difficult to navigate or does not have good content then the visitors will probably not come back for a second visit. If a website has a lot of content but the navigation falls short of expectations then it will frustrate the visitors which means they probably will not come back for a second visit.


A website has six seconds to keep a visitor's attention. In those six seconds the visitor will evaluate the design and navigation to decide if it is worth investing time in exploring the website further. They quickly calculate whether the time invested in staying on the website will provide a good return of finding what they are looking for.


The design of the website is important but tends to receive an over-weighted importance to the owner of the website. A website design should represent the company culture and the products or services. As a website is a visual medium the colour scheme should be chosen based on the target market. For example, if a website is about monster trucks then a bad colour scheme would be pastels, a flower shop should not have a black background.

The content of a website is just as important as design. Content of a website is one of the deciding factors of search engine ratings. Search engines and visitors love to find a diverse range of content on a website. However, the content should all be pertaining to the same theme.


Without navigation the Internet would not have survived. Navigation is the element of a website that helps visitors access other sections of a website. The navigation of a website is the visual representation of the content structure. The most common structure is top-down design, this allows for the most general category to be displayed as the primary navigation. The visitor then decides which element in the navigation to select that will result in them finding what they are looking for. When a general element is selected more detailed options will be presented based on that element.


So the next time you visit a website, be conscious of the three elements of design, navigation and content. Think about the design, does it match the product/service. Is it easy to navigate around the website, does it have a search facility? Did you use it? Why did you use it and not the navigation? Did you find additional information on the website that you didn't know before? Will you return to that website?



Written by Vince Doherty, Dakor Web Design