10.10.13

What Makes a Great Web Design Layout

BY SHAY RUGGLES

At Carbon8, we take a user-centered approach to information architecture and web design layout. Before you even think about what your home page should look like, you should take a step back and think about a few things first:

  • What is the single most important thing our web users should know about our company after visiting our website?
  • What are the top 3 pieces of information our visitors are looking for when they come to our website?
  • What are my top 3 goals for my website visitors?

After you've thought hard one those questions, you're home page will start to become a whole lot clearer.

First, make sure you have a clear statement defining that single most important thing. You cannot assume your visitors know exactly who you are and what you have to offer.

Next, how can we get your top 3 pieces of information your visitor are looking for clearly laid out on the website. Consider dropping the standard rotating banner with proof points, the latest whitepaper or deal you're promoting and use that space to clearly layout your product or service offerings.

Lastly, make sure you're enabling your visitors to reach your top 3 goals. Is one of your goals to contact you? Make sure your design layout has clear and compelling calls to action and a consistent contact button, preferably in the upper right hand corner of your website, where people typically look.

Where is the "Fold"

Now that you know what you have to layout out, you have the think about screen sizes to make sure your most important information really is at the top of the page or "above the fold." But where is the fold?

  • The general recommendation to make your website look its best is 1024x768 pixels.
  • Based off of the Nielson Normal Group, the new guideline as of 2012, is to optimize for widescreen monitors around 1440 pixels wide.
  • What about the height? Taking into consideration the browser chrome and bookmark bar (sometimes bars) we find a "safe" height is around 670 pixels.

Looking for some help on your website? Carbon8 is here to help you create the best design and layout for your target audience.

Shay Ruggles
written by SHAY RUGGLES

Shay Ruggles is the Director of UX at Carbon8 who ensures we are creating compelling experiences that balance user intent, clients’ business needs and site performance. A former Account Manager, Video Producer and Carbon8’s first employee, Shay leveraged her years of experience, education and research to transition to the creative team of Carbon8 in 2012.

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