Creating memorable user experiences with website layouts

When creating a website think like a Siren

When you hear about a business, what is the first thing you do? Look for a website. If the site looks like it was rushed, not updated, or doesn’t tell you what that business does, what do you do? Probably go somewhere else. A website allows you access to people not just in your community but all over the world. It draws people to you. A website should capture visitors like siren ensnares sailors, but with better intentions. Hopefully.

Designing a website can be a daunting task if you aren’t used to doing it, but it is something that needs to be done if you have a business. It doesn’t matter if you have a big business, a small one or are just getting started. If you are an aspiring author, an artist or a graphic designer, you need a website. Although you need a website, it can’t be just any website. You can’t just throw it together and walk away. You may get a few visitors by doing so, but most likely, they won’t come back. Not only does the site needs to be eye-catching but also user-friendly. The layout to any website is equally important, than the information on the site.

Website Layout

A website layout structures the information on a website for visitors. A website layout should be easily navigable and make important information easy to find.

Now wanting to be different and unique is a good thing, but when it comes to website layouts, don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Some web designers feel like that should create something no one has ever seen before and if that works, then great. But most of the time, what is created is not user-friendly. Popular websites follow some of the same layouts for a reason. They have been proven to work. These common layouts bring in visitors and those visitors may turn into customers or clients depending on your business. That is the purpose of a website. Just because a site uses a common layout doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own.

Common Layouts

There are many different website layouts that you can pick from. Knowing which one to choose can be difficult because even though there are a plethora of website layouts out there, they won’t all work with your purpose. Some layouts are more commonly used than others because they have been proven to bring in visitors.

There are seven common website layouts. These layouts are single column, zig-zag, fullscreen photo or video, intentional asymmetrical, fixed sidebar, a grid of cards, and split-screen. These layouts may be common, but they have been proven to work. Because they have been proven to work, you should look at them when trying to design your website.

Single Column Layout

The single column website layout is probably the most simple layout on the list. With this layout, all information is organized into one single column. This layout is simple because visitors just must scroll to find the information they are looking for. This type of layout became popular because of mobile devices like cell phones and tablets. Users can use these devices to scroll through your site. Single column layouts are popular among bloggers and writers. The single column layout allows them to post content that is easy for visitors to read and to follow.

Z Shape And Zig-zag Layout

This common layout is based on the Z scanning method. This layout out mirrors the way eyes read the content. First, the eyes go from the top left to the top right. This forms a horizontal line. Then the eyes go down and then to the left, forming a diagonal line. Then the eyes go back to the right, creating the last horizontal line. The Z pattern is repeated several times on the page. This type of layout works well if the page has a sole purpose, like promoting something or explain something. Text, along with images, can guide the user’s eyes on where to go.

Full-screen Photo or Video Layout

This layout is where a large photo or video is used as the background for the whole page. Full-screen images or videos, when done right is a great way to engage visitors. If the right image is used, then you can tell your story without words. With a video, you can engage visitors with movement. This type of layout can be a bit tricky because there is a lot of emphasis on the picture or the video.

Whichever one you choose must be done right. It must be the perfect eye-catching picture that represents what you are trying to say and that may be hard to find. Also, with this type of layout, you are relying heavily on this image to get your message across. Hoping that brings in visitors and doesn’t turn them away.

If you are okay with that and have the perfect image in mind, than this layout is a great and bold way to engage visitors. This layout works well with single page websites and websites that employ a minimalistic design. This layout can be quite beautiful if done correctly.

Intentional Asymmetry Layout

This type of layout is great for artists. The intentional asymmetry layout is where the two sides of the layout are not equal. Asymmetry focuses attention on different elements on the site. The elements on the page or unevenly distributed. Tension is created by throwing balance out the window. You can make it as subtle or as in your face as you want.

It depends entirely on what you are trying to accomplish. You can use images, text, space or color to create the asymmetrical feel you want. If you have focal points or pictures you want to make sure visitors see, then this is the layout for you.

Fixed SideBar Layout

This layout makes navigation easier. When a person pulls up your site; the first thing they are looking for in the menu. The menu tells them where they can find the information they are looking for. The fixed sidebar layout puts a navigation bar on either the left or right side of the page. That way, visitors will always know where to find what they are looking for, and the bar never goes away.

Grid of Cards Layout

If your site is full of information and all the information is of equal importance, then this layout may be the best one for you. Grid of card allows you to give visitors a lot of information while keeping it in small, easy to take in chunks. Each card contains information, and the style of the cards can be changed. The size, spacing, and columns of the grid can also be changed.

If you are a photographer, then this layout may be a good one for you. You can make a different picture of the face of each card. When a visitor clicks on it, they will be taken to a large version of the picture. You can also write a little information about the picture like where it was taken. Artists can use it to showcase their work, and writers can use it to draw attention to books they’ve written, short stories, or upcoming releases.

Split Screen Layout

Split screen works for those who want to showcase two pieces of information equally. This layout allows you to show two pieces of information equally because one side is not bigger than the other. This allows visitors to look at both items and pick which one they want to know more about. This layout can be used to give users a choice between one thing or another or to draw attention to an image or a call to action button. The combinations are endless and entirely up to you. This layout works both vertically and horizontally.

Keep them coming back for more

Website design is a daunting task to take on, especially for beginners. If it is something you don’t think you can do it correctly or you want the best website to attract future customers or clients, then it would probably be best to hire a web designer. A web designer can guide you through the web design process and help you pick the best layout for your purpose. If you decide to do it for yourself, be sure to do your research. When designing a website, the layout is crucial.

The goal of the site is to draw in visitors and keep them coming back. Your website is an extension of your business and it should be done right. The wrong layout can deter visitors from coming back to your site. The more people that land on your website, the higher the chance that they will buy something. The right layout that is both engaging and easy to navigate can ensure that people won’t just visit your site, but they’ll keep coming back.

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