With such a significant portion of business activity, social interaction, information sharing, and many other activities taking place online these days, just about everyone is looking to get in on the action online. There are literally hundreds of millions of active websites on the internet and, unfortunately, many of them are unprofessional, difficult to use, downright ugly, or even harmful.
Astute web users will avoid these sites and the organizations tied to them. Legitimate organizations must present themselves as such.Here are three universal elements of professional-looking websites.
- Aesthetically Pleasing: Good websites look the part. They are clean, consistent, and simple. We feel comfortable looking at them. Pixelated graphics, cheap-looking animation, and poor color schemes are all consistently found on heinous looking websites while sleek graphics, smooth animation, and well-contrasted color schemes all contribute to a professional appearance. While Facebook overtook Myspace for a variety of reasons, consider the cluttered, cheap look of Myspace compared with the simple, clean look of Facebook.
- Easy to Use: The websites we use on a consistent basis are generally some of the easiest to use. Millions have switched to GMail from their previous e-mail providers in large part because, though the service features plenty of features, it is easy to use. Just about every tech update or improvement involves simplifying processes. The higher a sites usability, the higher its rate of use will generally be.
- Original Feeling: This is rather intangible, but very important in terms of drawing users and visitors back to a site. A good site has a unique feel and provides a unique experience for users. Though extremely simple, think how distinctive Google’s myriad of services are. When we visit Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, or any other highly frequented site, we almost feel like we’re visiting a whole new location because the feel of each is so original. They seem to have their own personality. A good, professional site is one that provides a unique experience.