Author Websites: Design
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
Alright. Now that we've covered SEO, Pages, and Platforms, it's time to talk about design. This is the part of websites I love the most. This is the part that makes them the most understandable to your visitors and the part that makes them enjoyable to stay on.
Read the full Author Website Series:
We've all seen poorly designed websites. It's hard to navigate them and even harder to find the information you want. I'm hoping to help you avoid that fate with this post.
1. Put in a clearly defined menu.
The page titles should be clear and short. You need your viewers to be able to intuitively find what they're looking for. Use the normal names for things—blog, home, about, contact. These are titles people understand and expect. You'll keep your visitors if they know how to navigate your page. The menu should either be across the top or down the left side of the screen.
2. Choose an aesthetically pleasing color scheme.
Once you choose a color scheme, stick with the same scheme throughout your entire website. This makes everything look cohesive and professional, and also creates a brand for you. Having a personal brand can make or break your website. For ease of reading, you'll want your font to be a dark color on a light background.
3. Choose a font scheme.
Use only a few fonts throughout the whole website. Again, this will give your site a professional feel and keep everything cohesive. Use these fonts throughout for the same things—page titles, subtitles, body text, buttons, links—they should all be identical to themselves, and the fonts should compliment each other. For ease of reading, you should probably put the font size no smaller than 11, depending on what font you use.
4. Follow a 'Z' pattern.
The most important information should be at either end a Z sightline. As viewers look at your site, they're going to look at your site starting at the top left, going straight across, down to the bottom of the screen, and across, like a Z. At the points of the Z should be the things you want your viewers to act on, as it gives those actions the best emphasis.
In short, you'll want consistency and ease of use to be your main concerns.
If you want help with any of this for your website, please reach out for a consultation. I'd love to assist you in any way I can. Check out the services tab to see how I can best help.
J. J. Hanna graduated from Taylor University with a degree in Professional Writing. She's currently working with literary agent Cyle Young, learning to be a literary agent, and working as a freelance writer and editor. To hire her for editing, writing, speaking, or consulting, see the services tab. In her free time, she can be found cuddling with a cat, reading the latest suspense novel, or filming YouTube videos about the publishing industry.