What makes a great website design

It can be tempting to take a DIY approach to create your website. There are some great systems out there to encourage, and help you do just that. At Popcorn Web Design we understand why that may seem a cost-effective option but you don’t just need a website – you need a great website!

Before you decide that your website is good enough, check you can tick off the eight crucial elements of a great website design.

It’s not about you….

A great website means that the user can achieve what they want to achieve easily. From the content being suitable and clear, to the layout and navigation.

Your website needs to focus on the user – your potential customer. That’s what being a user-friendly website means.  Being “user friendly” includes some clear, simple approaches. Easy to find buttons to click through to the needed information. Simple language without jargon.  A font that can be read by everyone. A colour scheme that takes account of visual impairments and learning difficulties.

Mobile first...

A website should be designed for mobile users first, then desktop. The days of focusing on desktop design have long gone.

In December 2022, research (Statcounter) showed that over 60% of internet traffic was via mobile.  We start with a mobile design which allows us to produce a clean, clear design which can easily be used by that 60% of traffic. We then look at translating that to desktop users.

Design to suit your brand and goals….

Not only does your website need to be pleasing to the eye but it needs to match your brand. Your message needs to be clear – not only in terms of actual information included but clear in terms of your ethos, culture and vision. The user needs to recognise your company without reading anything through the colours, images and layout.

The design needs to help visitors make their buying decision. Delays in loading a page, or being bombarded with a mass of words and information to sift through to find out how to buy, will send your potential customer elsewhere!

A great design is pretty to look at but is also on-brand and user-friendly.

Clear messaging….

Someone has clicked on your website for a reason. Your website needs to satisfy that reason, in a suitable way.

The first step to a great website is nothing to do with tech or website design. It is about understanding your audience. Knowing who is likely to be the user, and why.  What it is you are offering to your potential customer, and how do they want to receive it?  Once you understand your customer, you can identify why they visit your website and move them through the journey to make the purchase/sign up/join/subscribe.  The design needs a clear “call to action” which are easy to see and use.

The story your website tells, both visually and with words, needs to be clear and match your user’s needs. Again, be clear on your branding to make it instantly recognisable.

Easy to find….

A great website needs to be found easily – and ahead of competitors.

We are talking about SEO. Search Engine Optimisation.  A great website design will be set up to “talk” directly to search engines, such as Google. This means if someone searches for “florist Liverpool” for example, and you are a florist in Liverpool, your website will come up on the first page of the suggestions.


Do you know that little green lock icon that appears in the address bar? Well, that is pretty important. It shows that the website is trustworthy and safe to use.  Users feel reassured, and Google likes it.


You want your website to be accessible by the maximum number of people – and luckily, the tech is there to help you do that.  Being accessible means that everyone should be able to “read” the words and images on the website in some way.

For example, A warm colour background, with a darker font will help people with dyslexia.  With six million people in the UK alone having dyslexia, a great website design will be user-friendly and take their needs into account.

Avoiding red, green and pink will help people with colour blindness – impacting three million people in the UK.

Having a clear font, of at least size 16, and a website design which allows resizing to assist with sight impairments will help.

Even images need to be considered. Using Alternative text to explain the image, and having transcripts on videos.


The words on the website need to link in with being user-friendly, accessible, on-brand, with clear messaging and assist with SEO. With the average reading age in the UK thought to be around 9 years old, and the average time spent on a website as 52 seconds, the content needs to provide what the user wants quickly.

Make it easy to find (search function), easy to share (links to socmed), and bite size. Give options to find out more after headlines are shared.

How we can help….

You may have worked out that these eight elements are difficult to separate! Being user-friendly will need great content, be accessible, and a design which will result in clear messaging which will improve the SEO.  As soon as one of the building blocks is missing you end up with a website but not a great website!

If you want a website which is:

  • Accessible
  • User Friendly
  • Great content
  • Secure and safe to use
  • Brilliant SEO results
  • Mobile friendly
  • Great design
  • Clear messaging

then drop us a line. We would love to have a chat about how we can help create the great website your business needs.

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