This is How Your Site Should Flow
The flow of your website, although it may not initially be noticeable to your audience, can determine the level of enjoyment your visitors feel while browsing through your site. Good flow will not only make it easier for web surfers to navigate your site, it increases the readability and aesthetic value of your content.
Creating a well designed website will at the very least maintain your site's traffic, if not contribute to increasing it. In addition, your site should flow in a manner that improves your reputation, conversion rate, and possibly even your page rankings.
One of the best ways to develop good flow on your website is by consciously creating a structure for your page. It may be useful to create a flow chart, which will help you plan the style of navigation on your site. Having navigation bars and a basic narrative to your page will increase your audience's ability to find and utilize the information you provide.
Maintaining a steady stream of information on your website will keep your audience engaged and focused. You should make sure that any links are placed in relevant areas of the page, so that users will be able to seamlessly access related information contained in separate pages. This will keep your site visitors from getting distracted or bored.
Giving your users control over the content they are reading will also increase your audience's interest in your page. Your page should be highly responsive to the commands of the user, and the interactivity will maintain the user's engagement while they are on your site.
Your web page should appear basic and easily accessible. It should gradually increase in complexity as the user gains experience and skill utilizing your site's interface. This will decrease any frustration the user may feel, while keeping the user challenged as their skills in navigating your site increase.
Use an Effective Design
You may want your website to contain a variety of forms of information. This can mean adding charts, pictures, or videos, to give users a more stimulating experience when navigating your page. The variety will enable better flow of your website, as each medium activates different processes within the brain.
Though it is good to have variety on your site, you should make sure to avoid too much animation. Users may find it distracting, holding no applicable value. Maintain your audience's interest with solid content and design and stay away from gimmicks that may prove counter-productive.
When considering design, there are five principles that many professional designers implement into their work: Contrast, Balance, Consistency, Alignment, and Grouping. Using these elements will keep your content organized and interesting, and will assist in the flow of your page. They will encourage you to organize your content by relevance and readability. Contrasting colors will make your text more clear. Balance, Grouping and Alignment will help you maintain a solid narrative structure. Consistency will allow your readers to better understand the information you provide.
Aim For Return Traffic
The effectiveness of your web page's flow will determine whether users will return or retreat. If they find your site relatively easy to navigate, and find the information useful and understandable, they will likely associate your site with a positive experience. With sloppy design and minimal flow, your site will generate less traffic, as users will find your content difficult to process.
Take a look at some of your favorite websites. Determine what aspects of each site you find most interesting or helpful during your navigation. Notice the various techniques the web designer uses to facilitate a positive experience for web users.
Now go to a website you particularly do not like. Compare the two websites and determine what makes them different. This will help you recognize good design techniques in a web page, which will help you develop a solid flow on your own page.