How To Organize a Website – A Quick Guide
In the past, websites to be just huge walls of text, with some links thrown into a menu somewhere to help the user navigate.
They were clunky, boring to look at, and non user friendly. But it was the beginning of the Internet, so the best practices were yet to be established. After years in which companies have carefully tested every aspect of designing a website layout, a few basic standards have taken shape, depending on the website in question.
1. Presentation websites
These sites are centered around selling one particular product, service or a brand. A quintessential such site is the landing page of a mobile app. Their singular purpose is to convince a user to download the app and become it’s user.
The most common aspect of these pages is that they are highly focused around a single product or service. Usually, the first thing a user sees is a beautiful header image that has a short description and a call to action relevant to product.
Another common practice that is gaining traction is to add a video that showcases the product. This is useful because a video can tell a story much better and quicker than a simple image or a landing page.
Another thing that such presentation websites have in common is that they are fairly long. This is because such pages need to carry the potential client through all of the product’s selling points in order to convince them to take action.
However, just because it has to be long, doesn’t mean it has to be dense. Ideally, such pages pack information into very condensed and bite sized packets, so as to not overwhelm a user.
2. Ecommerce Websites
Ecommerce sites are all about selling products and optimizing a user’s journey towards the finalization of the purchase.
The biggest players in eCommerce are all focused around presenting the user with a wealth of products that contain important information, yet without overwhelming them with too much information.
For this reason, their preferred layout option is the grid, where they display the product, price and useful information. Clicking a product on this grid will then take the user to the product page, which contains more in-depth information such as a longer description, specifications and user reviews.
An important aspect of an eCommerce website is the search bar. Many users have a favorite shop, so they just navigate to it and then search inside the website for the product that they want.
3. Blogs, magazines and newspapers
Similar to eCommerce websites, blogs and other type heavy sites are designed to convince a user to click on a story and read it.
Except this time, the writing itself and headlines are the most important aspects, sometimes including an article’s featured image. It’s for this reason that type heavy sites are carefully optimized for readability and to emphasize key text such as headlines, titles and descriptions.
Usually, the most popular layouts for text based websites are either infinite scrolls, with an infinite stream of articles or grids, where each story is presented into it’s own small little tab.