Most of you will have had a chance to look around the new website and will now be getting used to the new look and feel.
The design of a website does not happen by chance and has to be a carefully thought out process. For example, you need to ensure that design elements on one page can be carried over to another. You also need to be across modern trends (such as ‘icons’ and ‘interactive’ elements).
Best Practice web design principles were applied throughout the build. but what does that actually mean?
The main elements under consideration when it comes to Best Practice are as follows:
Good web design always caters to the needs of the user. That is, you! So, it’s important to understand whether you are looking for “information” or “entertainment” – this has a major effect on how the website looks. We at Reiki Australia want to provide you with information, yes, but the website is also a platform for a spiritual and healing community.
My previous experience was very much in print. I love paper and I love print. The rules of writing are very clear in print. But along came the internet and changed all the rules. People do not read content on a website the same way they would a book or newspaper. People scan the first few lines of text and generally move on. This means you have to keep things brief – to the point. Have all your important information at the start of an article. Forget your “beginning, middle and end’ to your story – your audience will have gone by then. You will see going forward, new posts and pages will reflect this.
San Serif fonts are easier to read on line. So, you won’t find ‘fancy flourishes’ or decorative finishes on our site. Ideally you should use size 16px and use a family of 3 typefaces for a streamline design.
The palette is one of the most important factors of good web design and strong branding. Colours create emotions and you have to be aware of how certain colours affect the audience.
Reiki Australia uses the pantones from the logo itself with a couple of accent colours (this is referred to as triadic in design circles) but generally, you will find the colours in line with spirituality, healing, wellbeing and trust.
So, you can see the use of colour plays an important role in website design and doesn’t just happen by chance.
The use of white backgrounds in images and vibrant, bold images are also deliberate as vibrancy shows Reiki Australia is fearless (in standing up for Reiki as a spiritual and healing modality), full of life, and optimistic. White images and white backgrounds in images give the audience space to breathe. White images and white spacing is also a contemporary representation of spirituality – away from the old, heavy, ‘quirky’ purple swirly patterns of spiritual pages of old.
The purpose of the website and the scale of content/number of pages dictates navigation. There are pros and cons for one-page design and sub menu navigation design. Reiki Australia uses sub menu navigation because of the number of pages and sections. A one-page website generally has less than 25 pages – Reiki Australia has over 65. Drop down menus guide you through the content easily and quickly.
This alludes to one of the points I mentioned previously about how people read online compared to how they read in print. There have been many studies conducted which show we read in an F shape online. This means you have to ensure all your important content (and design) falls into that shape where possible.
So that’s your crash course in Best Practice web design. Hopefully this provides some background as to why some decisions have been made on the Reiki Australia site – particularly if you are finding the design radically different – or you are concerned it doesn’t represent your idea of a traditional Reiki or spiritual page – quite the opposite. We have gone to great effort to ensure Reiki Australia is not only established in terms of professional reiki practice – but also – just as importantly – considers your needs in your own very personal, private Reiki and Spiritual journey.
In the meantime, if there is anything you would like to see more of, or would like me to explain further, please do get in touch with me, Evie at firstname.lastname@example.org