It’s difficult to know whether website development is more of an art or a science. There are so many concrete rules to follow for your visitors to have a good enough experience that they buy what you’re selling.
On the other side of the coin, website development is such a visual medium that there are many aspects of it inherently down to personal, subjective opinion.
We can’t tell you exactly how your website should look like from top to bottom – that part of the process is down to you and how you want your brand to speak to the customer.
What we can share is some advice to enhance your website development process so that whatever your construction website looks like, it should still provide a good experience for the customer and a healthy return on investment for your business.
With this 3 part blog series on website development, we’ll cover the different aspects of building and designing an effective website that will gain the trust of your visitors and turn your traffic to revenue.
A good website can communicate to its visitors in many different ways, but text is amongst the most important. In fact, 95% of information online is in the form of written language.
The art of arranging copy on a website in a way that makes it legible and visually appealing to your construction website’s visitors is one is not easily learned by designers at digital marketing agencies but necessary.
Type is a fickle fiend but when utilised in the right way, can make reading on a website effortless and even pleasing to the eye; creating trust in your readership and making the visitor’s journey to customer that little bit simpler.
Because typography is such an expansive topic, both inside and outside of web development, we will cover as much as possible whilst applying it to web design where we can.
There are plenty of factors to consider when it comes to appropriate typography. There are two major sets of fonts: serif and sans serif.
Serif fonts have embellishments at the end of letters, sometimes known as feet and tails.
The effectiveness of serif fonts compared to sans serif fonts have been contested between studies.
One study by Colin Wheildon, who conducted studies between the 80’s and 90’s found that sans serif fonts create some challenges in comprehension, whereas another study suggested that comprehension times for individual words are slightly faster when written in a sans serif font.
All of this is to say that choosing between serif and sans serif is not an exact science and should not be treated with concrete rules, though sans-serif fonts have prevalence in screen displays due to finer details like serifs either vanishing or appearing too large onscreen.
A good rule of thumb to follow is that serif fonts are best in terms of readability for smaller chunks of copy, whereas sans serif fonts are great for large, bold titles.
Mixing fonts in one design is risky business too, so try to make sure that you are using a maximum of one serif font to one sans serif font.
This is because the different fonts convey their own ‘moods’. Serif fonts, as you can imagine, give out quite a classy, elegant tone to their words. Sans serif fonts are more minimal and simplistic which gives them their own kind of modern and friendly style.
In regard to website design, the ‘mood’ you are trying to convey is entirely dependent on your construction brand.
If you are a jewellery brand, then you want to be heavy on the elegant style of serif fonts that tell people that you are traditional and established, and lighter on the sans serif fonts.
This will ensure that your visitors judge your brand as the elegant, defined thing that it is.
Contrastingly, if you want your brand to be seen as modern, casual, and even approachable then consider sans serif fonts for your website copy. Sans serif fonts are friendly with tech companies that try to come across as cutting edge and personable.
So, think about the qualities of your construction brand before deciding between serif and sans serif fonts and then think, “What typeface or font best conveys these qualities?” This will ensure that you are giving the impression that you want to be giving to visitors when they land on your site.
For help on nailing your construction company’s brand and standing out amongst the crowd, contact Framework Marketing here
It is worth mentioning, too, that you may think using an outlandish, brazen font is the most suitable decision for your brand if that is what you have decided.
Line Leading and Length
We are going into the land of technicalities now. According to The Baymard Institute, the optimal length of body text on your website should be between 50 and 75 characters per line, including spaces. For mobile devices, 30-40 characters per line is optimal.
If a line of text is too short then the reader’s eye is moving too much, it does not help with the flow of the information and can break their attention, whereas a line which is too wide can strain the eye, giving the reader a harder time to focus on the text and understand where the next line of text starts.
Different platforms use line width differently – newspapers and magazines often have very tall, narrow columns so the line width is usually much smaller than something on a tablet or desktop which are much wider than they are tall.
The white space between two lines of text is also known as ‘leading’. By increasing the leading, the vertical space between lines of text is heightened improving readability – to a point. As a rule, leading should be around 30% more than the height of the text character to ensure best readability.
Refer to the text below to see how leading can make all the difference in making readability efficient or even possible!
The first example paragraph is a chaotic mess of words. Readability is a task for most and would be basically impossible for anyone with sight impairment or reading difficulties.
The third example paragraph is the opposite of the first in that it has more than enough space between lines. However, this amount of spacing can slow down the readability as it forces the eye to move more than it should between lines, so it becomes difficult to read over time.
The middle paragraph is an example of perfect spacing between lines and, fortunately, is the default setting on software like Microsoft Word.
Having said this, line spacing depends on your website visitors’ personal preference and abilities. It may be worth having slightly larger leading between lines on the copy of your website simply just to accommodate the visually impaired or those with reading difficulties like dyslexia.
If you’ve read both parts of our Website Development Series, you may be coming to realise that creating a groundbreaking website guaranteed to increase ROI isn’t for the faint-hearted, but Framework Marketing are here to take the burden off your shoulders. Ready to take the plunge? We’re just a click away.