A website is not just a link to a service or a product. In a global sense, it is a so-called storyteller of a brand that aims to interest the user sending him on a journey through your business. It is also a strong and independent marketing tool – the website’s design principles, colors and key messages should natively and clearly reflect the values and main goal of the brand.
In the meantime, the primary goal of any website is to convert a visitor into a customer. We collected some basic design tips and principles to help you understand what elements of web design perform well and lead you to success and which don’t.
1 Website is for the audience, not for the company
When creating a design, it is essential to keep in mind the audience you expect to visit your corporate website. Sometimes, it is quite easy to drown in visual and content details and forget about the reasons why people come to the website, what they want to learn and take from it. So, remembering who is your target audience and what motives it has plays a crucial role in the design, content and experience.
2 Interaction = communication
We can’t but mention an interactive part. It does mean a lot if a website communicates with the user. And this doesn’t concern the selling part. By adding some interactive sections and micro-interactions to the details you imitate reactions and feedback which is necessary for any communicative situation. Moreover, by adding interaction parts, you take the visitors by the hand and guide them on their journey, allow them to engage with your website and learn more about the product or service. If you master this process, it will bring much longer user sessions.
3 User Experience prediction
Today, everybody strives for perfection in creating the right user experience. People expect that they will find any information needed within a few seconds.
Sometimes it is hard to navigate websites because they overwhelm the visitor with choices, or just exclude the opportunity to communicate with them. A good website should have well-planned call to actions that will play the role of guiding light for visitors. It is extremely important to give the audience an understanding of what they should do or where to go next.
Designing a website requires two questions to keep in mind: what are visitors’ objectives or problems and how this or that page can solve them? Your goal is to cross that fine line between aware and engaged users by creating an intuitive hierarchy and adequate but appealing guidance through all the points the user might need. It is also an ok situation when after the launch you track users’ paths and behavior and make changes accordingly.
4 Design and content always go hand in hand
Design and copy are interdependent. So, the best practice is to create them together. The point is to create a unified experience when visual and text content emerges naturally and intertwine into a single whole without leaving a chance for a misunderstanding of what your website says. Everything is simple: if it feels organic and clear the visitor will stay, if it is confusing he will leave immediately.
It is also a good decision to check if the copy is an obstacle. Keeping the written content to a minimum helps to concentrate on consolidating the information in a comprehensive and engaging format. If you can show something it is better to visualize data instead of overwhelming users with long paragraphs. It is a common mistake to fear that users can miss something. Everybody interested in some details can always click the corresponding links or buttons to learn more information about the subject. Such an approach keeps the website clean and intelligible while giving all the answers to those who are engaged.
5 Simplicity and transparency is the new black
Attempts to impress with all that sophisticated sham is a counterproductive way to appeal. People are visiting your website for a specific purpose and may be irritated by pretentious ways to make them look where they don’t need. Pages should be as simple as possible to obtain what visitors come for.
It is a way better if on top of that the website is scannable. Before the decision to go deeper there is always a process of a few seconds scan. It goes without saying that a transparent structure and predictive user journey make a good showing, and there is more possibility that visitors will get engaged more quickly.
6 Time is priceless
The response time of a website is one of the most important things to remember. When people come they have only a short time to be convinced to stay. So, distribute call to actions and visual accents to get their attention and help visitors to find what they came for.
In this term, the website’s menu also should be self-explanatory and easy to access. Most people visit a website looking for an answer to a specific question and if the sitemap menu is too broad or complicated, your visitors will go away quickly. Check your analytics to find out what pages are most frequently visited or what search terms lead to the website and make sure that information is easy to navigate from the very beginning.
Balance and test your content, design and compare it to real user actions to minimize the time of reaching the desired information. People can never get back their time. That is why this resource should be cherished.
7 Mobile optimization is a must
What device do your customers use for surfing the internet? According to the Statista data, the percentage of mobile traffic is growing daily. This means that your website mobile optimization is a #1 priority for your company and webmaster right now.
What is more, Google announced the mobile-first indexing for all the websites. The principle is clear: well-optimized for mobile devices websites rank higher. Quite an important reason to turn to mobile-first web design.
8 Devil in details – appropriate typography and color
It is obvious enough – nobody will read the content if it is hard to do. Typography is often underestimated, but it is essential a font should reflect the idea of your website. Match the font and site theme: no hand-writing of funny fonts for legal or medical websites.
The text should be readable, so choose one (two maximum) font of the proper size and use adequate line spacing. Different sizes for the main text and headlines will structure the information and improve its readability.
It is also a bad idea to play with a lot of different colors turning your website into a rainbow. Focus on several of them according to your brand book and common sense, use accents thoughtfully.
Designing a website might seem a complicated process. But following some basic principles and putting yourself in potential visitors’ shoes may serve you the good turn. Are you motivated to create a web masterpiece? Feel free to contact us to design a perfect and smart website that will correspond to all your business needs.