When it comes to website design, it’s easy to shift focus from what’s important (the overall user experience) to what’s not (the intricate details of the design itself).
Let’s face it. We’ve all done it:
- “That color is too bright.”
- “It would be cool to have a video here.”
- “That logo placement should be a little more center.”
While it’s certainly good to notice these details, they shouldn’t be your highest priority. It’s important to remember, instead, the most important thing about your website: providing value to your visitors.
As a web designer, here are a few tactics to use that will provide that value to visitors and improve overall user experience:
1) High-quality, original imagery. Stock photos can be great for improving the look and feel of your website, but if you’re in a niche industry, there might not be many options to choose from, which can result in competitors using the same images on their websites. The best option would be to take some high-quality photos for yourself or hire a professional to take them for you.
2) White space. White space can be a tricky topic of discussion for web designers and clients to have. Many clients believe that their websites should be filled with tons of helpful information and beautiful design above the fold of a page. While we certainly don’t disagree that this is prime real estate for showcasing your business’s most important features, we as designers understand how valuable white space can be. Not only does it make your content more legible and distraction-free, it also encourages user comprehension by 20%, allowing your users to actually digest what it is they’re reading.
3) Attractive CTAs. Not only should your calls to action be clear, concise and compelling—they should be created with design in mind too. What does that translate to? Well, it means a few things:
- Pay attention to CTA placement. Generally speaking, your CTAs should be placed above the fold (or directly beneath blog content) to easily and immediately attract readers to take an action.
- CTAs should also be of a prominent color to make it easily distinguishable on the website.
- Size matters when it comes to CTAs. Make sure yours are appropriately sized so people can easily read them, and not so big that they overpower the whole page.
- Relevancy is key. No matter how your CTAs are designed, be sure that whatever copy is used within them is relevant and helpful in guiding readers to take the next step.
4) Conventionality. OK, hear us out. Yes, out-of-the-box designs make websites different, unique and memorable. There’s no question that pushing the boundaries of web design is the only way to grow, discover new features and create a better user experience overall. However, to say that there shouldn’t be a small amount of conventionality would be a disservice to you and your users. Certain things—things that users have grown accustomed to over the years—should be standard across any website, including:
- Main navigation menu placed horizontally along the top of a page
- Internal/external links underlined or highlighted in a different color
- Brand’s logo placed in either the middle or the top left corner of a page
- Brand’s logo linked back to the home page
- A footer menu placed at the bottom of the page
- Clickable social icons placed at the top or bottom of the page
- Login button placed in the top right corner of the page
- An overall visual hierarchy that arranges more important elements in places the eye naturally gravitates toward
5) Simplicity (across the board). There’s no argument that your website’s overall design makes a huge impact on visitors’ impression of your company. But that doesn’t mean that every aspect of your site has to have some complex design element or feature. Think about it this way: most visitors aren’t coming to your site for the purpose of seeing your design. That may be something that’s an added bonus, but essentially they’re coming for information about a product or service you can provide. If that information isn’t easily available for users (no matter how pretty your site may be), then it’s likely they’ll leave.
So how do we accomplish this? By keeping it simple.
From the graphics and typefaces, to the colors and everything in between, simplicity should be key here. This includes clean designs (with only about three main colors), legible typefaces (a maximum of three), useful features, clutter-free images and an overall flow that encourages visitors down the funnel to your main call to action.
Ready to see what a continuous growth partnership can do for you?