If you don’t know what makes web design success or what it is, things can get overwhelming. Studies show that 48% of consumers believe website design is a major factor in deciding if a business is credible or not. Consumers know a good website when they see one as much as they know if it is bad. A bad website usually leaves visitors confused and frustrated. Something you’d never want your customers to experience. Ever.
There are several standards to follow on a good web design like color scheme, navigation, site speed, and overall functionality and usability of your site. Avoid the pitfalls by learning the 6 best practices to web design you should implement right away.
Six Best Web Design Practices
Branding Should be Consistent
Consistent branding should be implemented in your design or else it can get confusing and stressful for your visitors. Inconsistent branding can mean using difficulty in pinpointing what the brand colors are, what their logo looks like, or define how they want to position themselves in the market
Make sure your branding is persistent throughout your website. Your brand story should be supported in every part of the design. Use predetermined brand logo, colors, and voice not just in your content but also in icons, videos, choice of font, and videos.
Strong CTAs Should be Used
Businesses invest in building a website for two reasons: 1.) to attract a larger target market and 2.) be able to tell the customer what you offer. It both leads to the main goal that is sales or for the visitor to complete an action (conversion) like download white papers, sign up for a newsletter, or setup consultation. With that in mind,strong call-to-actions (CTA) are essential.
Having a strong CTA should be part of the initial design plan not afterwards. It should be positioned in the most sensible place in the layout and it should be visible but not overwhelming. Place the “Learn More” button in the upper part of the website and the “Contact Us” button should be placed towards the bottom since the visitor is likely more educated about your business already.
Improve Your Site Speed
A mere second added to the page load speed can cause you a drop in sales. And as the market gets more competitive, with new websites being born almost daily, the sweet spot for page speed is getting closer to two seconds as opposed to the current standard, which is three seconds.
Studies confirm that 47% of visitors expect a website to load within the first two seconds. About 40% of the visitors leave the website if the loading process takes more than three seconds.
Reduce image sizes by implementing new image formats. Research found that 61% of a website’s page weight is images. Using different-sized and quality images does not only save bandwidth but it can also reduce image weight by 20%.
Other things you can do to minimize page load speed are improving browser caching, removing unnecessary plugins, enabling HTTP keep-alive response headers, and enabling compression.
Implement SEO Best Practices
Follow SEO best practices to ensure your website gets found on search engines. If you’re not yet familiar with SEO, it is the process used to increase website visits by obtaining high ranking placement for related keywords in search engine results page (SERP) like Google.
Implement essential tags and elements like Schema Tags and XML Sitemaps.
Make it Mobile Friendly
Mobile web use is on the rise thanks to smartphones. Don’t make a website that only looks good on a desktop. Make sure your website is also accessible through mobile screens. Websites that are not mobile friendly can look cluttered and can be very difficult to navigate. It is said that 8 out of 10 consumers stop engaging with a website if the content doesn’t display properly on their device. Can’t blame them, can you?
Making your website responsive allows your site to automatically adjust to the size of the browser. This makes it a lot easier for users to find the information they need hassle-free.
Site Should Be Easy to Navigate
The faster your visitors are able to find what they are looking for in your site, the better. Your website’s navigation should be simple and adds a great impression to that overall user experience.
Limit the navigation menu bar to about 4-6 options. Standards dictate that the main navigation should be located in the header making a horizontal top-level navigation design.
Breadcrumbs also makes it easier for visitors know where they are on your site, especially if you own an ecommerce website with tons of products and categories. Using breadcrumbs, site visitors can easily go back to the previous page or check out a specific category.
Adding a search bar is also important especially for websites with a lot of content. Contact information should be placed in the right hand corner for visibility.
Whether you’re a new business building your first website, or an established brand looking to revamp, these are the key factors you should take into consideration in designing a website. Customers and technology has evolved, search algorithms have changed, and new tools have emerged.
A great web design contributes to that enhanced customer experience. Give your visitors an exceptional experience on your website by using appropriate call-to-actions, fast loading speed, accessibility in different devices, and ease of navigation.