When it comes to designing your website, it is natural to be creative to express your brand. You want to make an attractive site. But, while doing so, remember that solid principles must support every web design choice you make. It starts with defining your goals.
Guide your visitors to the desired result. A good web design directs users to an answer or solution that addresses those needs. The attention and time of site visitors are crucial. If they do not find what they need on your site right away, they will turn to your competitors for a solution. You should guide them according to their needs, for example:
- Read a specific article
- Download a PDF, an app, or a demo
- Sign up for an online community
- Register for a newsletter
- Watch a video
- Learn about your product and purchase
Convey your trustworthiness and offerings. When a user visits your site, you have an opportunity to connect with them and communicate your brand. They want to know if you know their needs and challenges. Your web design should make your audience know you, like you, and eventually trust you.
Your website should be consistent with your branding and instantly clear what you offer. It is important that your audience understands the language you are using. So, check if your website is too personal or casual for your financial technology audience. Do you think your site is too corporate for your sports apparel target market?
To gain their trust, make sure your visitors can find positive reviews, testimonials, or case studies on your website. It also helps if you add an active community on your website of like-minded individuals.
Welcome and encourage only your specific target market. Successful businesses know who their customers are. But, more importantly, they also know who not their customers are. One of the mistakes in building web design is attempting to attract everyone. If you follow this path, it will result in high loads of customer service but low conversion rates. So, it is essential that you should be able to separate your audience from those who are not.
After defining your goals, apply these fundamental principles to your web design:
One of the differences between haphazard and effective web design is consistency. Make sure that your website is consistent on the page elements, colors, and behavior all across. It means that you do not suddenly change the style, color, position, or behavior of your main structural features halfway through the user experience. For example, your headings, buttons, breadcrumbs, etc.
Create your HTML headings for your structured content. Those H1 tags, H2 tags, and so on, give visual separation to the readers as well as a hierarchy of information to the search engines. It is better not to use headings for those non-content elements such as widgets, breadcrumbs, and navigation. Using schemas is suitable for these, whereas your HTML should be on the main page content.
Your typography should also be consistent across various devices, including mobile, tablet, and full screen. Keep in mind that font size, line height, color, and letter spacing look different on the screen of smaller devices.
Focus on Your Page Flow
Online users tend to read websites like magazines instead of books. For effective web design, understand how users read and seek out information. Typically users scan for interesting content, do no read all the words, long paragraphs cause them to get bored, and skip over the whole section.
In eye-tracking technology that enables a device where a person is looking, it shows that the majority of users utilize a predictable pattern when scanning a web page for information, which is the F pattern. It means they begin at the top-left and continue in smaller movements across. For this reason, make sure your web design can hook your visitors through a headline or visual. Consider featuring the vital elements, such as presenting your visitors with your most powerful content in the upper part. Also, users expect that you tell them what is important and not the other way around.
For every divider, section, and subheading; make sure to restart the F pattern. This is because the effect dwindles quite fast, so do not depend on this pattern far down your web pages. With this, avoid putting impactful in the bottom right corner of a page, as it may not get a lot of attention there.
Provide the Best Call-to-Action
Your CTA does not need to use aggressive salesmanship, but it should be able to focus on conversion. Your CTA should have the right placement and purpose. So, for every web page you have, consider the most effective and quickest way your visitors can take your CTA, and what action you want them to do.
Make sure your visitors do not misunderstand or fail to see your call-to-action. Do not think that all your visitors are familiar with CTAs just like you or your website designer. Not everyone has the same understanding, so make your CTAs visible and recognizable. Use content boxes, opt-in forms, prominent positions, animations, ribbons, banners, hover effects, as well as big, bold buttons.
Optimize Your Website for Various Devices
The greater part of traffic on the internet is from mobile devices. The percentage is higher for certain niches. Mobile devices and mobile users are growing fast. In that case, the mobile website design is a must. Know that responsive web design goes beyond fitting and optimizing everything on smaller screens. Take into consideration that users visit and perceive websites in varied ways, depending on the circumstance and device. Your audience may be killing time in a parking lot, public transport, or at a restaurant. The attention span is also not the same on smaller screens and larger ones.
The following are some tips to make your web design responsive for mobile device:
- Minimize padding and margins to fit more content into the display screen
- Make the page flow vertically much better by stacking columns into rows
- Design alternative elements whenever necessary
- Streamline and reduce navigation menus for touch screens
- Hide non-vital elements
It is all right to be creative with regard to web design because the internet is not the same if all websites look similar. But, keep in mind your audience and business goals when choosing your design and the elements you put on it.