Website designs come in many different styles and directions. They range from minimalistic to classy, from a playful color scheme to a modern design. Ultimately, their final look-and-feel and interactive elements should exude the brand’s identity.
But that’s not all.
Your web design should also have a great user experience. It should be easy to understand at first glance. It should also be effective, of course. That means it should be able to do what it was meant to do in the first place, whether that’s securing sales, capturing emails, getting webinar signups, and more.
How can you design an effective website? Here are four tips:
1. Add Relevant and High-Quality Images
Images are critical to an effective website. When used the right way, they help ensure your website yields the results you were looking for.
You can use images in many ways on your website. You can use them to showcase your products or services. You can also show the real people behind your company. You can even use images to put faces on the people who trust your brand. That can help elicit trust and encourage website visitors to take your desired action.
You can also use images just for aesthetic purposes. If you don’t have the time to take these pictures, stock photos can help you. Just make sure they are high-quality so you can ensure your company’s credibility. Jumpstory is a great source of these types of photos.
Here are some web design tips to help you get the right high-quality images:
- Use images of people in real-life scenarios
- Use visual hierarchy in your design process to steer your audience’s eye in the right direction
- Run photos through applications such as TinEye to show you how many people have used it. If it’s in the thousands, it’s not the best one to use.
Photography helps better represent your company’s brand differentiation and how others perceive it.
Additionally, you have to make sure the colours in the design, the background colour, and the primary colour work together. Colour theory is vital in creating a beautiful, user-friendly website. Also, avoid visual complexity.
2. Be Mobile-Friendly
To have a positive impact on usability, ensure that your mobile users can still enjoy the website as they would on a desktop version. Around 75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly site. Unfortunately, 96% of consumers say they’ve encountered sites that weren’t designed for mobile.
So, always remember that optimizing your site for mobile is a good B2C and B2B web design best practice.
Here are some web tips to ensure a good mobile experience:
- Use readable fonts and add clear CTAs.
- Minimize loading time by compressing images. A fast load speed is critical because, according to Google, almost half of all website visitors will leave if a mobile page doesn’t load in three seconds.
Here’s a nice example of a mobile-optimized site. The screenshot below is the Zoho desktop homepage.
This one is the mobile one:
Notice that everything is well laid out, even when the site is viewed from a small screen (the second screenshot). There’s proper spacing between elements. Both versions have visual elements for a beautiful design that makes it easy to understand the service offering.
3. Ensure Smooth Navigation
As you design your website, the design approach for navigation is critical. In your design strategy, it’s essential to map out the core places users can visit.
Take Zendesk, for instance. It includes the essential things any visitor would want to know when they visit the website.
In addition to having a solid navigation system, here are some web design tips to help search engines index your content for a great user experience:
- Avoid busy backgrounds
- Integrate web accessibility to ensure that anyone can use your website, including people with disabilities.
- Link the logo to your homepage
- Your site menu should be easy to find, prominent, and have a hierarchical structure.
- Have vertical navigation. If you have a long-scrolling, e.g., a one-page website, you can include an anchor menu or consider using a ‘Back to Top’ button.
- Use a website footer. That is a great place to place all the essential links, which would include your contact information, a shortened version of the menu, or social media icons.
Improving the website’s navigation ensures that the visitors’ attention can easily be directed to what they need. That would include the use of a dropdown menu, pull-out menus, streamlined content, navigation hierarchy, and a responsive design.
4. Include A Strong CTA
Once visitors land on your website, you need to guide the visitors’ attention to the piece of content or places your website will help nurture them to conversion using a call-to-action button. People want things to be easy, so use design techniques to optimize the browsing experience.
Here are some web design tips to consider:
- Strategically place call-to-action buttons to improve your web design
- Pick an ‘action color’ for all the links, rollover effects, and buttons. Don’t use this action color anywhere else but on the clickable parts.
- Use the CTA buttons on areas such as the top right of the navigation, below sections that need action, and at the bottom of the website pages.
- Don’t lose sight of the buyer’s journey, so try to inundate visitors with the most bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) call-to-action
Here’s a real-life example on JumpStory’s website, readers who land on this get a call-to-action to direct them to where they can learn more about it.
Offers on resources also help build trust among your users. If you help educate them, they’ll begin to see your company as a thought market leader.
Web design impacts how the viewers who land on your page perceive your brand. The impression your web design imprints on them can either get them to continue learning more about your business or immediately leave your site and turn to your competitor.
These web design tips might seem like common recommendations, but taking the time to implement these tips on your website can dramatically improve your site.
After using these tips, the next part of the project would be to refresh your site with a redesign. It is certainly intimidating but there are templates and digital design agencies to help. With these components, your website is placed much further in the game.
About the author
Ian Loew is a web entrepreneur and inbound marketing expert, and the Owner & Head of Business Development of Lform Design. After four years of helping Fortune 500 companies with MGT Design, Ian embarked on his freelance career before establishing Lform Design in 2005. He leads a team of creative professionals to deliver inspired online experiences via modern, responsive websites that reflect his clients’ core values. When not at the helm, Ian can be found mountain biking with friends or spending time with his family.