Did you know that over 250 million Facebook users Americans regularly shop online? This means it’s more important than ever before to ensure that your website provides a customer-friendly experience. To achieve this, you’ll need to incorporate certain principles of web design.
We put together a brief guide to help ensure that you have the best web design possible. Let’s dive in.
1. Make Your Layouts Scannable
The average person only spends a few seconds looking at each web page they visit.
This means you need to make sure your content is easy to scan so that they can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Otherwise, you run the risk of people navigating away from your website. This could cost you valuable customers or conversions.
This is also the principle that can translate into other areas of web design, as well. The easier that your site is on the eyes, the more likely that people stay.
In contrast, a site that is unpleasant to use will deter your audience and cause them to look for alternatives. So, it’s recommended to implement plenty of testing when designing your layouts to ensure that they are easily scannable.
This will allow you to ensure that you choose the most ideal option.
2. Use Whitespace to Your Advantage
Whitespace, also known as negative space, is the area on your web page that doesn’t contain any content or graphics.
It may seem counterintuitive, but using more whitespace can make your web page easier to read. It also gives your content room to breathe, making it less overwhelming for your visitors. In many cases, less is often more when it comes to content.
If your website is visually overwhelming, it could be too difficult for your users to navigate. Not only will this cause them to leave your site, but it could also prevent them from finding key areas of your website, as well. For example, there is a good chance they will not make it to a product or service page if there is too much content for them to focus on.
3. Incorporate Visual Hierarchy
Visual hierarchy is the order in which your visitors will process the information on your web page. You can control the visual hierarchy by using things like font size, color, and whitespace. Organizing your content in this way makes it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for and understand your message.
Put simply, the layout of your website should visually guide your users where you want them to go. This means it’s imperative to avoid web design that seems unintuitive or completely random.
To elaborate, it wouldn’t be effective to place a search bar at the very bottom of the page. It is highly unlikely that anybody would navigate to this part of your website to find it. Instead, you should place it at the top of the page.
Since a search bar is something that will grab users’ attention, you can put your most important content underneath it. In many cases, this could be cascading tabs that link to other pages of your site, such as service pages, your contact page, etc.
4. Make Sure Your Calls-to-Action Are Clear
Your call-to-action (CTA) is a button or link that you want your visitors to click on. It could be something like “click here” or “shop now.”
Your CTA should be clear and easy to find. It should also be relevant to the rest of the content on your page. For example, if you’re selling a product, your CTA should lead to your product page.
If you’re trying to get people to sign up for your email list, your CTA should lead to a sign-up form. As long as your call to action is both compelling and appropriate for your audience, you will likely find it easy to meet your intended results.
5. Use Easy-to-Read Fonts
This ties into making your site as aesthetic as possible.
Your font choice can make a big difference in how easy your web page is to read. Stick with simple, easy-to-read fonts like Arial or Times New Roman. Steer clear of fancy scripts or hard-to-read serif fonts.
Although it may seem tempting to use a unique or eye-catching font, readability is always paramount. Keep this in mind if you have a brand that seems like it would benefit from unconventional fonts.
For instance, a luxury skincare brand might find it suitable to use an elegant font. If it is difficult to read, though, it will do more harm than good.
6. Choose Colors Carefully
Your color choices also play a role in how easy your web page is to read.
High-contrast colors (like black and white) are easier to read than low-contrast colors (like yellow and green).
It’s also in your best interest to brush up on color theory so that you can choose an aesthetically pleasing color palette for your users. This information can go a long way when creating a stellar site design.
Incorporating images and videos is a great way to break up text and add visual interest to your web page. In some cases, it could be the factor that keeps people on your website.
Just be sure to use relevant, high-quality images and videos that add to your content instead of taking away from it. It’s also essential to make sure that videos do not autoplay with volume.
Under nearly every circumstance, this will only serve to frustrate your users. Instead, have your videos autoplay on mute if you choose to have them autoplay at all.
7. Make Sure Your Website Is Responsive
Unfortunately, many business owners make the mistake of failing to prioritize responsive design.
Responsive design is the process of creating a website that looks and works great on all devices, from desktop computers to mobile phones. With more and more people using their mobile phones to browse the internet, it’s essential to have a responsive website. In fact, over 60% of all Internet traffic comes from mobile devices.
To help improve this your site’s responsiveness, you can focus on using smaller images, optimizing your code, and using a layout conducive to responsive design.
8. Take Care of Broken Links ASAP
One of the quickest ways to turn off a potential customer is to have broken links on your website.
Broken links are links that lead to pages that no longer exist. This could be because the page has been moved or deleted, or because the website is no longer active.
If a visitor clicks on a broken link, they’ll be taken to a 404 error page. This is a standard web page that says the requested page could not be found.
While it’s impossible to completely avoid broken links, it’s important to take care of them as soon as they’re discovered. You can do this by regularly checking your website for broken links and fixing them as soon as possible.
You can also use utilities like Google Webmaster Tools to help you find and fix broken links on your website. Don’t neglect this obligation, as broken links could have a substantial negative impact on your search engine results.
The last thing you want is for your website traffic to drop due to something entirely preventable.
9. Don’t Use Unexpected Popups
Popups can be a great way to encourage visitors to take an action, like signing up for your email list or downloading a PDF. However, they can also be incredibly annoying, especially if they’re not used sparingly.
If you do decide to use popups on your website, make sure they’re relevant to the rest of your content and that they’re not triggered unexpectedly. For example, you don’t want to have a popup appear as soon as someone lands on your website.
This will just frustrate them and make them more likely to leave. Instead, you could trigger a popup after someone has been on your site for a certain amount of time or when they’re about to leave.
This way, you’re not interrupting their experience and you’re more likely to get the desired result. When in doubt, use fewer popups than you think are necessary.
They can be an effective tool, but they can also take away from the user experience.
10. Don’t Open Links in a New Tab
Keep in mind that this only applies to internal links.
If a link leads to another website, it should always open in a new tab so that your audience does not immediately navigate away from your site. However, internal links should always open on the same tab so that your audience can click the back button to easily return to where they were.
Although this might seem like a minor detail, it can go a long way when it comes to maximizing how enjoyable your site is to use.
So, be sure that you consider this when designing your website so you can keep as many people on your pages as possible.
12. Work With a Professional Web Design Company
Of course, the best way to ensure your website is designed for success is to work with a professional web design company. A good web design company will take the time to understand your business and your goals for your website.
They’ll then create a custom website that’s designed to help you achieve those goals. Additionally, they can help you with everything from choosing the right colors and images to incorporating responsive design. This is essential to keep in mind, as many entrepreneurs do not have the knowledge or resources to handle this responsibility on their own.
A professional has all of the necessary tools to bring your vision to life. Although it’s possible to handle this yourself, it’s in your best interest to work with someone who has much more experience.
How Do I Find a Professional to Work With?
While there are plenty of web design companies to choose from, it’s important to take your time and find one that’s a good fit for your business.
Be sure to read reviews, check out their portfolio, and get a feel for their process before you make a decision. Of course, you should try your best to find a company that you can trust to create a website that meets your needs and helps you achieve your goals.
This means looking for a professional website design that you feel comfortable communicating with. If they seem to brush off your needs or are unconcerned with your goals, it’s best to continue your search elsewhere.
Otherwise, you run the risk of ending up with a website that doesn’t quite meet your expectations. When you find a company you want to work with, be sure to get everything in writing before starting the project.
This includes your budget, timeline, and list of deliverables. This will help ensure that both you and the web design company are on the same page from the start and that there are no surprises down the road.
Incorporating Principles of Web Design Might Seem Difficult
However, it is not nearly as complicated as many people believe.
Following these principles of web design will help you create a customer-friendly experience that will keep people coming back to your website. Just be sure to keep the above information in mind so that you can make the decision that is best for your business.
Want to learn more about what we can do? Be sure to reach out to us today and see how we can help you.