What is an effective Web Design? If you think the visual presentation of your website is enough to hook your customers, think again! An effective Web Design means one that utilizes colors, typography, imagery with simplicity, and enables consistent functionality. Only with everything in line, your website will generate sales. The conversion of the visitors to customers depends on your web design, more than you think.
A poorly designed website results in poor performance and has sub-optimal Google Analytics metrics. You would note high bounce rates, low time on site, low pages per visit, and low conversion statistics in such a website. So what makes good web design?
These are the 10 principles that professional web designers follow to develop an efficient website that is aesthetically pleasing, easy to use, and engaging.
#Principle 1: Clear Vision of the Purpose of each element
Before jumping into any development, ask yourself the purpose of your website. Is it an Ecommerce? Or, are you offering certain services? Your website may very well be a portfolio site. Whatever the situation, your vision should be as crystal clear as possible. Make sure every element and space of your website is designed wisely to accommodate a direct message and call to action (CTA).
Each element should be measured for the layout of the website because you can use only a limited number of pages, and screen size. Help your visitors to find what they need with CTA buttons. Each button, navigation menu, contact form, etc. should lead your visitors exactly to their goals without confusing them.
The purpose of your website is nothing different than the purpose of your business. You may use the website to generate sales, telling your company’s story, or information-driven. The mission and vision of your website must be concluded satisfactorily in 1-2 sentences. So, think of your mission statement!
Still, confused? Think carefully about who your target audiences are. Develop a buyer’s persona or visitor’s persona. Find out what information they need. Once you know their requirement, ask yourself how your site will provide them? Knowing your audience’s demographics and pain points will help you find the right direction for your site.
A highly graphical website may generate fewer sales than a comparatively ordinary one. Reason being that a good web design depends on both functional aesthetics and the specifics of a marketing strategy. How will visuals and content reinforce your brand and make it stand out? And how can your site provide more value than your competitors? Your web design is the one thing that determines your reputation in today’s competitive market.
#Principle 2: Easy Functional Navigation
Bingo! You have a beautiful and functional website with SEO content, attracting huge traffic. Do you think it’s enough to generate sales? Think again! Web users are impatient and insist on instant gratification. So if the navigation of your website doesn’t work efficiently enough, it will drive away any traffic you get.
Your website should be able to meet the users’ expectations. A search bar on the top of the pages is a great way to provide navigation support. However, the navigation bar also must work flawlessly. Some tactics for effective navigation include a logical page hierarchy, using bread crumbs, clickable buttons, and the ‘three click rule’. The “three-click rule” simply states that users will be able to find the information they are looking for within three clicks.
If the website’s navigation is confusing the visitors, the money and time you have invested in the web design are gone in vain. Your visitors should be able to get the exact information or option they search at one go. So, remember to keep the navigation simple, intuitive, and consistent.
#Principle 3: Follow Fitt’s Law for an Effective Web Design
In 1954, psychologist Paul Fitts explained that the distance to the target is directly proportional to the time to reach it. However, on examination of the human motor system, he found out that the time to reach the target is inversely proportional to the size of it. This is Fitt’s law and it is crucial to understand while aiming for an effective web design.
In simple words, the bigger an object and the closer it is, the easier it is to use. The target can be any CTA button on your site. If you want people to click on a button, make it accessible and bigger than its neighboring elements. If you want your visitors to read a certain thing, but the “Read” button in an appropriate space and make it big. Having said that, a button taking up half the screen is not the way to go. You don’t need any statistics or law to explain that. Let’s imagine there’s a form you want people to fill. At the end of the form, there are two buttons: “Submit” and “Reset”. Clearly, you would want to emphasize the “submit” button. So. you need to increase the size by 20% and that would do the trick.
#Principle 4: Scannability of your Web Design
Studies show that people tend to read from left to right as a common practice. In the digital era when time is of the essence, you need to track the scannability of your website. People today simply scan the screen in a go and will take direct action according to that scan. No matter how amazing content you have, if the visitor can not find anything that catches their eyes in the first few seconds — the battle is lost.
Eye-tracking studies have identified that people scan digital screens in an “F” pattern, just like they scan most things. Consider analyzing your own pattern to understand the visitor better. It’s not really rocket science. You will notice that your eyes automatically go to the top left at first and then directly to the top right, scanning everything in between. Then you would probably do the same for the next elements in the consequent row. However, it is highly unlikely that you would go through the entire page like the same. Chances are that you would scroll through till the end, making it an “F” like pattern. Only if the web design can satisfy your scanning, that you would spend further time on it.
A professional web designer would try to work with a reader’s natural behavior and display information in order of importance. Following the scanning capability of the visitor, they would design an effective web page.
So, do not place the content randomly in a haphazard manner that looks messy. You may like to use a Grid-based layout to arrange content into sections, columns, and boxes.
#Principle 5: Color Palette and Imagery Must Create a Consistent Design
A picture is worth a thousand words! The images you incorporate in the web design is crucial and directly affects generating sales. Today the graphical representation of your content is highly favored all across the globe. Also, make sure the images are of good resolution, i.e., high quality. Huge image sizes can result in a slow site. So, optimize the images in a way that they maintain their integrity without disturbing the loading speed. Add infographics, graphs, and videos to ensure better engagement on your website.
Colors are equally effective to attract customers and can create adequate balance and harmony within the web design. Contrasting colors that fit the background and text will grab attention and catch the interest of the user. However, do not go overboard with multiple colors. Choose a color theme to compliment your unique brand and use only 3-4 colors to design the entire site. Simplicity is key in this.
Most importantly, your design elements like the images or the color scheme should match throughout each page. From the headings, subheadings, fonts, to the button styles, and sizes – everything matters. Design each element with the same look and feel. Follow one particular style on the entire website. A CSS stylesheet will allow you to keep a track of the entire info about design styles and elements. This will keep you from remembering each element name as well as specific tags and attributes.
#Principle 5: Make it Mobile Responsive
All things considered; your online store is incompetent if not responsive to all devices. Any kind of website including eCommerce must be responsive across all mobile devices such as tablets, phones, etc. A mobile responsive site is a must as the customer’s attention span is decreasing day by day. If every page of your site doesn’t open within a fraction of a second on average, it is probably the biggest let down to your customers. Pay attention to the coding and make it happen!
Responsive web design is the exercise of building a website, compatible to work on every device. A huge percentage of your web visitors or potential customers are accessing the site through a mobile device. Not everyone is sitting beside a desk. The emphasis of responsive web design is to offer an intuitive and seamless experience for everyone. With Responsive Design you can handle one website with a single set of hypertext links; hence, eliminating the time spent maintaining multiple sites. It lets you concentrate on link building with an integrated Search Engine Optimization strategy.
#Principle 6: Use Negative Space
Ah! The mighty negative space or the black space of the web page. The white blank space holds the essence of the web design. The Whitespace or Negative Space allows your design to breathe. Use it wisely and generously. Even just subtle amounts of the good white stuff can allow your designs to breathe and look more polished. It is surely one of the fastest and simplest ways to improve your designs.
#Principle 7: Effective Content Writing
The emphasis on “effective” simply means the layout of your content. It may be SEO rich but is it placed effectively? Does it have a positive visual effect? The web page content does not need to be a literary genius piece but a marketing one. As the Web is different from print, it’s necessary to adjust the writing style to users’ preferences and browsing habits.
Keep the content tasteful. It is good to do aggressive marketing but too much promotional writing will only drive people away. Long text blocks without images and keywords marked in bold or italics — a big NO!. Keep it simple and easy to read.
● use short and concise phrases
● use scannable layout
● use plain and objective language
#Principle 8: The Loading Time
Users definitely don’t have the patience to wait more than a minute for a web page to load. Your website doesn’t even have 1 minute to load. Your site should open within a few seconds to please today’s consumers. You need to ensure that each component of the website is properly integrated. Through cautious integration, you will be able to create an exceptional user experience.
So the task at hand is to incorporate all the trendy and attractive design elements that function flawlessly and yet don’t slow down the site. Sounds overwhelming? You might want to consult professional web designers for it.
#Principle 9: Grow Authentically to foster trust
From the content you use to the service or product you provide— customers today strive for authenticity and uniqueness. It will convey your brand value to them and help foster trust. This is of the utmost importance if you want to generate consistent sales on your website. No matter if you are a start-up or a large corporation, your unique brand value and authenticity is a MUST.
Cliches and vague marketing copy won’t help you connect with people. Why should anyone choose you over the multiple other competitors out there? The competition to Rank On Google is too cut-throat to take any chance. Wouldn’t you agree?
#Principle 10: Simplicity is the final achievement
Your web design must click all the checkboxes of the latest trends and UI/UX designs and be able to generate sales. But, the design should be sensibly simple enough to be appealing to the users. Strive for simplicity!
Pure text, without any advertisements or further content blocks matching exactly the query—That’s all it takes to grab your customer and generate sales through web design. An effective web design is a combination of multiple expertise.
Keeping the principles of an effective web design, go ahead, and rank high on Google. Get maximum traffic and hook the visitors to make them your ticket to generating sales. Develop an aesthetic and functional website with the features of blogs, social media, online marketing with the help of professional designers and avid Ecommerce developers. To rank on Google’s first page, it takes more effort than SEO. To get a better view on the subject, contact Digital Sprout. Outrank your competition on Google and turn your website into a full-time Business with our SEO and Website Design solutions in Annapolis, MD, and neighborhood areas. Book a free consultation today.