As our needs in the virtual world change, the art of web design changes right along with them. As a website designer, it’s absolutely vital to have a finger on the pulse of what your viewers are looking for, and how best to deliver it to them.
Here are our top ten best web design tips to keep designers on top of the game.
Boost Page Loading Speed
This will always and forever be a web design must-do, but if you’re new to the game — or if you just haven’t been paying quite enough attention to loading speeds, it definitely bears repeating.
How quickly your page loads deeply influences your bounce rate, as well as playing a big part in ranking on search engines. Google recommends a page load time of two seconds and under. Anything more will hurt your ranking, increase your bounce rate, and injure your customer satisfaction levels. Use tools like Google Insights to incorporate this tip into your design.
Use CTAs In Videos
Calls to action, or CTAs, are important for the sake of conversions. But there’s an art to using them: not using too many, or they become overwhelming. Not using too few, or the viewer won’t be motivated to move forward.
Like Goldilocks, it has to be just right.
What works for your site may not work for another, but one thing that has been demonstrated is the efficacy of using CTAs in and around videos. For example, one company found that in-video CTAs increased the click-through rate by almost 400%.
Include Share Buttons
We’re all about social media these days, and incorporating social interest and social proof within your website content can boost likes, shares, and other forms of engagement that will maximize the usefulness and memorability of the site itself.
A good tip is to use share buttons that incorporate the logo design of the company or website, making sure that brand recognition stays high. And don’t restrict sharing to a particular platform, even if you think that’s the most likely to get a response. Let your visitors share posts, pictures, and other content on Facebook, Instagram, and any other social platform of their choice.
Grab Attention Above The Fold
Content placement is a big part of effective web design. Statistics indicate that people spend most of their visit time on a page — 57% — on the first screen, without clicking away or scrolling. The “above the fold” theory is a holdover from print newspapers, but there’s a reason why it was common practice to put the most interesting headlines in that position.
Grab the attention of your viewer by including the most compelling information on the very first screen they’ll see.
Build Longer Pages With More Content
That being said, if you need to include more content than can be held in that first screen, another statistic suggests that 74% of the time spent on a site is within the first two screens, which means that they’ll still put more attention on the second screen as opposed to the rest of the site.
Scrolling through a longer page, rather than clicking onto separate pages, may increase conversions by up to 30% according to one real-life study. Generally, viewers seem to find scrolling for content more user-friendly than clicking and waiting for the next page to load.
Change Up Your Landing Page
Landing pages can be very effective for conversions and increasing engagement, but if you’ve been stuck with the same one for a while, it may be time to change it up. Adding in new content, new visuals, and especially highlighting new sales and other incentives can make a big difference in the initial interest from new viewers — and can keep established visitors coming back to see what might have changed.
Cut Down On Stock Imagery
Do your images do a good job of identifying the site? The company behind it? The personality behind the company behind it?
It’s always advisable to use images that are made specifically for the site, rather than stock photos. Wherever possible, embrace the personality behind the page and enhance UX by avoiding cliche stock photos that could belong anywhere.
Use Negative Space
It’s popular to recommend simple web design, but there’s another way to look at the concept — use of negative space.
As designers, we may tend to feel like we need to fill up every available area so that we’re giving our viewers the most bang for their buck, so to speak.
But crowding the design with too many elements can put people off. It makes it feel jumbled, uncomfortable, and can even cause anxiety to some viewers. On top of that, it makes it more difficult to get the main point of the content and take the next step in conversion.
Keep things as simple as possible, and make sure to use negative space around individual elements, giving the eye a chance to rest.
My Be Mobile Friendly
More than 90% of the population worldwide use their smartphones to access the internet. While the majority of these also have other ways to check out your website, it still makes the most sense to design a site that is mobile-friendly, to avoid alienating any visitors.
The Fewer The Choices, The Greater The Conversions
This last tip is based on a real-life study that indicates consumers are less likely to make a purchase if they have too many options to choose from. Conversely, if they have more limited options, they are up to 30% more likely to actually follow through on purchasing.
Basically, if we give viewers too many options, they’re going to take more time to think about it, rather than moving forward.
It seems backwards — after all, as web designers, we’re concerned about the overall UX, and it makes sense that giving them as many options as possible would enhance the experience. But it actually cuts down on how overwhelmed they may become, helps them to reach a concrete decision that they can feel good about, and enables them to take action the first time they visit the site, rather than putting it off for another day.
This can be incorporated in web design by limiting the variety of options that we give at a time, such as tiering similar products in categories rather than listing all the options as separate entries. We can also design lead-generating forms that are simple, with just one or two choices, and keep the navigation menus basic.
Web design continues to grow and change as our viewers develop new needs and wants. By keeping on top of what is needed with tips like these, we can ensure that our design is at the top of its game.
About Ralph Rich
I am a university student working as a copywriter intern during the day and study during the night. My hobby is reading and graphic design. I hope to one day write a book and get it published.