How successful a website becomes, by and large, depends on its design. A properly designed website, among other things, will help fetch quality customer traffic and help convert it. A badly designed website, on the other hand, will do just the opposite.
So, what makes a good website design? Well, this is what this article is all about. We’ll take you through 8 web design principles to help your local business site achieve its goal of converting visitors into customers and in turn help you grow your company.
1. Create an intuitive site architecture.
Your website should be obvious and self-explanatory; this is as per Krug’s first law of usability.
In other words, your site should do a good job of ridding question marks. By doing so, it’s going to be easy for users to comprehend what your website is all about and therefore make it easy to move from one point to another.
The following are some tips to help design a site with better navigation.
- Ensure visitors can reach any page from any page.
- Indicate what page the user is on.
- Label your menus clearly.
- Add a search bar.
- Create dropdown menus whenever necessary.
- Stick to web conventions.
- Create a sitemap.
2. Improve your site’s speed.
Web visitors are getting more and more impatient; as faster internet connections continue to be developed. Regardless of how great your content is, try to make sure that your site loads as quickly as possible.
According to a new study by Google, a whopping 53% of mobile web visitors will leave a webpage that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Also, did you know that site speed is a ranking factor? Basically, the quicker your site loads, the higher the chances it’ll have of ranking high in search engines.
3. Make your website mobile-friendly.
In this day and age, having a mobile-friendly option isn’t an option; every serious online business needs it. Simply put, a mobile-friendly website is a website designed for mobile, such as Android or iPhone smartphones.
You can check whether your website is mobile-friendly or not on Google’s Webmaster Tools.
4. Use a “Visible Language” to communicate effectively.
Aaron Marcus, in his papers on effective visual communication, states 3 essential principles.
The first principle is organization. You should aim to provide your users with a clear and consistent conceptual structure. Navigability, screen layout, and consistency are key concepts of organization.
The other principle is on economics. Here, you should consider clarity, simplicity, distinctiveness, and emphasis.
On clarity, you should aim to have all components designed to make sure their meanings aren’t ambiguous. On simplicity, you should aim to only include components that are most important for communication.
On distinctiveness, you should aim to have all elements distinguishable. And finally, on emphasis, you should ensure that users can easily perceive most of the important elements.
The last principle is communication. When designing your website, your goal should be to match the presentation to the capabilities of the user. The user interface must balance elements like symbolism, typography, readability, legibility, and color.
5. Make use of white space.
In page layout, white space is often referred to as negative space. This is the portion of a page that has been left unmarked. That may include the space between layouts, paragraphs, and lines of paragraphs. White space can take any color, pattern, texture, or even a background image.
Making use of whitespace in your design offers several benefits. To start, it increases the visual appeal. It creates focus and balance and reinforces both quality and professionalism.
Secondly, it highlights the key message or design element. It draws the reader’s attention and offers cues to which elements belong together and which ones are separate.
And thirdly, it improves readability and comprehension. A design with cluttered texts and images can make the design difficult to comprehend. Using white space can help a reader focus on the key design or message in front of them.
Generally speaking, less is more when it comes to website design!
6. Aim for simplicity.
Generally, users are looking for information and not just the design. From the users’ point of view, the perfect site design is a pure text, without any design jargon.
7. Make use of the right color combos.
Colors have an impact on our psychology and can evoke different feelings and moods. They can spark interest, create ideas, express certain images, generate certain emotions, and stir up different emotions and reactions.
Cool colors like blues and greens, for instance, while may produce a soothing and calming effect, usually tend to make a space feel cold. Bright colors like orange and red, on the other hand, create a feeling of happiness and positivity.
As such, when designing your online business’ site, make sure to keep colors in mind. Pick ones that can help achieve your business goals rather than ones that seem fancy.
8. Make use of high-quality images.
High-quality images are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they are also good at converting web visitors.
Did you also know that including quality images in blog posts can help with click-through-rates? A survey by BirhgtLocal.com found that up to 60 percent of consumers are more likely to click on a search result that has an image.
If you don’t have your own, the web provides many resources from where you can download many quality images for free. The websites include Pixabay, Pexels, Flickr, and Dreamstime.
Competition for web visitors is growing fierce with each passing day. To any savvy online business, this means utilizing anything and everything that can help the business stand out. These 8 proven design principles can help you in this regard.