Website design involves more than the aesthetics of your site. Across all industries, up-to-date and beautiful websites help build trust with customers. As such, it impacts your sales and conversion rates.
It also has its part in search engine optimisation (SEO). Poor website design can lead to lower rankings in the search results. It can also turn away visitors, which would further affect your rankings.
That’s why choosing the website design isn’t an easy task. There are plenty of factors to consider aside from how aesthetically pleasing it is to you. Keep on reading to learn how to choose the best one for your business.
How to Determine the Best Website Design for Your Business
If you look at the top web designs, the best designs for website pages vary. Some use real-life images, while others use drawings instead. Some use bright colours, while others opt for black and white.
That’s because it all depends on your brand. Follow the steps below to see how you can choose the best design for your business.
1. Consider Your Theme
Your theme will dictate most of the design elements, like your choice of colours, font, and such. This is the first thing you must decide on so you can refer to it once in a while to stay consistent. It must be consistent with your brand, identity, and personality.
A vintage vinyl store, for example, should have a vintage-looking website. They can use imagery from the early 1900s, use typography popular in that era, and such.
However, a furniture shop that focuses on minimalist pieces will prefer a lot of whitespace, sharp lines, and minimal elements.
2. Choose the Colour Palette
The colour palette must be in line with your brand. At the same time, you must consider what looks good for your customers.
A brand with a fun, upbeat personality can choose a colour scheme with bright colours. On the other hand, a luxury brand might do better with royal colours.
Of course, it must match the colours on your logo, personal store, or any of your marketing material. You have to stay consistent across all channels. This allows you to build a relationship faster and make you look professional.
3. Don’t Forget Mobile Phones
You also want to see how your website will look on mobile phones. Remember that the responsiveness of your site will affect your ranking on Google.
With Google’s mobile-first update, it now prioritizes websites that are readily available on smartphones. This is because the majority of internet users use their mobile device since 2018 when mobile traffic, which accounted for 52.2% of website traffic, overtook desktop traffic for the first time.
You have to choose a design that will look good on smaller screens, as well. The navigation should be easy on any screen. This will ensure a good experience for your visitors whether they visit your site via a PC or a mobile phone.
4. Optimize Your Website
Keep in mind that each image, text, video, and element in a page will have to load. If you use too many complex elements, your site will become clunky. If the visitor gets impatient, they won’t have second thoughts about leaving.
A slow-loading webpage will also affect your SEO. It may lead to lower rankings, and Google might even penalize you.
It’s best to choose a website design that isn’t too complex.
5. Research Your Target Audience
It’s not you who’ll use your website most of the time, so what you want isn’t always the best way to go. It’s your target audience who will use your site, anyway.
Learn what they want and what they want to accomplish in your site first. That way, you’ll get a better understanding of what you need to incorporate into your website design.
The design must help them achieve whatever they’re looking for in your site. Of course, you also want to lead them to where you want to; find a way to do both.
6. Design for Accessibility
Your visitors will have different needs and it’s your job to cater to everyone. In the same way that you would put a wheelchair’s ramp for the customers on a wheelchair, you would also have to accommodate people with different abilities.
For instance, you want to avoid bright, flashing lights as a way to catch the user’s attention. It can trigger medical conditions like migraine and epilepsy.
Remember that those with visual impairment can still use a computer or smartphone. You can accommodate them by adding alt text to images. This way, they can use screen readers to get what the image is about.
7. Look at Your Competitors
There’s nothing wrong in taking a peek at what your competitors are doing with their website. Doing this, you can get an idea of what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong.
Study their techniques and see if you can implement them in your site, too. See how they designed and optimized their site. You can use similar components, but don’t copy the design – that’s still plagiarism.
Take the time to navigate the website, too. Note what you like and what you don’t like. For things you don’t like, do them better so you’ll be one step ahead of the competition.
Some Important Tips for Designing a Website
The website design doesn’t only consist of colours, typography, and such. In other words, a good-looking design isn’t necessarily a good-looking web design. Why?
Because it must be intuitive, navigable, and such. It must also bring you results. Here are some important tips to consider in website marketing.
1. Make It Intuitive
When the user wants to go elsewhere, make sure they’ll know how to go there by intuition.
They usually expect the menu bar to be at the top or left side. Avoid putting it anywhere else as it may instead confuse your visitors. Likewise, the search bar should be somewhere at the top.
In other words, you don’t want to go against the norm if you want the users to be able to find their path with ease.
Furthermore, remember that they always take the path they’ll think will take them to their goal. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the easiest one.
If they’re looking for a page, for instance, their first instinct is to look at the menu options. Even if the button leading to the exact page is at their right side, they won’t see or use it.
2. Don’t Take Away the User’s Control
Users want to control every aspect of their experience. In line with the tip above, don’t put a button that leads elsewhere instead of what the users expect.
A popular example is when a button or a link opens a whole new window when clicked. This goes against the expectation that the users will go instead to a new page.
They don’t like a new window popping up without them making it pop up. They want to be able to press the “Back” button that takes them to the previous page.
At the least, this will confuse them or make them feel like they have no control. Either way, it’s a negative experience for the user.
3. Learn How to Catch Their Eye
One thing to know about your users is that they don’t read — they scan the pages. By default, they scan the page in an “F” manner, which means the bottom right don’t have the best visibility.
So, if you want to catch their attention to a certain area on your web page, you’ll have to know how to do it right.
For instance, you can put an image to the right side to draw the eye toward that area. Videos and GIFs work better, though, because the movement is one of the best ways to catch their attention.
A rather simple yet effective way is to use arrows. It’s a direct signal for the user to follow, and their instinct is to do exactly that.
You can also use the typography, font size, and font colour to your advantage. Even a text in the middle of the paragraph will be the centre of the attention if it’s larger than the others.
Whitespace is also a good tool to use. Without visual noise, the eyes will only have a single thing to focus on.
4. Guide Them with Visual Hierarchy
Visual hierarchy is the arrangement of the elements on a web page in order of importance. It uses size, colour, contrast, style, typography, and such to establish the hierarchy.
Its use is to highlight the more important parts and guide the eye in the right order.
The most important element, for example, is at the top with the largest font size. It has a unique colour and a strong contrast with its background.
The following important points may be smaller with lower contrast. The least important element would be at the bottom with low contrast and little whitespace surrounding it.
You also have a visual hierarchy when posting content. You use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to guide the user’s attention.
Having a hierarchy like this will allow you to guide the visitor through a series of messages and then to a call-to-action. It also makes the page easier to scan.
5. Keep It Simple
Many website owners want to wow their visitors with extravagant designs, high-tech elements, and such. However, that’s not the reason why they go to your website.
No user will visit a website only to marvel at the design. They go there to find information.
Of course, they can still appreciate the design. If it helps them make reading easier, then all the better. The bottom line is that all they want is to get the information they want with no fuss.
That means you should avoid using some cool tricks that only you will appreciate. Images fading in or out are fine as long as they’re not fading out while the user’s looking at them.
Carousels may still be fine, but users won’t likely see past the first image. Assume that all your visitors are impatient (because they are) so that you have a better idea of how to design your website to cater to them.
Tabs and expandable accordions are also examples of what to avoid. Like we said above, users scan a web page so it’s better to have all the information out in the open. If they have to click something or hover their mouse over a text or image, they’ll likely miss it.
Likely, the visitors will even like a simple layout better. In 2012, Google discovered that users find more complex designs to be less beautiful. They better appreciate less clutter and more whitespace.
6. Create a Tall Page
On that note, scrolling is much faster than clicking. Scrolling is an instinct while clicking is a choice.
When a user still hasn’t found the information they were looking for, they’ll keep scrolling. When they hit the bottom, then they’ll leave, increasing your bounce rate.
If you have to take them to another page or make them click a text to reveal a section, they’re more likely to leave.
That’s because they’re impatient – they want the information where they expect it to be. It’s also because they don’t read every single word, so they might not even see that the content they’re looking for is only a click away.
It’s better to create a tall page than to make it short. Short pages don’t have enough answers, and users like having answers.
Choose the Best Website Design Company
Another factor to consider in website design is the web design company. They must have the experience and skills to bring your brand to life through your website.
If you want to learn more, contact us today and let’s talk about how you can get results from your web design.