A carefully designed website built with the user experience (UX) in mind can win over new prospects 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. On the flip side, a poorly designed site can send users running (or, “clicking”) away to find solutions elsewhere.
Below are vital design, functionality, and value principles of web design that can help businesses win over prospects and keep current customers loyal to their brand.
“Go with the flow” Within seconds, each webpage should clearly convey what the site is about and allow visitors to smoothly flow through content and calls-to-action. An excellent website allows visitors to easily funnel through actions such as buying a product, subscribing to a service, or learning more about a business or industry. A poorly planned website with hard-to-navigate and cumbersome content and disorganized pages can leave visitors confused and dissatisfied.
An interesting fact: eye-tracking studies reveal that internet users read web pages in F-shaped patterns; scanning headlines first, then top sentences of paragraphs to determine quickly if they’re in the right place. Headlines and lead sentences utilizing effective keywords keep visitors on a site longer than wordy overstuffed paragraphs. Offer extensive information accessible through “learn more” hyperlinks, attention-getting callouts, and expandable tabs to keep content organized and easier to comprehend.
By nature, people are attracted to aesthetically pleasing visuals. High-quality photos and videos, along with consistent and well-planned typography, layout/styles, color schemes, and graphics throughout a website can provide an appealing, cohesive familiarity.
Website visitors want instant gratification, and research confirms that more than 40% of visitors will abandon a site if it takes too long to load. Ensure that each aspect of a website is fully optimized for speed. Test each web page for aesthetic on different devices, for speed, functionality, and flow.
Before your site goes live, ensure that three resources are set up, fully optimized, and running: 1. backups, 2. software updates, and 3. website security. If these functions are not performed regularly, devastating and irreversible damage can occur over time.
Whether designing a site yourself or hiring an experienced website design and marketing team/expert, take each aspect mentioned here seriously. Once your site is designed, test it, tweak it, and test it again until the final result is a fine-tuned machine, ready to turn new visitors into long-term clients!