A website will often be the first point of contact a customer or potential customer has with your business so it’s important not only that it supplies the right information, but also that it’s visually appealing, accurate and easy to navigate.
Indeed, while it’s easy to get caught in up the small details of how a website looks, it’s important to take a more holistic approach to website creation, covering content, navigation, accessibility and design. In order to ensure each of these elements combine to portray your business in the best light, we’ve devised some expert tips to follow to help you create an effective and eye-catching website.
1. Focus on UX (user experience)
This should be central to every aspect of your website – whether it’s ensuring content is clear and accurate or that the navigation makes it easy for visitors to quickly and easily find relevant information to encourage conversions. To achieve this, every link must function, broken links will immediately deter visitors, and every button and call to action must be positioned in the optimum way so as to encourage visitors to move forward. All key information should be easy to find and understand.
The UX design process in 6 stages:
6. Analyze (again)https://t.co/nkqdHDiw4o#ux #uxdesign #productdesign #uxprocess #uxstrategy #design #research #uxresearch #prototyping #analysis #userresearch #mvp #startup #digital pic.twitter.com/nV4Y2THXj2
— UX Links (@uxlinks) August 7, 2020
2. Know your customer
In order to guide visitors on their individual journeys, it’s important to be clear about who is visiting your site and what they’re trying to achieve, and tailor accordingly. If you already have buyer personas these can be invaluable in providing the information needed to deliver a personalised, seamless online experience. Similarly, if you have a target market in mind carrying out research into their habits, likes and dislikes can all help to guide the look, feel and substance of your site.
3. Be creative but clear
Whoever your target customer is, they’ll require clear, concise information that can be found easily. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with both text and design. Websites that offer an insight into the company’s personality and ethos can be much more engaging to visitors than one that simply offers facts and figures. The key is to be authentic and honest. Jumping on the bandwagon of the latest trends or idea won’t help you build a brand in the longer term so be clear on what you stand for and use this to help develop your company voice.
4. Be consistent and cohesive
It’s also important to be consistent, not just across your website but across all elements of your branding, both visual and functional. Rather than limiting creativity when it comes to web design, consistency will ensure that visitors intuitively know how to successfully navigate the site leading to a more positive user experience.
Ways to achieve this include ensuring common elements such as logos, site navigation and page furniture always appear in the same place throughout the site, so visitors always know where to find them. Branding and colours should also be consistent, so use your logo as you would on all other marketing material and use the same colours throughout the site. Also make sure there is consistency in terms of fonts and font sizes, calls to action and text links – all of this will offer a much more visually appealing experience to users while reinforcing your brand message with every click.
5. Aim for eye-catching and informative…
Consistency doesn’t mean boring, however, and in fact, if the core of the site is consistent it actually enables you to be more adventurous with the rest of the design. This could be as simple as bold fonts and full-page headers to really get your message across, or more innovative steps such as the inclusion of immersive 3D elements that truly draw in customers and encourage them to spend more time exploring the site.
6. …But don’t overload visitors
While these additions can be a great way to engage customers, it’s important only to introduce them if they are of benefit to the visitor. It would be easy to overload a website with information but this will not help to convert customers so make every decision with usability in mind and take every opportunity to explain how you solve a specific problem or serve a specific need.
7. Easy to understand
No matter how niche or technical your product or service, every visitor must be able to easily understand each word, phrase and headline across your entire site, so keep obscure industry-specific abbreviations or less well-known phrases to an absolute minimum, and keep text short and to the point – dense paragraphs simply won’t keep the reader’s attention. Similarly, while calls to action are crucial, keep them simple, clean and clear for maximum interactions.
8. Encourage interaction
Speaking of calls to action, integrating ways to encourage your visitors to engage more closely with your business is crucial and these should be visible across your site.
CTAs themselves should be carefully thought through to make sure they stand out on the page and give visitors a reason to click through – whether that’s a time limited offer, your latest research or a free consultation. Keep them fresh, keep them active and keep them relevant. In addition to CTAs, other tools such as chatbots, videos, the ability to share content on social media with a single click, and clear links to relevant related content can all help to boost interaction, keep visitors on your site for longer and help them to make informed purchasing decisions.
More Reading: 6 Web Design Concepts Proven To Increase Conversions via Web Design Ledger
9. Choose your images wisely
Images and image galleries can also impact how appealing a website is and how much time a visitor wants to spend on it. Strong lead images that effectively portray your company are essential, incorporating images with people in them has also been shown to attract more attention than abstract designs, adding a human element to the site. Most importantly though, go for high-quality, original imagery that reinforces your brand and, again, be consistent. The right image, potentially combined with a call to action, is much more effective at engaging viewers than reams of text. And don’t forget images need to be optimised for SEO for ultimate impact too.
10. Form and function
Whatever product or service you’re offering, the ultimate sign of an effective website is one that offers an intuitive, informative and reliable customer experience, and to achieve this the focus must be on functionality throughout. Every element of your website must be carefully considered, so opt for a clean and clear design, well-written, accurate content and be consistent. Optimise your page speeds so as not to frustrate visitors and make sure your design is responsive and mobile-friendly so users get a consistent experience no matter their device. Use images wisely, make sure key information is clearly visible and spend time on crafting those CTAs.
And remember, creating the ultimate website isn’t a one-off experience. It’s important to keep the content fresh and up to date, whether through blogs, news articles or video content, and monitor your site for broken links or page not founds.
By implementing these aspects of good web design in the short term and monitoring your site in the longer term, you can be sure you’re offering the best possible user experience while portraying your company in the way you want it to be seen.
To find out how Awe Creative can help you create a strong, integrated online presence, contact us now.