Often your website gives customers their first impression of your business. In addition to providing information on your products or services, websites give consumers a better understanding of your brand. Which makes it critical that your website resonates with visitors and answers their questions.
However, the way a company designs their website can unintentionally deter potential business. The following 8 website design best practices presented during our August 2018 Open House, provide direction on what to remember when designing or updating your website.
1) Remember the Consumer
An informed consumer is coming to your website to see if your product or service will help them, therefore the goal of your website should be consumer-focused and not focused on your goals. It needs to answer their questions and ensure visitors that your product or service can help the consumer meet their needs.
2) Consider Mobile Design
Studies show that most website traffic is coming from mobile devices, but that conversions are more likely on desktop computers. A consumer may do initial research – reading your website – on a mobile device, then move to a desktop computer to do more extensive research and make a purchase. Therefore, the mobile and desktop versions of your website should look similar.
3) Be Mindful of a Slow Load
Everyone dreads a slow website. Studies show that consumers have patience with a website loading for the first three seconds, but at four seconds, the bounce rate (the percentage of people that leave your website) dramatically increases.
4) Ensure the Website Navigation is Intuitive
Your website navigation should tell the visitor what your company does. Studies show consumers will first look at your logo and then look at your navigation to see if your company can help them. In general, psychology shows people pay attention to and remember things that happen first and then what happens last. To apply this psychology to your website navigation, pay attention to what you are listing first and last. It should be your two most important landing pages – perhaps “What We Do” and “Contact Us.”
5) Make Your Content Skimmable
Eye tracking studies show consumers skim content on web pages, that the top left corner of your webpage is important, and that they lose interest as they scroll down the page. Combat this by making your content skimmable. Bulleted lists make it easy to skim content and visitors’ eyes will be drawn to the bullets. Chunking your text, adding headers and subheads to your “chunked” information, and bolding important terms will also make it easier to skim.
6) Images Are More Than Just Decoration
The images you choose for your website have so much power over the user’s experience and their perception of your product or service. If you can, use professional photography. They tend to evoke more emotion and add credibility to your company. If you are unable to use professional photography and have to use stock images, be careful of which you choose. If they look unauthentic, users will pick up on this.
7) Make a Clear Call-to-Action
What is the ultimate action you want visitors to take before they leave your website? Contact you for a quote? Come to visit your community and set up a tour? Whatever your call-to-action is, make it concise and support it with secondary calls-to-action, such encouraging users to download
8) Interface Design is Important
Interface design includes tiny details on your website, including typeface, layout, and color choices. If something is slightly off with any of these elements, it can create friction that prevents the visitor from completing your call-to-action. These small tweaks are typical concerns a graphic designer would handle. For example, when asking a visitor to fill out a form, make sure your form is well-formatted. Chunking the fields and using subheads makes it easier for a user to understand what the form is asking them at a quick glance. Contrast and font size can indicate the hierarchy of the information within the form.