Not sure how to improve your website to meet user expectations in 2019? Here are 36 key considerations for business websites and e-commerce stores.
Web Design Considerations that Benefit Your Business
It is 2019, and many business owners and marketers are considering a new or redesigned website for their business. Maybe their existing site is not mobile-friendly, looks and feels outdated, or needs some other content and functionality improvements. And most likely there are other mobile-first business web design considerations to take into account.
Take a thorough look at your business website and evaluate if it still meets your business objectives. As you do so keep in mind that you are creating your online presence for your target audience, not for yourself. You need to start your business web design considerations by asking yourself if your website is still working for you.
Most often when I talk to business owners, I am told that overall their website doesn’t really reflect their business anymore. They feel that their business has advanced while the business website sort of lagged behind. Lacking usability and functionality their online presence no longer meets user-expectations. Therefore, a common request is to update the look of the website. Great, I am all for that!
Business Objectives Should Not Be Based on Trends!
Unfortunately for many business owners and marketers refreshing the look of a website means making it trendier. And while I get that I really have to recommend against that approach. To me, there are more important business web design considerations than simply incorporating the latest web design trends. Trends will always be trends; a few last and many simply go away.
Personally, I advise against following every known web design trend (and creating a hideous mess) on your business website you try this. Yes, do consider current web design trends. After all, you don’t want to end up with outdated web design elements as part of your re-design or update. But make your long-term vision and objectives part of your business web design considerations.
To help you better understand what you may want or need to focus on I brainstormed with the creatives and strategists at our web and information design labs, and we came up with this list of what we consider to be the 36 key mobile-first business web design considerations for any business, product or service.
36 Key Business Web Design Considerations
Before You Build Your Website
1 – Register a Domain Name
Choose a domain name that is easy to remember. Be sure to use a reliable domain registrar like GoDaddy, and purchase your domain for a minimum of 5 years. Keep it short, and avoid cute spellings or special characters!
2 – Find Reliable Web Hosting
Host your website with a reliable hosting company. Don’t go for the cheapest option; you will regret it. Instead, you should determine the best business website hosting for your business.
Mobile-First Recommendation: WPEngine
3 – Consider Website Optimization
Page speed is a search engine ranking signal. You must boost the performance of your business website and optimize it. This is where reliable hosting becomes so important.
4 – Select Your Content Management System
Select a Content Management System (CMS) that you can use and update your business website yourself. Over half the business owners I talk to have no idea how to make updates or even access their own business website!
Mobile-First Recommendation: WordPress
Mobile-First Web Design
5 – Use Flat Design
Last year was all about minimalism in design, which basically meant a crisp, minimal, and clean aesthetic. This continues in 2019. Flat design enhances both usability and page speed, which are essential aspects of having a mobile-first website. Flat design can be enhanced by the use of bold lines, bright hues, and gradients to give your business website a polished look.
6 – Use Asymmetrical Layouts and Broken Grids
Asymmetrical layouts can occur in different ways: the headline that is out of place, blocks of unequal sizes, the unusual position of elements on the page, irregular patterns, the mixture of textures, and, of course, broken grids.
7 – Create a Great First Impression
Treat your website home page like your store window! Don’t overload it with too much text or info. Use interactive elements to encourage visitors to explore other content on your site.
8 – Follow Current UI Trends
If you want your business website to appear relevant and up-to-date in 2019 you need to follow the current trends in user interface (UI) design. The most well-known UI design techniques to use are:
- Colors – The bright hues along with the contrasting blends will satisfy the eyes of your visitors. Also, smooth color changes will be a notable pattern in 2019.
- Minimalism – Interfaces are basic and as reasonable as would be prudent so individuals could utilize the site with an ease.
- 3D components – Applying the right dimensions, you can make their appropriate hierarchy.
- Bold headings – They make it likely to feature the primary concern.
9 – Provide a Great User Experience
Nothing turns website visitors off faster than a bad user experience! At the very least make sure your text is easy to read; we recommend a font size of at least 14pts. You will also want to avoid unnecessary clutter on your web pages to make it easy to consume your content.
10 – Use Micro Animations
Subtle animations will make your website more engaging for your visitors. Micro animations such as animated gifs and videos are not new; they have been around for a few years now. Recent studies have shown that micro animations can increase traffic between 25-78%.
11 – Use Colors to Your Advantage
Bold colors and gradients are one of the hot web design trends for 2018. And this is one trend I can get behind. Colors can draw attention to key sections of your site, such as your CTA. But keep in mind that not all colors or color combinations work well!
12 – Include Branded Graphics, Icons and Infographics
Graphics and other visual elements such as icons are essential for helping visitors navigate your website. Especially complex information is much easier to understand if it is in a visual format. Be sure to include branded graphics and icons on your site.
13 – Use High-Quality Images
The web is visual, in case you have not figured that out yet. Images and photographs are an essential part of any business website. But not just any image will do! Be sure to only use high-quality images that correctly reflect your brand. Avoid low-quality images as well as using too many stock images!
14 – Keep Your Text Short and Simple
Most likely the majority of visitors to your site will come from a mobile device. Provide them with a better user experience by keeping your text short and simple. Nobody will read a book on your site; don’t publish one!
15 – Use Simple and Consistent Navigation
Visitors need to be able to quickly find content on your website. Make it easy for them by not hiding content, using a consistent navigation menu, and optimizing your menu for mobile devices. With the rise of mobile users, Hamburger menus are now an acceptable navigation option for any website.
16 – Don’t Forget Your Contact Info
Make it easy for your website visitors to contact you. Be sure to have a contact or email link on every page. List your Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) exactly the same way everywhere, including your social profiles.
17 – Add Social Proof
Your social media engagement is a search engine ranking signal, so make it easy for your website visitors to bookmark and share your content on their social networks.
Mobile-First Recommendation: AddThis
18 – Avoid Popups, Or Use Them Correctly
Popups are one of the most annoying website features. Yet many sites insist on using them for lead generation. You can make this a better experience by limiting the number of popups, making it easy for visitors to close them, and making sure your popups don’t hide valuable content. Use popups when visitors leave a page rather than when a page first loads!
Mobile-First Recommendation: Convertful
19 – Consider Using a Chatbot
In 2019 consumers are becoming ever more impatient. If you don’t respond virtually right away to their questions or concerns, they will look elsewhere. Adding a chatbot to engage your visitors in real time will show your potential consumers that you are ready and willing to help them reach a purchase decision.
Mobile-First Recommendation: Tidio
20 – Consider AI Technologies
In 2019 Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help you provide better user experience by helping your website visitors find content and interact with your site, with no human interaction required.
There are a number of ways this technology can be implemented on your website:
Voice User Interface
A voice user interface (VUI) enables individuals to take advantage of voice input to control different devices and computers. This technology is still relatively new. You most likely have come across it with digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa.
Augmented reality (AR) is generally found in gaming applications. However, in 2019 it is turning into a buzzword in website development. It’s being seen frequently in sales apps and sites.
For Your E-Commerce Site
If you have an e-commerce store or sell products online there are a few specific e-commerce web design considerations, you need to consider. Here are the ones we consider to be the most important and effective for converting your online audience into consumers.
21 – Have a Prominent Shopping Cart
Your shopping cart is the most important aspect of your e-commerce site; so don’t hide it! Avoid abandoned orders by placing a link to your shopping cart and checkout pages on every page of your site!
22 – Clearly State Your Return and Exchange Policy
Address potential concerns of your online consumers right away by clearly and prominently stating your return and exchange policy. Make this as easy as possible to encourage shoppers.
23 – Keep Your Online Store Fresh and Updated
Both human consumers and search engines require freshly updated content. So be sure to update your e-commerce site frequently. Be sure to prominently feature new products or sales, and remove outdated items from your store.
24 – Focus on Your Product Images
Yes, we know that like most of us you have a smartphone. But please don’t use it to take your product images! In order to maximize your online sales, your product images must be the best that they can be. Consider hiring a professional photographer if you don’t feel comfortable handling this on your own.
25 – Straightforward Product Descriptions
If you want online consumers to buy your products describe your products and services in easy-to-understand terms. Be sure to mention exactly what makes your product better, and the benefits of using it.
26 – Provide Multiple Payment Options
Some online shoppers may not like to pay by credit card. Especially older shoppers are more cautious than most. Provide a better shopping experience for them by providing multiple payment options.
27 – Provide Multiple Shipping Options
Give visitors options for how you will ship their order: standard shipping, expedited shipping, or overnight. Be sure to include costs, delivery expectations, and any other helpful info.
28 – Define Your Geographic Area
The e-commerce world is becoming ever more global. If you want to serve a larger audience specify whether you sell locally, nationally, or internationally. Be sure to mention any exceptions or limitations.
29 – Be Helpful to First Time Customers
When they first arrive on your e-commerce site some consumers may need some guidance. You can be extra helpful by providing a “how to order” link or instructions for first-time buyers.
30 – Don’t Forget Your Repeat Customers
Make life easier for your returning customers by providing password login and reorder numbers for fast repeat orders.
31 – Encourage Product Reviews
Consumers love recommendations! Be sure to give them what they want by encouraging product reviews on your e-commerce site. Added bonus, search engines like product reviews as well!
32 – Add a Wish List
Consider adding a wish list to your e-commerce site to encourage shoppers to make suggestions to their friends and family.
33 – Establish a Mailing List
Consider adding a mailing list or newsletter option so your consumers can receive future information about new products, upcoming sales, or special in-store events.
34 – Add a Blog or FAQ Page
Give your online shoppers a reason to stay and explore more content on your site. Share interesting and informative articles and facts on your blog, or answer common questions on a FAQs page.
35 – Offer Discount Coupons
Increase online sales by offering coupons and discounts. Even better if you apply discounts at checkout automatically. Depending on your product and marketing strategy you may want to offer printable coupons for download.
36 – Consider Adding a Store Finder
Are your products available at retail stores? If so, provide a list of stores and locations for online shoppers that may want to see your product before purchasing it.
Final Thoughts on Business Web Design Considerations
Is Your Business Website Ready?
Our mobile-first business web design considerations are based on you having a mobile-friendly website that meets current Google Webmaster Guidelines and being ready for the Google Mobile-First Index. If your current website does not meet these requirements you will need to consider a website update or redesign before you can successfully implement these business web design considerations.
Don’t Implement Them All!
OK, now you have a big list of mobile-first business web design considerations, whew! But should you really implement every last one of them? Most likely not! First of all, our business web design considerations cover a lot of ground. It is unlikely that your business website has the same breadth. For instance, if you do not sell products or services on your site you most likely will not need to implement our e-commerce business web design considerations.
Focus on User Expectations
The next thing you should consider is the expectations of your target audience. Remember, you are not building a website for yourself, but for all the eager consumers of your product or service. For instance, if your target audience is older and less comfortable with modern tech you probably should forget about adding a chatbot. Most likely it would confuse and even infuriate your audience. Not exactly what you had in mind, is it?
There Are Costs Involved
And finally, while we tried to keep our mobile-first business web design considerations straightforward and simple there are costs involved in implementing many of them. Any time you add new functionality to your business website it will need to be configured and tweaked to make it work just the way you want to. Unless you feel comfortable handling this on your own it will require the help of your web designer or agency.
Implementing these Business Web Design Considerations
So now only one step remains; you need to actually implement some of our mobile-first business web design considerations. As I just pointed out you may need some help with this, so planning ahead can make a big difference. Here are a few things to consider:
- Will this be part of a larger website redesign project? Maybe you are already planning a major update and will simply add this.
- Will any of these require adding new content such as text or images? If you add new functionality will you need to explain or support it on your site?
- Do you plan to implement your changes in stages, or all at once? One at a time is less disruptive and potentially easier to manage for a small business, but it will take much longer.
- How will making these changes affect your LIVE site? As you make these updates and changes make sure to keep your website as functional as possible or let your online visitors know what’s going on.
- When is the best time to make these changes and updates? Ideally, you will want to take care of this during a slow period for your business.
- What else will be required of YOU, the business owner? Do you need to supply additional info, sign-off on concepts or iterations, or facilitate the project in any other way?
By determining the above before you actually start implementing our business web design considerations you have a much greater chance of success.
Need Help Implementing These Business Web Design Considerations?
Our innovative mobile-first web design team can help you develop just about any type of website. We are experts at carefully crafting custom mobile-friendly websites to meet (almost) any budget. From designing new WordPress websites, redesigning or updating an existing website, building responsive e-Commerce websites to creating a multilingual online presence for your business we work directly with the client to prepare them for the ever more demanding mobile consumer. Why not get started by requesting your free web design estimate?
And if you are still not sure how you can benefit from these business web design considerations, don’t worry! Simply reach out and contact us. Our expert team will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine the best way to implement mobile-first business web design strategies on your website. It is one of our specialties, after all!
Is Your Website Meeting User Expectations?
Have you implemented any of our business web design considerations on the mobile-first web site for your business or product brand? If so, how has this helped you better meet your mobile user expectations? If not, what is the biggest obstacle you face getting a mobile-first online presence? Do you have other problems with your business website design? Please feel free to let us know so our audience can benefit as well and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our post with your audience!
Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!
By Gregor Schmidt
Co-Founder / CXO