Creativity and the latest design trends are not enough to build an effective online presence. Great web design means providing a great user experience.
It’s All About User Expectations
Everyone wants a great web design. But not everyone actually gets it. I am sure you have seen websites that in some way miss the mark. Maybe they did not provide an acceptable user experience on your smartphone. Perhaps they lacked the usability you expected. Ultimately it does not really matter what made you move on. The initial experience turned you off enough you never bothered to actually look at the content.
Being Creative is Not Enough
The most informative and relevant content in the world is useless if website visitors don’t stick around long enough to see it. Informative content and beautiful images themselves don’t amount to great web design. Great web design means providing the specific usability and user experience your intended target audience is expecting. Great web design is not how your site looks, but how it works for your website visitors.
The ultimate success of your website or online store depends on how great your design is. And since your website is the online face of your brand and business, it is essential to focus on great web design. By failing to create that important first impression you could end up ruining your business.
Great web design starts with user expectations. If you fail to meet your user expectations right away, you are pretty much done. Impatient mobile consumers are simply not going to wait around to see “if things get better.”
What do modern consumers expect from your website? Let’s find out!
Meeting Website User Expectations
Be mobile-first. Mobile devices account for 66% of all time spent online, and the majority of online shoppers use mobile devices at least once during their journey of conversion. In 2019 great web design is mobile-first design.
Improve mobile page load speed. More than half (53%) all mobile visitors will leave if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load. If you want great web design you must work on your page speed optimization.
Focus on mobile e-commerce. In 2019 over 50% of all e-commerce revenue comes from mobile devices. An essential aspect of great web design is meeting the user expectations of mobile shoppers.
Be current. If your web design is outdated, you and your business will appear out of touch as well. Great web design is current, relevant, and up to date.
Focus on design. 58% of website users want appealing design and usability. Without great web design, your online engagement will decrease, and shopping cart abandonment increases proportionally.
Optimize your images. In 2019, page speed is essential, and image optimization is key to having a fast loading site. Slow images can result in you losing nearly 40% of all visitors.
Include effective CTAs. You want your website visitors to take action on your site. Great web design means you make that as simple and straightforward for them as possible.
Eliminate sliders and slideshows. Once an essential web design element, sliders and slideshows do little to convert site visitors in 2019. Less than 1% of visitors interact with them. They are pointless and slow down your page load speed as well.
Focus on credibility. 75% of website visitors will base your company’s credibility on how your website looks, feels and interacts with them on their journey of conversion. What does your website convey about your business?
Focus on essentials. 86% of all website traffic is looking for information on your products or services. Make it easy for your audience to learn why you are the best choice to meet their objectives and fulfill their needs.
Make contact info obvious. Most likely your target audience will want to contact you. Don’t hide your contact info; without obvious contact info including your email and phone number, 44% of visitors will leave. Not having contact info makes you look suspicious and untrustworthy.
Use bullet points and lists. Mobile consumers are getting ever more impatient. 70% of them prefer bullet points or lists over long-form text content. Use this to your advantage.
Use video. Websites with video content are 53 times more likely to be listed on the first page of Google search results. Video also helps to improve both your user experience and user engagement.
How Can You Design a Great Website?
Great web design requires a wide range of skills and professionals with experience in these areas. The days when your neighbor’s kid could slap together a site for your business are long gone. In order to create an effective and user-friendly online presence, you need to stand out from the digital noise, meet mobile user expectations, meet current SEO guidelines, and keep this cost-effective for your business.
This may sound completely overwhelming to most business owners, which is why building your own website may not be the best option for you. But great web design is well within the reach of most business owners and professional service providers. All you need to do is to follow some basic principles of great web design. This will make your business website or online store aesthetic, user-friendly, effective, and engaging.
Principles of Great Web Design
Focus on Mobile Users
In 2019 great web design is mobile-first web design. A great website must take mobile user expectations and usability into account if it is to be relevant and effective. Since mobile consumers are becoming ever more sophisticated and demanding your business website or e-commerce store must provide an exceptional user experience across all devices and screen sizes.
Optimize for Page Load Speed
The primary purpose of any website or online store is to clearly communicate information. If you can quickly communicate why your business is the obvious choice for your visitors, they are much more inclined to spend more time on your website. Great web design means using short and effective headlines, avoiding clutter, and eliminating unnecessary content.
Focus on Essentials
Don’t over-design your site. Putting too many elements on the page only distracts visitors from the main purpose of your website. Great web design focuses on simplicity. It will make your website more appealing and help users to find and consume your content. Don’t distract your target audience with the latest design gimmick that provides no actual benefit. Keep your design as simple as possible by avoiding all unnecessary design elements.
Great web design is consistent from page to page. And this will take some planning. You must pay attention to key design elements such as your headers and footers, and your navigation menu. Select a simple font set for your headings, titles, and content, and use it throughout your site. Ensure the styling of your buttons and interactive elements is consistent and stands out.
Keep it Readable
Great web design includes your web typography. Keep your typography visually appealing and readable for visitors. I recommend avoiding serif fonts as they are harder to read and setting your body text size no smaller than 16pts. Make sure there is sufficient contrast between your text and the background, leave plenty of white space, and avoid placing text on top of images.
Use Visuals Effectively
If you want great web design, you need to be careful about using colors and images as well. Since different colors evoke different emotions it is very important to select the right color palette and combinations for your online presence. A perfect color combination attracts users while a poor combination can lead to distraction. I definitely recommend using overly vibrant or bright colors as they tend to annoy visitors.
You need to equally careful when it comes to using images. If you really stand out and get noticed, you should use your own images instead of relying on stock images. Always avoid low quality images, and make sure all your images are optimized to avoid slowing down your page load speed.
Keep Navigation Simple
Studies show that website visitors spend more time on websites with simple navigation. Great web design focuses on simple and consistent navigation menus that make it easy and intuitive for site visitors to locate the content they are looking for. For a better user experience make sure any site content is no more than three clicks away. Improve usability by designing clickable buttons that are easy and intuitive on mobile devices.
Final Thoughts on Creating a Great Website
Creating a great website for your business or product brand is more than being able to simply ‘build something quick’ on WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, or Shopify. While all of these may seem like acceptable options to get an online presence the quick and easy way, they most likely will not meet your business objectives for very long.
When you started your business you gave considerable thought to establishing an effective brand. You need to spend the same amount of time and energy if you want to build a great website that will stand out and get noticed among all your online competitors.
Great web design doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of effort to ensure that the time, effort and money you invested in building your website are going to pay off by attracting, engaging and converting your intended target audience.
User experience is what needs to guide great web design and development. By keeping the basic principles of great web design in mind, any business owner or marketer can develop an aesthetic and functional website that will serve your short and long-term business objectives. Without that focus, you are likely to fail.
Design and optimization are two critical considerations that impact a variety of user experience and usability aspects that are too often forgotten in search of an ‘affordable’ website. Don’t make the mistake of considering your web design costs simply as an expense. Instead, treat it as you would any other business investment and get the most out of it.
Did You Create a Great Website?
Did you create a great website that meets demanding user expectations? If so, how has this helped your brand meet its business objectives? If not, what is the biggest obstacle you face creating a successful website and online presence? Do you have other problems with great web 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!