How to Make a Great Looking Website

How to Make a Great Looking Website

The website of your business is the first point of contact between you and your prospect. Whether or not the customer decides to interact with your content boils down to your website design. If your website has a poor design, no matter how relevant or important your content might be to your users, the chances of the user leaving the website increases significantly. Your website designer and developer in Adelaide can assist you with making a great looking website.

This can be attributed to the ever increasing amount of content on the web. Studies by Microsoft carried out in 2015 found that the average human attention span decreased to 8 seconds from 12 seconds in 2000. So, in a matter of 8 seconds or less, you need to grab the attention of the user.

The only way to do this is through an efficient web design. An eye-catching design is what encourages the customers to stop on your page and this is the point where they first enter your sales funnel. A great design is not just limited to the visual appeal of the website; it encompasses factors as usability (ease of navigation) and relevance to the user’s needs.

Here are a few features that your website must incorporate to make it a user-friendly design:

User-oriented design:

Fulfill the purpose of the visitor’s click

Each of your web pages should cater to the needs of the user. You should consider the purpose of the user as well as their referral source while designing your web page.

Each page must be designed to address a specific need of the user. If a page is meant to be a ‘pricing’ page for your services, the page should provide information on ‘pricing’ alone and not your services.

Similarly, you need to take into account the referral sources of your users when it comes to designing landing pages. A user who clicks on your ad of ‘X’ services shouldn’t be directed to a landing page about ‘Y’ services or a landing page of your complete services in general. The user would quickly realize that the page is irrelevant to his/her needs and exit.

Communication

People want information quickly and easily. Provide your information in a clear and concise way. Whether you use images, text or videos, strive for simplicity. If users don’t understand what the web page is trying to communicate, they will simply leave the website, increasing your bounce rate.

Appearance

Clear CTA

Your website design should provide clear directions for the users to proceed. The buttons on each page to go back or forward should be prominent and have colors that distinguish them from the rest of the page. Your users should not feel stuck on a page, wondering what to do.

The CTAs, obviously, depend on what you are offering to your audience. Whether you want them to sign up for your newsletter or you want them to sign up for a trial of your services or proceed to some third-party seller you are affiliated with, your CTA should be designed accordingly. At the same time, you shouldn’t compromise the content for the CTA. Remember, the user is at your web page for more information.

Visuals (Videos /Images/ infographics /Animations/ GIFs/ Cinemagraphs):

Visuals are necessary to retain users’ attention and enhance engagement. Videos, animations, and GIFs are often used to explain complex (and boring) content easily. This can be used to explain a part of your terms and policies or nitty-gritty details of your services.

Infographics also serve the same purpose. In fact, studies have shown that customers prefer infographics rather than studying long blocks of text, especially when it comes to data with stats and figures.

You should also use high-quality images in your websites. Refrain from using stock images. There have been studies that reported that actual high-quality photographs of your business, or those of people working there tend to perform the best and instill a feeling of trust among the users.

However, be wary that a large volume of visual media increases the load time of your websites. Hence, optimize your visual content accordingly.

Navigation & layout (content-oriented)

In the past we have seen complex website layouts: pages cluttered with sidebars, headers, banners, etc. But presently, the Internet is returning to a flat and minimalistic design with more emphasis on content.

Also, follow best practices while designing the layout of your website. Take into account user behavior and patterns. One such famous approach is the F-pattern design. According to scientific studies, when users come across a new web page, they don’t directly start reading word by word. Rather, they skim through the page. And there are certain parts of the web page that users begin with most often- the top section which is read from left to right and the left pane which is read from top to bottom. So leverage these ‘hot spots’ in your design to establish your website’s purpose at the first chance.

Brand-themed illustrations

In a crowded marketplace, brand-themed illustrations and designs will be the main drivers behind business success. Your website design, layout, illustration, and imagery must resonate with what your brand represents.

This can be further extended to even entail every type of content on your website.

As an example, think of Google. Over the years, Google had capitalized on it’s flat and minimalistic design, which is best represented by its homepage: a simple search bar and two buttons. In the present date, Google is involved in several industries, from social networking and SEO to self-driving cars, but no matter the industry, Google has maintained it’s brand voice and personality of an uncluttered minimalistic design across all its web interfaces (website and apps).

You can similarly think of Facebook and it’s associated blue color. Your brand personality is how people perceive and remember your brand and your web presence should reflect it.

Usability

Load time

No one waits for a page that takes ages to load. So compress and optimize your images and other media accordingly so that your website has a decent loading time. Also, combine your codes into a central CSS or JavaScript file and minimize HTML and Javascript codes running on your website to ensure fast load times.

Cross-platform functionality

More than half of your audience reaches out to you through their smartphones or tabs. You don’t want to lose a prospect who opens your website on a tab and finds everything disoriented.

It’s high time businesses employ the mobile-first approach. All your websites and landing pages must be optimized to be viewed on mobile devices. There are many plugins and tools available that can help you make a mobile-responsive website.

Micro-interactions

Micro -interactions are another way to set your brand apart and define your brand personality. Micro-interactions, as the name suggests, allow users to interact with the website. Think of your team member page, where you can display a professional image of an individual, which changes to an alternative (usually crazy avatar) when the mouse hovers over it.

This is an extremely simple and common example of micro-interactions, which designers are actively working on to create a highly brand-specific user experience. Micro-interactions can make a brand’s identity highly popular and apart. Such as, think of Swiping (as in Tinder) or double-press to like (in Instagram).

Minimal scroll:

Create short pages such that users need not scroll down too much for information. This principle, of course, varies as the purpose of your web page changes. Such as, a typical web page of an eCommerce store is often endless. But when it comes to landing pages, registration pages or home pages, design your pages to be short so that readers can digest the information. If you need to provide more information, you can always create new pages and interlink between pages. This also helps in SEO (Search Engine optimization), while adhering to smart design principles.

The above factors are generic and apply to most of the businesses. The idea of a perfect design, however, comes from an excellent understanding of your audience. Your design should take into account the taste and personality of your audience. So a website designed for millennials will differ from a blog that caters to CTOs and CIOs. Above all, the design should be user-friendly and easily navigable. 

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About Author: Carol Clark