Nowadays, you can get a website up and running in a few minutes. But there’s a difference between a website being reside and it being optimized.
Why does design issue? It only takes 0. 05 secs for people to form an opinion regarding your website. Yes, you look over that correctly—50 milliseconds just for someone to be blown away or even repulsed by your website. The majority of that opinion is produced from the design.
Website design also impacts your own conversions, credibility, and, eventually, makes or breaks the achievements of your site. No website is perfect, but you should optimize it as much as possible.
Here is something to take into consideration as well: Following a bad experience, 88% of shoppers are unlikely to return to a website. On top of that, a recent research found that 77% of agencies say that a poor web design is the most significant weakness of the clients.
Bottom line: If your web design isn’t optimized for user encounter (UX), it’s going to be detrimental to your success. That is why I wrote this guide.
Many factors go into designing a website. These are the thirteen most important elements to prioritize in 2020. If you stick to these best practices, the performance of your site will drastically improve.
Utilize this checklist to ensure you have a successful design
- Minimize text
- Show, don’ t tell
- Use short sentences
- Attempt shorter paragraphs
- Choose a color scheme that will fits
- Create your CTA clear
- Reinforce actions with familiarity
- Easily simplify the navigation
- Optimize your design regarding mobile
- Prioritize SEO
- Monitor your page loading swiftness
- Continuously operate A/B tests
1 . Minimize textual content
Don’t fill up your pages with substantial blocks of text.
I’m not really talking about blog posts, which sometimes need to go in-depth (like this one! ). I’m talking about your own web pages (e. g. homepage, landing page). Keep the text to a minimum here.
You want to tell your website visitors all about you, your company, your own brand, and your products. However, you need to learn how to tell that story in just a few sentences or—even better— a few words.
2 . Display, don’t tell
Visuals not only help you split up the written content, but they can also provide deeper explanation. Show any visitors what you’re about. They’ll understand more in a smaller amount of time.
Harry’s product page embodies both these first two design concepts:
For example , let’s state your website sells razors, blades, shaving cream, and other waxing products for men.
You operate on a subscription business model and provide these products to your customers monthly. The design of your razors is extremely handsome — they’re made from carved hardwood and are wonderful enough to give as a gift.
Rather than entering all of this detail on your website, you can simply have a photo of the products with text saying something like, “delivered to your door. ” You get your message across in just four phrases.
Sure, you can go into greater detail the deeper the visitor enters your pages, but an extensive text description isn’t necessary.
3. Make use of short sentences
Short sentences are simpler to read.
Do not bombard visitors with huge chunks of text. They won’t know where to start reading through and won’t be able to process your content.
Mix it up. If you need a long phrase, follow it with a short a single. Variety helps.
4. Try shorter paragraphs
Use paragraph breaks to your advantage. It’s alright to write longer paragraphs, but I like to keep my homepage sentences to a few sentences.
It’s also important never to overdo it. Too much of a good thing, is actually a bad thing.
Start every paragraph with new info, so if someone is moving they can quickly tell when they need to read that section.
Eliminating unwanted text on your pages reduces clutter AND puts more emphasis on your call-to-action.
Having the CTA stand out alone in its personal paragraph is more impactful than burying it in a bunch of text.
A very useful tool with this situation are bullets. Rather than adding paragraphs and long-form writing, consider using lists. Within those lists, use bullet points.
Studies show that will more people will look on lists with bullet factors than other formats. That is because they help improve a page’s scannability and allow you to emphasize the most important points you want to create.
5. Choose a color scheme that suit syour branding strategy
The color choices you create on your website are more important than you think.
Visitors judge your website in under 90 seconds. Most of that is a result of the colors you select.
The best way to select your website color scheme is by using branding. Refer to your logo. Do the colors on your site fit with your brand picture?
Here’s an example. Think of Starbucks.
When you hear this brand title, I’m sure you have an image in your head. Maybe it’s the logo, a sign, or a shop location.
Would you associate any colors with that name? Now let’s take a look at their website.
It’s not surprising that they went with a eco-friendly color scheme.
This design choice matches their logo and brand name image, which reinforces exactly what consumers already associate with the particular brand. By keeping details consistent, there is no confusion. It could be odd if you visited this site and the colors were yellow and red. That has absolutely nothing to do with their brand.
We’ll talk read more about reinforcement in greater depth as we continue.
6. Make your CTA clear and obvious
CTAs should not be hidden. They need to be big, daring and powerful and they should clearly stand out as the activity your visitors should take next.
Yet, most websites don’t have a CTA button that can be spotted in less than three seconds. There’s a great chance that you fall into the group that takes longer. That is not the category you want to be in.
You can’t drive conversions with no effective CTA button.
I almost never visit a CTA on a business’ internal pages (the pages that explain what your brand does and what you offer). This is a major design drawback. You can’t expect visitors to get around back to your homepage in order to convert.
Have a look at this CTA from Litmus.
Look how basic this design is. There is certainly minimal text on the screen, so the message is clear.
As a result, the CTA “sign up free” stands apart. In fact , Litmus even put it in more than one area on the screen.
Where you should put your own CTA differs from page to page. For example , blogs should have the CTA up top so readers view it quickly and also at the bottom after they have read the post.
Go deeper: Wish to optimize your CTAs? Listed here are 11 ways to improve your calls to action.
7. Reinforce actions with familiarity
In case your message is the same, your own CTA should be the same upon every single page.
Think about how people get around your website. Even if you set up a certain flow, not everyone will certainly land on a page and convert in seconds. They might browse around for a bit first.
For example , let’s state you have an ecommerce web site. You shouldn’t change the CTA button from page to page, which would look like this particular:
- Home page: Checkout now
- Category page: Buy this today
- Product page: Click to purchase
If a visitor sees one of those buttons on your own homepage, the other on a group page, and the third on the product page, there’s no reinforcement.
Instead, keep the messaging and the style consistent. Here’s a good example from the jewelry and components brand MVMT.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on their eyewear, timepieces, or jewelry page. You are going to see the same “SHOP NOW” CTA for their products.
Every page also stays consistent with their website’s overall smart, black-and-white design.
Apply this style principle to your website as well.
It will go beyond the CTA button. The idea is to have this kind of reinforcement with as many components as possible.
Consistency in language, messaging, and design reinforces your own brand identity and simply leaves a lasting impression on your own visitors’ minds.
8. Simplify the particular navigation
It shouldn’t be difficult to get a website visitor to find what they’re looking for on your site.
Put your self in their shoes. Why are a person visiting the website? How do you accomplish that task? Maybe you want to buy something, get more information, or see what there is to offer. Whatever that reason may be, if visitors can’t number it out quickly, they’re going to leave.
There is just too much competitors out there. Users have no reason to put up with unwieldy web site navigation. All they need to perform is leave your site and locate what they need somewhere else.
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel with a complicated design. Stick with the standard file format.
For example , many websites put the navigation menus horizontally at the top of each web page. If your menu is somewhere else, it might confuse your visitors.
The less options in the menu, the greater. Otherwise, it will be too hard for individuals to find what they need. This particular concept is known as Hick’s Law.
The more options a person give someone, the longer it will take them to make a decision. That’s why complex designs and navigations will crush your conversion rates.
There are a famous experiment relating to this, referred to as the jam research, which discusses the paradoxon of choice.
The particular experiment was conducted at a local grocery store. Consumers had been presented with 24 jams to sample on one day, and six jams on the following day:
- The larger display on 1 attracted 60% of shoppers, but only 3% of those people made a purchase.
- Small display of six jellies on the second day captivated 40% of shoppers, but 30% of them made the purchase.
By limiting choices, conversion rates were ten times increased. This same concept could be applied to your website navigation.
Eliminate unnecessary menus options. For example , instead of using a “home” button, just make use of the website logo to hyperlink back to the home screen.
Take a look at Square’s homepage.
The design is super clean. The menu options are extremely limited. This makes it easy for visitors to choose a choice that fits their needs.
You’ll notice that there’s minimal text on the screen, and the CTA is clear and obvious.
This type of design makes it extremely difficult for website visitors to get lost or confused when they’re navigating.
For anyone who have lots of options in your website, such as an e-commerce shop, you can add a search club to simplify the navigation process without using a complicated menus. A lot of software companies place their features in a features tab rather than have an individual tab for each feature.
9. Enhance your design for mobile devices
Mobile is usually how the majority of the world accesses the Internet. That means if you’re not optimized for mobile, your site is not going to perform well.
Take a look at this data from Hootsuite:
Search engines recognize this and incentive sites that are mobile-friendly. Here are a few more stats to hit the purpose home:
- Google knows that 87% associated with smartphone owners use their devices to run an Internet research at least once per day.
- 58% of all Google searches are done from a mobile device
- The result: 70% of the first page results on Google are optimized for mobile devices.
Mobile SEO is the most important thing you can do in order to rank well on Google. Seriously.
If your website doesn’t look good on a smartphone, people will not want to stick around. So , make sure that your website designs are mobile-friendly.
Go deeper: Would like to learn how to optimize your website intended for mobile? Check out our total guide to a mobile pleasant website.
10. Prioritize SEO
Everything you do on your own site needs to circle returning to SEO.
And it’s not enough to just add keywords here and there. It’s a website-wide system of improving content and relentlessly concentrating on specific subject matters to create your site authority in that area.
For instance , a landing page for an e-commerce site will want to focus on specific on-page elements such as:
- User friendliness. How simple it is for your visitors to make use of and navigate.
- Mobile. How your website looks plus performs on a mobile device.
- Key phrase optimization. What and phrases that you want to rank for.
- Internal links. How often you link to other pages in your website.
- Headline. This could be the biggest text on a webpage. As such, it does most of the weighty lifting on your landing page.
Create an XML sitemap. This will ensure it is easier for search engine crawlers to analyze content on your site. A sitemap will show the bots the location of pages on your site, once the page was last up-to-date, the updating frequency, as well as the relationship to other pages on the site.
An appropriate sitemap shows Google that you simply don’t have duplicate content, which could damage your SEO ratings.
When you are designing your site, there are a BUNCH of less obvious components that factor into rank on Google, too.
We’ve already gone over a few aspects you can improve on the page itself. But other elements include:
- Website. Your WEB ADDRESS is pretty consequential to your search engines rank. Key factors include having your keyword in the area, how old the site is, and what your site extension is (e. g. high-quality such as. com,. internet,. gov,. org versus nontraditional extensions).
- Site quality. Your website must be helpful to website visitors. Key factors include an ‘ About Us’ web page, a ‘ Contact Us’ page, how frequently a person update your website, how easy it is to navigate your website, uptime (how often your website crashes), and SSL certificates.
- Backlinks. This refers to the frequency your website is connected to by other websites. It is a crucial aspect for ranking well on Google. Key aspects include the number of linking pages, the quality and authority of the websites linking to you, the anchor text they’ re using to link to you, plus whether or not those links come from. edu or. gov domains.
11. Monitor your page loading speed
I know what some of you are thinking. What does page loading speed need to do with web design? Everything.
Certain, loading times are related to your website hosting plan, machine, traffic, and things of that nature. However , design options can impact your loading instances as well.
Each time you add an element to your site, especially images, videos, along with other complex media files, your loading times can be impacted. As such, it can slow down HTTP requests.
Slow loading times result in high abandonment rates. You can not ignore this. If your webpages take too long to load, it’s going to be a huge problem.
Furthermore, 25% of individuals abandon websites that take more than four seconds to launch. Yes, four seconds . That’s all you need, or you’ll lose 25 out of every 100 visitors. Many visitors expect for a web page to load in two seconds or less.
So how can you apply this to your web design?
- Reduce the document sizes of your images
- Take advantage of browser puffern tools
- Decrease HTTP requests
- Improve your TTFB (time in order to first byte)
- Minify and combine your own files
There are lots of tools available online to assist you accomplish these things. For example , read the WordPress Rocket plugin as a resource for minifying and combining your files. And use the Page Speed Insights device from Google to help you keep track of your loading times when you make design changes in your website.
12. Continuously run A/B exams
When it comes to your site design, you can’t just arranged it and forget it.
As I said previously, no website is perfect. You will encounteer ways for you to improve your style.
That’s why you need to run A/B tests. These allow you to make regular improvements to your website and test out components to see what works the best and, more importantly, what isn’t working at all.
Nearly every element of your site design could be tested. For example , you could produce two different landing web pages that have different CTAs but are otherwise the same. In case one landing page performs much better than the other, you’ll know that its CTA is likely getting the work done.
Here are some quick suggestions to get started on in the right direction:
- Test the place of your CTA button
- Test the color of your CTA button
- Test the CTA copy
- Test the particular images that you’ re using on landing pages
- Test wording variations of text within the screen
- Check the size of your navigation club
There are numerous options, I could spend all day long talking about this. For those of you which aren’t familiar with A/B testing or need some assist, check out my guide on everything you need to know before you start A/B examining.
Saying that the design of the website is important would be a good understatement. Your web design options will ultimately impact whether or not your site is successful.
- Everyone’s site can be improved. Use this list as a guide as a resource to help you make those improvements.
- Don’t get overcome. I’m not really saying you need to implement these design suggestions overnight, but you need to start somewhere.
- I did not pull these ideas away from thin air. Almost everything on this list is backed by research and statistics related to design principles.
Remember: Every single website is a work in progress. If you put the work in plus always fine-tune your website, you are going to improve your edge along with your competitors.
It doesn’t matter if your website can be brand new or if it’s been around for a decade. They are the web design best practices that you need to follow in 2020.