Whether you’re after sales, leads, more readers, or making a notable difference, bad web site design can sabotage your time and efforts. Put your very best foot forward with these principles of good web site design.
This article was compiled by Mitchell Terpstra, a business owner NEXT powered by Assemble expert. If you’re looking to take the next phase in your business then we encourage you to look at Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble.
Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling book, Blink: THE ENERGY of Thinking Without Thinking, includes a provocative thesis. Unlike commonsense, which warns against “snap judgments,” Gladwell argues that, often, our automatic, largely unconscious method of making decisions during the day is a reasonably reliable way to navigate life in today’s world. “There may be as much value in the blink of eye,” writes Gladwell, “as in months of rational analysis.”
You better think that people to your site are judging your brand’s competency within minutes. Actually, some studies suggest it requires less than 50 milliseconds (1/20th of another) for a visitor to choose whether to stay on your own site or click away.
Well-designed websites, designed with an individual experience (UX) at heart, have the ability not merely to keep visitors on your own site, but to build the type of rapport leading to long-term loyalty. Poorly designed websites, however, are the digital exact carbon copy of a brick-and-mortar store with stuck doors, broken windows and leaky pipes dripping puddles on to the floor. Cue the horrified customers running to your nearest competitor, which, on the web, is a few clicks away.
Here are a few of the very most important principles for improving your own site’s UX design and, ultimately, winning over audiences to your cause.
What’s the number-one thing you want people to your website to accomplish? Design for that. In the event that you can’t answer that question, you’re likely not prepared to make a website. Truly useful websites make it abundantly clear what they’re about. Consider the most-visited website on the globe, not to mention the annals of the web, Google’s homepage.
It doesn’t matter that Google offers a large number of goods and services at this stage in 2020. Google’s original and still-core product reigns supreme on the site: a lone search-entry blank and the buttons to activate it surrounded by a lot of white space; all the options are minimized and pushed to the margins.
Good UX design funnels visitors toward a clear action, whether that be investing in a product, registering for something or reading a breaking news story. Websites lacking any overarching objective often suffer an identity crisis and end up putting their visitors through the “paradox of preference”-the feelings of frustration and fatigue which come from having way too many options available.
THE WEB has fundamentally altered how exactly we read. “Reading a book from cover to cover” may have once been a favorite proverb about thoroughness, but, given the vast wealth of information on the internet, no one’s got time for that. The speed of information-retrieval has replaced the virtue of thoroughness.
Nowadays, rather than reading, we scan. Eye-tracking studies have revealed that Internet-users “read” within an F-shaped pattern, mostly scanning headlines, subheaders and the opening sentences of paragraphs as a way to pay for the overwhelming amount of information available online.
Smart UX design will accommodate such behaviors by frontloading the main, topical, “load-bearing” information words toward the start of headlines and lead sentences, along the left-margin, where users are searching for them. Additionally, user-friendly websites will avoid long blocks of text and only shorter, easier-to-digest paragraphs with frequent breaks.
Chunking your articles, utilizing bullet-point or numbered lists and using white space to visually separate content allow visitors more “jumping-in” points because they furiously scan for what the info they’re after.
Remember earlier when you learned that visitors will judge your site in less than another? A lot of this is due to the visuals. For most visitors, if the visuals disappoint, then your site all together disappoints.
As humans, we’re wired to be visual creatures, favoring our eyes over-all other senses, with an increase of than 50 percent of the cortex-the surface of the brain-dedicated to processing visual information. Given our cognitive biases, then, it’s no wonder that people prefer beautiful, image-driven websites to less aesthetic ones.
Even within visual information, we’ve a clear preference for pictures over text. Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than words, which explains why we can’t resist looking at the pictures before reading. It’s just easier on our brains. Knowing this, it’s vital that you spend money on high-quality photography or videography that helps tell as a lot of your website’s story as possible, saving words for where pictures fail.
But visuals go way beyond pretty pictures. Consistent typography, color schemes, icons, negative space and clear hierarchy between elements are other areas of visual design that shouldn’t be disregarded.
It’s not only that people don’t show patience for reading anymore. We don’t show patience generally. For better or worse, the web has cultivated a culture which has come to anticipate instant gratification. With regards to your website, which means that approximately 40 percent of your incoming traffic gives up if your website takes longer than three seconds to load.
Page speed may be the average time it requires for a full page of content from your own website to load. It’s also important because, for most search engines, it’s among the factors that determines how well your website ranks browsing results. Many helpful sites exist that may provide you with a measurement of your website’s page speed free of charge.
There are always a host of actions you can take to rev up your page speeds, though most of them need a decent amount of web background to execute. For instance, you could enable file compression, optimize your website’s code, decrease the number of page redirects or leverage browser caching to lessen page-load times. Another tactic is to be sure the file sizes of your website’s images are no bigger than they have to be, though not at the detriment of featuring high-quality images, given their importance as stated above.
Certainly, you’ve experienced it before: a website that hasn’t been optimized for mobile. It requires forever to load, the written text is illegibly tiny, the images are improperly formatted and buttons, menu options or hyperlinks are extremely difficult to click with regular-sized human fingers.
The sad part is that mobile traffic has made up a lot more than 50 percent of most website traffic since 2015. Which means that roughly one from every two people visiting your site tend viewing it on a smartphone. May be the experience visiting your site likely to be as user-friendly for them for someone visiting from a laptop?
The largest difference between smartphones and computers is that smartphones favor scrolling through vertically stacked content whereas larger computer screens enable greater variety in what sort of user navigates through a website.
There are two main design approaches for mobile-friendly websites: responsive or adaptive. Responsive design resizes the components of your website to match the resolution of the user’s device. Adaptive design is similar to having two different websites-one for computers and another for mobile. The former approach involves less work web development work overall and works across a variety of screen sizes, as the latter gets the potential to provide the very best experience on mobile, especially if that’s where the most your website traffic is via.
Fortunately, many CMSs, such as for example WordPress, Wix and Squarespace, offer mobile-responsive themes. If you’re using among these to build your site, make your theme is mobile-friendly.
If the very thought of redesigning your website for optimized UX induces a headache, don’t panic. There are many creatives, specifically UX writers and web site designers, who can provide your organization’s website the makeover it requires.
Professional matchmaking services like Assemble, Upwork, Toptal or Communo can connect you with the relevant expertise promptly. Simply tell them everything you kind of project you will need completed and they’ll tap their database of skill-based professionals to get the right talent for your task. A few of these services will even assist you to with the scoping and quoting of assembling your project which means that your needs are clearly defined and much more likely to be met with satisfying results.
Whether you handle it in-house or choose to hire a specialist, thoughtful web design could possibly be the