The design is the first thing the visitor sees when viewing your website. According to the recent research of Stanford University specialists, 46% of the users evaluate the website credibility basing on the design. If they do not like the design, the organization seems to be unreliable.
Even if you are satisfied with the existing design of your website, it is normal if you want to improve it. The world of web technologies changes, new trends appear, and even a well-made site will become outdated one day.
To keep up with the times and on the right path, you may conduct minor experiments with the design. For example, you may change some of the page elements, choose different fonts or colors, etc. If the experiment results in conversion increasing, you are on the right path.
In this article, we will talk about the importance of the website design and the ways of its optimization. You will also find some useful techniques for improving website design. They are quite simple, yet effective!
1. Develop a strategy
Decided to improve the web design of your site? Great idea! You should not make on-the-spot decisions and start with radical changes. For the idea to succeed, you should do some planning. Here are the issues to consider before starting the work on design changing:
Analyze the current situation
This is to define the area of work. Study the Google Analytics metrics, track the users’ behavior on your site. Define the most problematic pages with low conversions and high bounce rate — this will be your first area of work. Do not omit the active pages — they will serve you as an example.
Conduct market research
This refers both to your target audience and competitors. Create the customer journey map, analyze the stages of making the decision, think of improving the user experience on each of them. Analyze the websites of your competitors and pick some tricks you find interesting.
Define the stack of tasks
What do you want to achieve? How do you want to achieve this? Extensive answers to the following questions will help to determine your goals and settle the direction for further work.
2. Make the site usable
While thinking of ways to improve website design, many users want to create an original picture and to choose the most impressive photos. This is important, yet, you should not forget about the usability of the website.
According to Forrester Research, poorly usable internet shops lose about 50% of potential customers who failed to find the necessary item. About 40% of users do not return to sites where they had a bad experience.
The main point of a commercial website is selling goods and services. This makes the usability of primary importance. The users do not care about the backend of the website; it is not important for them. They’re not interested in what language it was written or what modern technical solutions were implemented. If the site is difficult to use, it is annoying. If it is annoying, the users will leave it without buying anything.
That is why it is essential to pay attention to the usability of the website in the stage of planning and creating the technical assignment. Here are some web design tips for making your site user-friendly:
- the structure should be comprehensible at a glance
- the user should intuitively understand how and where to locate the necessary information
- the site should not be overloaded with text, images or animation — it makes the resource work slowly, distracts attention, and annoys the user.
When thinking about a way of presenting the text, do not consider the content and the design as separate aspects. Remember that they are integrated and should be perceived as one unit.
3. Experiment with the colors
Color schemes are the most interesting branch of web design. Even minor changes of the website colors can change the perception of your brand among the visitors.
Considering changes of the color scheme, pay attention to the following factors:
- Your target audience. Depending on the age and social data of your potential customers, the design of the commercial website should be different. If your product is oriented to young and active people, do not be afraid of using bright colors. For older people, it would be preferable to choose something more tranquil and deep.
- Your corporate culture. Your website should not only reflect your target audience, it should also express your brand identity. Remember “McDonald’s” and its bright red and yellow colors?
- The harmony of colors. One of the major features of a successful commercial site is its usability. The color scheme is an inseparable part since annoying colors and their combinations can offend the target audience. Considering experiments with colors? Pay attention to their compatibility and the contrast of the text with the background.
How to choose the color scheme?
To determine the palette of the colors, select your target audience and the reaction you want to them to have. Here are some examples for you:
- Bright colors (orange, red). If you want to excite the visitors, use these bright and even aggressive colors. Such a color scheme will perfectly suit the website selling sports equipment or food.
- Bright colors (yellow, green, blue). These color schemes will give the sense of cheerfulness and will be perfect for tourism and party goods and services.
- Deep colors. They give the sense of certainty and will be good for the websites of banking, credit and estate companies.
- Mild colors. This palette will relax the visitor, and will perfectly complement the website selling domestic goods, furniture, etc.
Some designers choose the color scheme by visual degree; others prefer using the color palette generators. Adobe Color CC is considered to be the best among the existing instruments. It will help you to create your own color scheme and to be inspired by the works of other designers. If you love the material design, such tools as MaterialPallete or Material Design Palette Generator will give you plenty of webpage design tips.
4. Illustrate the content of the website
Images can fill the blank spaces and make your website look original and visually pleasant. Correctly chosen pictures will make the website more vivid. They will have a positive impact on your brand recognition and can be used as a heading, icon, and for creating animation.
For the majority of people, it is easier to remember a picture than text, you should choose the illustrations carefully. According to research, a perfectly chosen picture is worth 84 words.
Let’s see what a perfect picture actually is:
- Informative. The picture should have a message, not just fill a blank space. It can tell the visitors more about the product, influence their mood and emotions, or contain a CTA.
- Qualitative. There is no need to mention that pictures of poor quality, or with watermarks, make your site look extremely unprofessional.
- Original. Avoid using stock images. Having seen the same picture on different sites, the users will question your reliability and professionalism.
When adding the illustration, it is important to remember site integrity and not to overdo it. Even the most beautiful illustrations will rebuff the clients if there are too many of them.
The animation can be full-screen and integrated into the navigation. Its main goal is to help the users to study the website and to attract their attention to the details.
5. Optimize the website for mobile devices
The modern audience has access to different gadgets and can visit your site from a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The rapid development of mobile devices made designers, marketers, and developers seek new ways of optimizing the website for the different platforms.
If the site is not optimized for mobile devices, it cannot be called good in terms of usability. Working on improving the design, you should test if the resource is working properly on devices of different models, sizes, and screen resolution.
Your website should work perfectly both for iOS and Android users. The photographs should be loaded fully, and the text should not seem too long. The user should not have to scroll or change the screen size. The CTA-buttons should be large, and there should not be other links near the button — the user may misclick and go to a completely different page.
Having read the website design tips mentioned above, you are now aware of the basic steps of optimizing the resource. Let’s sum them up:
- Strategic planning. This is the basic step that will help you to define the set of tasks and to outline the future working areas
- Improving the usability. You will create a perfect user experience and increase your conversions and sales.
- Choosing the colors. Different colors tell different stories and send different messages. Choosing the palette according to your target audience and the goals of your company, you will definitely win user’s hearts.
- Adding illustrations. Do not ever neglect such a powerful way of telling the users more, without these long texts.
- Mobile optimization. Since the majority of the Internet is now oriented on a mobile user, you should also take care of optimization. In the future, a mobile-friendly website will give you a lot more traffic.
Of course, it is impossible to tell in one article how to become better in web design. However, we have managed to give you some useful tips and tricks. If you are still questioning how to start the work on design improvement, feel free to drop us a line. We will give you a lot of useful tips for web design and will develop a project exactly suiting the needs of your business.