What happens if you’re looking for website design tips online? It’s soon obvious that there are hundreds of tips claiming to be the best practices for site design. Some of these are based on the foundation principles of web design, while other tips are based on an individual’s preferences and ideas. But are there hard facts backed up by science on website design? The answer is yes!
We’ve put together a list of web design tips that are based on research and hard facts. If you need help with website design, then here you’ll find objective tips to improve your website.
1). Site Speed is Essential
When visitors come to a website, they expect to find information quickly. If a site loads slowly or has loading issues, then visitors will quickly leave for a competitor’s site. This is a fact proven by research and data. If your site doesn’t load within about 4 seconds or less, you’ll lose site visitors. You may also notice a high bounce rate.
Sites with a high bounce rate are also subject to a lower ranking in the search engines. So, not only are you losing site visitors, but your website won’t show up on page 1 in the search results. Instead, it will show up farther down, which results in lower traffic.
To lower the bounce rate, increase conversions and revenue it will be necessary to increase your site’s speed.
2). Keep the Site Simple
Research and surveys show that websites with extravagant designs can be overwhelming for site visitors. Instead, they prefer designs that are simple and elegant. Here are some design elements to consider when simplifying your site:
- Use standard layouts: humans thrive on familiarity. This means they don’t like to be surprised by the unexpected. Website designs that are not the norm can really upset people. So, choose a layout and design that people are familiar with, and find other design elements to create a unique site.
- Sidebar: more designers are choosing to leave off the sidebar and stick to a single column design. The reason is this creates fewer distractions for site visitors, while putting emphasis on more important elements such as content or a CTA. Use of white space can also create a clean web design, which also puts the emphasis where you want it.
- Limit menus: such as pull-out, drop-downs, fold-outs, form fields, and more. These can also cause clutter, as well as confusion.
- Keep the focus on the call to action
- Only display buttons for social media platforms you use
- Try to stay with one goal per page.
3). Remember the Fold
Yes, the fold is still a “thing.” Research by Nielsen shows that people still look above the fold, no matter the size of the screen. In fact, they found that people spend about 57 percent of their time above the fold.
What does this mean for a website? It’s necessary to put the most important content and elements to get site visitors’ attention. This can be done by:
Using media: include videos, images, and audio to grab attention.
Use clear, descriptive headlines: this is where you need to use descriptive headlines that get the message across. Visitors should not be left wondering if they’re in the right place. This is also an excellent place to use keywords or keyword phrases, which indicate the topic.
4). Prioritise Scrolling Over Clicking
Back in the good old days of the Internet, menus were the way to get people to a new page. This was considered a better option than putting all information on long page. People didn’t want to scroll. Over time, however, peoples’ behaviour has changed. Today, more people scroll through content, even if the page is long.
One issue is the many devices we use now. Clicking menus on a device with a small screen can be extremely frustrating. It’s much easier to scroll. So, if you’re currently spreading information across your site, it’s now time to meet visitors’ expectations by putting all related information on one page.
5). Correct List Order
Lists are a great way to condense information for site visitors; but lists need to be done in the correct order. Have you heard about the serial position effect? Studies have shown that people have a tendency to remember the first and last points in a list, while forgetting the middle section.
This means it’s best to put the most important information about a product or service near the top of the list. Otherwise, these essential points will probably be missed.
6). Use People in Pictures
Humans want to connect with one another, that’s a scientific fact. It’s a fact which translates from real life onto the web. This is why pictures of people on a website are so important. Studies have shown that when a webpage was changed from text-based to using a photo of a human, conversions dramatically increased.
Having said that, stock photos of humans are not effective. Generic images are now recognised and blocked out by savvy Internet users.
Instead of using stock photos, use photos of your employees and customers. Site visitors will spot that these are real, resulting in higher conversion rates over time.
7). Use Visual Cues to Direct Attention
Here’s another reason to use images of real humans on your site. It’s a fact that we humans have an inclination to look in the same direction as people we see in ads.
Another way to draw visitors’ attention is by using simple arrows. It’s also highly effective.
8). Use Social Proof
Social proof is a way to show that others have had a positive experience with your site, products/services, or content. This is an effective way to get new visitors to interact with the site. The reason is that new visitors may convinced your site is useful because of what others have had a positive experience.
This is why so many sites use testimonials, social shares, and media mentions to get new visitors’ attention. Using these elements on your site will increase site interaction and conversions.
You can still have a beautiful website but following these methods will help visitors find what they want and need. These are all methods and techniques you can use to make your website more effective, leading to increased interaction and conversion rates.