How important is web design? Is it true that quality design can lead to more online sales? What sort of design elements will appeal to my customer the most? What website features have a major impact on a business’s online success? What is required if you want to build a trusting relationship with your customers? To quickly answer your question, yes. Quality web design is crucial if you want your business to succeed in today's competitive online space. Without a high-quality website (professional design and flawless functionality), you will lose sales and long-term customers. Sure, web design can be complicated, but there are simple steps you can take to improve your website immediately. Achieve your online sales goals and increase overall revenue with our web design tips and answers to common questions.
Simple Design IS Better Design
According to various studies and surveys, websites with a professional design and clean layout are the most attractive and are considered to be the most credible. When you’re starting to design (or redesign) your website, remind yourself to keep it simple. Don’t over clutter your pages or include unprofessional content. Give your visitors a clear, simple path to follow.
Good Web Design:
PayPal’s website is very user-friendly. On the homepage, there are only 13 major call to action's, limiting the possibility for confusion or frustration. In addition, their website is consistent with brand colors and image guidelines, promoting credibility and limiting visitor distraction. PayPal's goal is clear and simple - login or create an account and start managing your "digital wallet."
Whitespace, Yes or No?
Declutter your website by adding whitespace (aka negative space). Whitespace is often considered the “fundamental building block” of professional web design; it transforms complex pages into clean, easy to read designs.
Where to Add WhiteSpace:
- Between and around photos/graphics: Draw user’s attention to a specific graphic or image by adding whitespace around it. With this attention, you can expect more interaction and response.
- Underneath titles and around text areas: Whitespace will increase legibility and comprehension for your website visitors. According to HFI, comprehension is increased by over 20% when whitespace is included throughout text sections.
- Between columns: Make sure your columns aren’t squished together. Be generous with whitespace so readers can easily navigate the provided information.
- Around CTA’s, or call to action's: Adding some space around your CTA’s can increase your engagement and conversion rates. White space, like enlarged buttons and colored backgrounds, adds emphasis to your message.
- Between sections: In contrast to popular belief, whitespace won’t confuse your customers if you place them in between each section. Instead, it allows visitors to separate their thoughts and better understand your message when scrolling to each new sections.
Popups and When to Use Them
Popups can generate more engagement if used correctly. Don’t annoy your customers with the full screen “sign up for our newsletter” popups, and try to avoid the “enter your email if you want to keep exploring our site.” Not only are those popups intrusive and unnecessary, but they’re a waste of space. We suggest adding a subtle pop-up in the corner asking customers if they’d like to sign up for your newsletter. Make sure the “exit” option is clear and the popup isn’t interfering with their scrolling or reading.
How to Display Credibility Through Design
Credibility is everything when it comes to nurturing relationships with your customers. Some quick and easy ways to insinuate credibility:
- Include a FAQ section that answers commonly asked questions about your industry or your business.
- Display your contact information in the footer or header. Don’t try to hide your business address, email address or phone number.
- Make sure your website content is fresh. Maintain an active blog or try updating the pictures/content on a weekly basis.
- Provide links to educational documents.
- Make sure your design is professional and follows brand guidelines.
- Make sure your website is organized and laid out in a professional way.
- Include pictures and information about your team.
- Make sure your website links to or is linked from other credible businesses.
- Include references and correct citations.
Compare Your Online Products
Product comparison sections are essential when you’re displaying a new brand online. Don’t make your customers flip back and forth between tabs when trying to compare various products - keep it simple, smart. Adding a simple checkbox or selection option will help users organize and compare their possible purchases. If your website features a subscription or service, advertise a price chart comparison. What service packages do you offer? What features are included in each package? Do you offer a monthly subscription? How much money will I save if I pay 6 months in advance?
Website Usability Testing
Website usability testing is a process when web designers (or business owners), find out whether or not their website is usable. Are new visitors able to find your contact information? Purchase products? Sign up for your newsletter? Having a usable website is crucial. By investing in website usability testing and spending time evaluating user journey/feedback, your can get ahead of your competitors and make more online sales.
Content that Informs
Quality content is a very important factor when developing your website. To become an industry leader and win the loyalty of new customers, you must provide a steady stream of useful information to your subscriber base. What's new in the industry? What changes are taking place in your company? What efforts are you [the business] taking to stay ahead of the industry and to continue providing great services? To answer all of these questions and more, we suggest investing in a blog. Push quality content out to your customers on a regular basis, allowing them to stay up-to-date on their own time. Blogs, if optimized correctly, can also increase a company's organic search ranking and improve the business' s relationship with major ISP's. Note, these blog posts should not be talking about your latest products or what's on sale. Rather, they should be answering questions that your customers have about your company, or about the industry as a whole. Not sure what to write about? Ask your customers directly. Conduct some research and see what topics people are searching for.