Sawaram Suthar is CMO at Acquire, and also a founder of Jagat Media, a digital marketing agency. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in things including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on @sawarams.
Your website is the central hub from which you provide information about your business, products or services. Learn the Web design principles you need to learn to generate profits by increasing sales revenue and acquiring more customers.
It's not often that you see the terms web design and sales being used together. What could they possibly have in common? We'd say everything.
Believe it or not, but web designing entails more than choosing the right background for your website, making it 'look-good', or swearing to never use the typeface 'Comic Sans' again.
An impactful and impressive web design delivers a seamless user experience with defining elements such as shape, font, text, line, and color, serving as its backbone to ultimately connect with the user.
It uses design to deliver what your customer is thinking and amplify how they feel when they visit your website. It convinces - and motivates - them to convert. In this blog, we will look at the top-6 strategies that come together to form the cardinal rule of successful web designing. Let's jump right in.
Top-6 Web Design Principles That Can Transform Your Website into a Sales-Churning Machine
Designing your website doesn't need to be an expensive or painful affair. Luckily, there are user-friendly and flexible 'make your own website' platforms that offer a 'free reign' canvas, guided by smooth drag-and-drop functionalities. That said, when building your web design blueprint, keep the following hacks in mind:
1. Your Website Page Should Be Self-Explanatory
A website page worth it’s salt should be clear and self-explanatory from the get-go. The logic is simple. With human attention spans lowering to a mere 12 seconds, overburdening your visitor with too much information (or the lack thereof) can prove to be counterproductive.
Here a few tips that can help ensure that your website page is self-explanatory. Let's take a look at Headspace's Home Page:
- Notice how the navigation is neat, minimal, and cluster-free, providing users with all the information neatly categorized and needing no extra after-thought (as shown below):
- Additionally, the page title and subheads are strategically thought out, concise, and relevant to the page’s content:
- There are CTAs and icons peppered throughout the page that are self-evident and immediately allow the visitors to take the required action:
- The call-to-action button (Start free trial) is easily visible and stands out:
Key takeaway: Your website page's navigation, as well as the other pages, should be simple, logical, and neat, offering users all the information they'll need without any thought or effort.
2. Opt for Moderate-Yet-Explicit Visual Clues
As mentioned above, offering directional, aka visual cues, can help draw your user's attention to specific areas on the website that you'd want your visitor to focus on. This is where you need to make use of the right images, colors, and layout that sits well with the overall design. Take a look at the Sweetish House Mafia's website below:
Your eyes immediately wander to the gorgeous image of the cookie, right?
The website makes excellent use of high-quality images while producing relevant and crisp content. Plus, at any given point in time, the visitor can click on the WhatsApp link icon, the "Order now" button, or the "Rewards" section and engage with the website:
Key takeaway: You can use colors, symbols (such as arrows), images, and icons as visual cues to gain your reader's attention and subtly nudge them to take the desired action. Slight tweaks in the overall design can give a huge ROI.
For instance, people generally focus on an image on the home page as opposed to condensed content. A user typically looks at the top-right corner of a home page for the navigation menu. Brightly colored CTAs or CTAs in bold tend to catch the user's attention faster. Moreover, you can use line-of-sight to draw user attention (as shown below):
Here, the user's attention is bound to drift to the "Newsletter Sign Up" section first as the designer strategically uses the image of a man looking to the left (where the newsletter signs up information is listed).
3. Make Your User Comfortable, Make the Website User-Friendly
Surely, you must have heard the term user-friendly being used one too many times in the web designing circles, but what does it truly mean?
A user-friendly website requires your visitor to put in little to no effort when browsing through the pages or to complete a purchase. Here are the top-4 strategies to embrace to help your users feel comfortable while getting to know your product/service through your website:
- Make it SEO- and mobile-friendly. Making it SEO-friendly helps people to access your website easily on Google's search engine pages. If your website is on Google's third page, it might as well be on the last one. On the other hand, making your website mobile-optimized ensures that your users get to view your website on their preferred platform (there are over 5.5 billion mobile phone users today) - without pinching out or zooming in to understand what is being shown.
- Ensure that the page loading time is anywhere between 1-2 seconds. According to data, "53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load." Here's a handy tool to assess your website's page speed.
- Ensure that the webpage design is unified and consistent across, and you're not experimenting too much with your themes and layout.
- List important contact information (think: email, numbers, live chat, etc.), no matter which pages your users are on, so they can immediately get in touch if they have any queries.
Key takeaway: As the name suggests, a user-friendly website keeps the user's needs at heart and offers core functionalities to make the browsing experience seamless, pleasurable, and friction-free.
4. Avoid Complexity & Use White Space
White space, also known as negative space, is the white or blank sections you see on your page. Take Evernote's website, for example:
Notice how calm and peaceful the design makes you feel. That's the beauty of white space. As a thumb rule, never clutter your page with innumerable images, texts, or call to action buttons. This can leave your users feeling overwhelmed, confused, or lost.
In fact, contrary to popular opinion, leaving white space can help catch your user's attention in the respective area:
Key takeaway: If you wish to enhance your website's readability, empower users to focus on the 'right' elements, and eliminate unnecessary distractions, using sufficient and strategically placed white space is the way to go.
5. Ensure That You Use the Correct Fonts
Let's get one thing straight: If the website's font isn't legible and easily accessible, your visitors are going to take the effort to re-read the content. This is where special care needs to be taken to ensure that you choose the right font type and style, as Apple's website demonstrates below:
The font sizes may differ, but the font type stays consistent.
Additionally, while using white space is regarded as offering 'breathing space' to your website, inserting too much of it when drafting your content can make your website look unprofessional and downright off:
Key takeaway: Using an incorrect font style can make or break your design. Additionally, it helps to keep the number of fonts to a minimum. As we saw above, it helps to choose a typeface that is easily readable across sizes. Finally, the lines should be crisp and short. As a big no, never use sentences or phrases in All-Caps or blinking text for your website, which can get annoying.
6. Test, Test, Test.
Here's the final piece of advice: Engaging in regular A/B testing can help you to understand where you're going wrong and where you're going right. It can also throw light on your customer's pain-points so that you can make minor alterations to leverage huge benefits. Take a look at Groove's example below:
Initially, the company was experiencing low conversion rates (2.3%). On investigating and testing, they found out that the company's message was being misread. In the second round of designing, the brand decided to focus on the content first and then move onto the design - a slight change in messaging and a tiny maneuver later, their conversion rates were up to 4.7%.
Key takeaway: Consistent A/B testing your website is the final leg of the web designing process and one that pays off huge dividends. By understanding how your users are reacting to your website in real-time, you can offer an end-to-end personalized user experience.
Web designing is an art form, yes, but it also requires strategic thinking. Employ these time-tested strategies outlined about and give your website a fighting chance in a sea of sameness.
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