Do you think good web design is a matter of taste? If your answer to this question is yes, it could be that you have made a common but devastating fallacy for your website: corporate websites don’t have to please, they have to work.
The moment a prospect first visits your web site, they still have a long way to go before they become a customer. The first milestone is to invite users to linger on the site. That sounds logical, but shouldn’t be underestimated. Depending on the industry, bounce rates of 30% to 60% are standard. This means that a vast proportion of the visitors leave the page immediately after opening it without navigating to other pages. If these are potential customers, then you are wasting yourself a lot of sales potential with a confusing design and poor usability.
So that you can prevent these unnecessary jumps, we have put together practical tips that you can use as a checklist. Web design and development provides the best services of web development.
1. THE FIRST IMPRESSION
The website represents your offer and your company. Visitors who see the website for the first time typically deal with the following questions:
- Is this site trustworthy?
- Is it believable?
- What about the company’s professionalism?
- Is the company reliable?
- Do I feel addressed from the side?
- Can I find what I’m looking for here?
You should ask yourself precisely these questions. Try to answer these from the perspective of your target audience. Even if the design of websites is of secondary importance to functionality, it has a significant impact on the first impression a visitor makes. This is the conclusion, for example, of the study by Stanford University and Consumer Web Watch “How Do People Evaluate A Website’s Credibility? Results from a Large Study”. The scientists have found out that web design has a more significant influence on the perceived credibility of websites than known credibility indicators such as awards, certificates, or policies. Interestingly, the test subjects stated that they rated the credibility of the site based on facts, but the tests proved that the design can significantly influence them. Does that mean that all you need is a beautiful design and save yourself the hassle of creating high-quality content? Clearly no! The study also clearly shows that the system only defines the first impression, and that alone does not convince visitors to buy. Because after a positive first impression, users take a closer look and then actually pay attention to objective quality criteria.
Tips for a good first impression:
Appropriate color concept: Use colors that match your target group and your offer. Don’t try to grab attention with lots of different colors. This only achieves the opposite; users quickly lose track of things. Reduce the design to two to four colors, and you’ll get away with it.
Animations, gadgets, and music: avoid anything that isn’t essential. Using Flash animation just because it looks cool is a weak strategy. In the vast majority of cases, the best decision is to avoid animated backgrounds and music.
Layout: Create a clear, simple navigation structure and design your content within the pages using precise grids that apply to all pages. Give the content enough space, and don’t be afraid of the necessary blank spaces.
Typography: In any case, choose an easily legible font, a sufficiently large font, and pleasant font color. For a clearer description for the reader, you should include enough lists with bullet points and divide the information into related sections.
2. REMAIN CONSISTENT
It has proven itself to make the design consistent and uniform across the entire website. It is advisable to keep the colors, layouts, and fonts the same across all pages, if possible. In this way, a complete experience can arise for the user. However, you will hardly get away with a single template.
Typically, you need three layouts: one for the home page, one for content pages, and one for form pages.
3. USE THE CORRECT IMAGES
Images can be a powerful element of a website, so use them carefully. For example, for convenience, many companies use stock images that can be bought on image portals. But does that make sense?
Various experiments have compared the effect of stock images and real images with people from companies about their impact on lead generation. It turned out that the impact of the real photographs was 95 percent higher than stock images. How could that be?
Because when you look at stock images, they have little relevance in a specific context. When choosing images, please pay attention to their significance and proximity to the texts on the page.
Probably one of the main factors that come across
A clear, easy-to-understand, and intuitive navigation system makes it possible for users to decide who will stay on your website. Remember that in most cases, users want to find information as quickly as possible and adjust the navigation accordingly without compromise.
If visitors can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll leave the site quickly. So when navigating, pay attention to the following points:
- Keep the navigation simple at the first level and the top of the page
- Include the essential pages in simple navigation in the footer of the page
- Use breadcrumb navigation so that users always know where they are
- Don’t torment users with too many navigation options on one page
- Keep the navigation flat; mostly three levels are enough
- Link your pages to one another with text links in the running text
The overarching rule is simple: Don’t ask the user to think about how to find his information – don’t make me feel!
5. FLASH AND ANIMATIONS
Flash animations can attract attention. They can also chase visitors from your website. Be aware that mobile devices will not display Flash animation and that many people may be disturbed by unexpected sounds and animations. Only use animations when they are essential and useful.
If you like Flash or need animations on your website, we recommend switching to HTML5 based web design.
6. ENSURE ACCESSIBILITY
Make sure that everyone can visit your site, regardless of browser or device. B2B customers, in particular, often surf on older browser versions in their shops and now nearly every second connection to the Internet is through a mobile device. It would be a shame if you repelled half of your potential customers because your website is not working on smartphones and tablets.
So design plays a vital role in making an excellent first impression. It prompts users to take a closer look. However, if they don’t find helpful, high-quality content, they probably won’t stop by a second time.