Users spend an average of 7-10 seconds on a website before they move on to somewhere else. If you want to get them to stay long enough for you to fulfill your objectives for your site, you need to entice them with great web design.

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The first few seconds of a page visit can greatly influence your site’s chances of attracting conversions. If users like what they see within those 10 seconds, they are more likely to stick around longer. Whether you’re creating a web design portfolio, a business website or a personal blog, it’s important to keep your target audience in mind when designing your own website.

With over 3 million users all over the world, Strikingly has become a free web design software of choice for startups, small businesses and professionals. Our team is constantly coming up with new web design templates that place a high value on user experience while keeping up with the latest trends in the industry. With these concepts providing a solid foundation for our templates, we strive to also give aspiring entrepreneurs a good base for creating unique and feature-rich websites.

Having said that, we have learned a thing or two about the elements of winning website design . Here are some of them that you should keep in mind.

1. Design for the user’s brain

Intuitive website design is about observing how a user interacts with a page. Numerous studies have shown that the brain follows a particular pattern for consuming information that is presented to it. Contrasts and placement can influence how a user sees your webpage. As he goes through a web page, he reads less and less which means, in the hierarchy of information, it is important to place the most important items on your website at the upper fold of the page. Certain design principles such as Z and F layouts try to follow the way the eyes scan through a page. People tend to look from left to right when reading content.

With that being said, it’s important to keep your user in mind when designing the layout of your page. It’s important to arrange content in a way that is easy on the eye. Content should be straight to the point and clear. Depending on the nature of your website, you have to keep in mind that web users are normally skimmers and breaking information into bite-sized pieces can help get your message across more effectively.

2. Understand the psychology of colors

Following up on our first rule to design with the user in mind, it would also be advantageous to have a good understanding of the kind of colors and visuals that might appeal to your target audience. Strikingly’s web design templates typically come with color scheme recommendations that will work great on most sites. However, if you want to make your page stand out, you should implement your own custom color scheme according to your branding.

website-design-colors

Different colors evoke different emotions in a reader. Depending on the image that you want to convey, you should choose colors that will make your reader react according to your expectations and your site’s objectives. For instance, green is for health, wellness and nature. If you’re running a restaurant, a health-food store or clean grocer, this is your color. Red tends to tickle the appetite which explains why it’s a color of choice for fastfood brands. Blue brings a sense of calm and evokes trust and reliability so it’s good to use on academic websites, legal services sites and any profession that leverages highly on credibility and trustworthiness.

3. Use the right visuals

Images, graphics and videos are part of intuitive web design principles. These elements have the potential to convey your message quickly and sometimes even more clearly than text content. With people expecting to find information in the shortest possible time, you want to use high quality visuals that are able to communicate your site’s message clearly to your target audience.

Strikingly’s web templates are all designed to be mobile-responsive so it automatically resizes your website images depending on the user’s screen size. For best results, however, it’s important to be mindful of image file size recommendations to ensure your visuals look consistently good on any device.

4. Mind your language

Content development is a crucial element of web design. When it comes to writing website copy, we go back to the importance of understanding your user. User demographics continue to influence web design, especially your choice of language and tone. Write in a language that your target audience will understand and will easily relate to. Choose simple words. Be brief and straightforward but remain descriptive and clear. Your website copy should be able to answer the most common questions that are in your user’s head.

5. It’s okay to break rules once in a while

Thousands of design books, blogs and web design tutorials have been written on the rules of website design to help beginners understand how to create effective websites. These rules obviously have valid points but it's not uncommon to find web designers breaking new grounds and creating their own rules for designing intuitive websites.

Play around with Strikingly’s website editor and discover different ways of creating unique website design. Don’t be afraid to break the rules. You might actually end up being a frontrunner in a new web design trend by doing so.

Create your own website today.