An effective and best website design should communicate a specific message while also engaging the visitor. The factors that contribute to the best website design include consistency, colors, typography, imagery, simplicity, and functionality.
There are many important factors to consider when designing a website that will influence perception. A well-designed website can help build trust and encourage visitors to take action. Making sure your website design is optimized for usability (form and aesthetics), and ease of use is important in creating a positive user experience (functionality).
Basic Guide to Web Design Best Practices
Here are some guidelines to consider when planning your next web project. Let's take a look at our web design best practices for business that will ensure the success of your website in 2021.
1. Maintaining a Consistent Brand
We've discussed the value and significance of developing a strong brand identity. Because your brand is the cornerstone of your company, it's critical to maintain consistency across all customer touchpoints. Your website is included in this. Consistency in your logo, color scheme, and iconography is important. The same can be said for your brand's tone of voice and key messages. Your value proposition, aesthetics, and tone should all be consistent across your website. Make sure to build on the foundation you established when developing your brand. Your marketing efforts will be aided by a focus on consistency, which will help you build brand equity.
2. Direct CTAs
Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website
Your calls-to-action (CTAs) encourage customers to take action, such as buying your products, subscribing to your content, or scheduling a call or appointment. So, how do you ensure that your CTA is as effective as possible? As an example, consider Netflix.
Image is taken from Netflix
These are a few factors to consider here.
- It's immediately clear what's being offered: the messaging entices users with the promise of unlimited movies and TV shows. The messaging sets the stage for the audience to respond to the call to action.
- Potential objections are immediately addressed: Users have the option to cancel at any time.
- A large, brightly colored CTA in a prominent location is immediately noticeable. It's brightly colored and easily identifiable. Users can get started right away by entering their email addresses to increase conversions.
You'll get better results if you use a strong CTA as one of the major web design best practices to motivate your users to take action.
3. Simple Navigation
Your website could provide users with a solution to a complex problem or access to a wealth of useful information. It shouldn't, however, be a treasure hunt. Users should intuitively explore your content if your navigation and buttons are clear and obvious.
There are several options for accomplishing this:
- Use plain language: In your navigation, simple, recognizable terms like "About," "Services," and "Contact" are more effective than more unique language. If you're going to use unusual language, you should have a good reason for doing so. Don't use unusual language just to stand out; it may cause your users to become confused.
- Tailor your navigation to your content: If you have a website with limited content, you may only need a few navigation links. More detailed navigation may be required with heavier content. When there is a lot of content available, mega descriptive menus provide a clear path for your users to find the information they need.
- Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs keep track of where a user is on a website and display it. They simplify a user to go back to a previous page by retracing their steps. Breadcrumbs are particularly useful for websites with a lot of content and eCommerce stores. This is one of the popular web design best practices for business to keep in mind while designing your website.
You'll give users a rich, engaging experience and a clear path to conversion if you make it simple for them to navigate your website.
4. Simple and Elegant Design
Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website
It's critical that your website is scannable and that your content is easily digestible. Being aware of your user's cognitive load is a good idea. You don't want to dazzle your audience with a barrage of colors, images, and copy. Instead, use a clean design and meaningful (and only meaningful) content to make your website simple and enjoyable for them. Establishing a visual hierarchy is one way to do this. It's the order in which all of a website's design elements are arranged. A large, contrasted-color headline centered on a page, for example, appears to be more important than one that is smaller, not uniquely colored, and offset.
As per web design best practices, it's also crucial to make good use of white space. The 'negative' space between layout elements, paragraphs, and visual components is white space. Your content will be more scannable, digestible, and easier on the eyes if you design with white space in mind.
5. Telling a Story
Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website
The most common way for humans to make sense of the world and connect with one another is through stories. We all have insatiable appetites for entertaining stories. The best stories have a strong emotional impact. One of the main ways they break down barriers to engagement and understanding is through this method. As a result, you can better connect with customers by telling stories rather than leading with facts. Integrating brand storytelling and narrative techniques into websites, in particular, can be beneficial.
Have you ever attempted to read a novel to a toddler? It usually does not go over well. They want to see pictures because visuals assist them in comprehending the story. Web users are similar in that they have short attention spans, low tolerance for text-heavy content, and a preference for visually appealing content. Including visual content is one of the most popular web design best practices to implement. Many websites fail to engage users because they require them to read endless lines of text to comprehend the company's offerings. On the other hand, websites that limit text and use a lot of visual design elements (photos, videos, and illustrations) tell the story in a way that users can understand quickly. In the tech and software industry, product screenshots are especially powerful. They help users understand what the product does and what kind of experience they can expect without lengthy and technical descriptions.
7. A Mobile-first Approach
Mobile design should be a top priority, not an afterthought. According to Broadband Search, mobile usage accounted for 52.2 percent of all Internet traffic in 2018. Understanding how your target audience interacts with your content allows you to create a website that is both effective and enjoyable to use. Building a mobile-first and mobile-friendly website is one way to optimize your website.
When it comes to designing for mobile, there are some limitations. People interact with content differently on a mobile device than they do on a desktop, and so on. These limitations, on the other hand, can be beneficial. They result in a website that is leaner and easier to understand. You can help to optimize every user experience with a mobile-first design, regardless of how they interact with your content.
Accessibility refers to creating websites and applications that are usable by people with visual, motor, auditory, speech, or cognitive impairments. Here are some web design best practices on how to make your website or application accessible to everyone:
- Use contrasting colors: If there isn't enough contrast, it may be difficult for people with visual impairments to distinguish text from background color.
- Use more than just color to communicate visual cues: text labels or patterns can help those with visual impairments understand information. Other visual cues, such as bold or underlined text, or the use of shapes and sizes, can help you deliver your message effectively.
- Enable keyboard navigation: People with motor disabilities, vision impairments, and other disabilities rely on a keyboard to navigate content. Using the "Tab" button on a keyboard, you can "scroll" through interactive content such as links, buttons, and text fields. It's critical to include key information in these interactive features rather than just your copy so that people with disabilities can interact with your content.
9. Make Search Engine Optimization a Top Priority (SEO)
Image is taken from Strikingly
If you incorporate SEO best practices into your website, you'll be more likely to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract more visitors. This can be accomplished by using targeted keywords throughout your website. Search engines keep track of websites to see if they contain relevant keywords that users are looking for. The more effectively your content speaks to your users’ search, the more organic traffic you'll receive.
Here are some more web design best practices for business to improve your website's search engine optimization:
- Responsive design: Responsive design isn't just a top website design standard; it's also rewarded by Google with higher SERP rankings.
- H1 (relevant header tag): The headline of a page or the post’s title will be the header tag (or H1). H1s are targeted by search engines for keywords, so make sure your headline contains the most relevant information. You don't want to stuff your headline with keywords to boost SEO. Remember that your website is for real people, so striking a balance between SEO performance, clarity, and style is critical.
- Relevant title tags and meta descriptions: Search engines use title tags and meta descriptions to understand the content on a page and index it correctly. When a page appears in search engine results, its title tag and meta description are displayed.
- Use short descriptive URLs: Keywords are frequently found in simple URLs readable by humans (rather than a long string of numbers).
- Collect relevant backlinks from other high-quality sites: If popular, high-authority websites link to your site, there's a good chance that new users and overall traffic will result.
When you incorporate SEO principles into your website, you'll see an increase in organic traffic, potential customers, and visibility.
10. Keep an Eye on the Site's Speed
Site speed is an important aspect of web design best practices. Your users aren't the only ones who are annoyed by a slow website. Users will frequently abandon a slow site, which can have serious consequences for your business. Google takes site speed into account when determining your search ranking, so if you want to be found, make sure your website is fast.
Pingdom and Website Audit are two free utilities that can quickly provide site performance metrics. They track key performance indicators like page load time, image compression, and page size. A website with many design features will load slower than a website with fewer design features. One example is the use of multiple typefaces and font sizes. Loading an animation library or framework can also slow down your website. It's critical to carefully consider each design element in the list of web design best practices to avoid slowing down your website unnecessarily.
Building a website is similar to creating an online space for your personal life or business operations. It's a place where you can relax and expand your network. You want it to be captivating and eye-catching right away so that you can attract more visitors who will eventually become clients or customers. Strikingly's website builder has everything you need to create a professional website that will stand out in a sea of web design competitions. We have predesigned templates available for you to use, but you are free to start from scratch and apply what you've learned here. Our website editor has a drag-and-drop feature that allows you to easily move items around on your website.
You can either upload your images from your computer or simply browse to the file you want to link. You don't need to know anything about the best website design to use Strikingly; simply click and edit your site. Finally, it can be published in a matter of minutes. Imagine being able to use our mobile app feature to manage and promote your business website while also responding to customer questions via a chatbox. Of course, we have many beautifully designed websites created by our users. Now is the time to visit Strikingly, and our team of experts will be waiting to welcome you home.
Almost every website you visit follows these web design best practices. There will always be exceptions, but understanding the rules will make it easier to break them without breaking your design. Taking time to implement these website design tips can result in significant improvements in the performance, experience, and customer conversion rates of your website. However, once you've implemented some of these website design tips, you might think that the bigger project at hand is to redesign your website.