5 Ways Web Design Can Make or Break Your Website
Is it time for a website makeover?
Your website is prime real estate online. It’s where you can showcase your unique talents and where future clients can learn about your services.
Because your website is an integral part of your brand, it makes sense that it looks professional and impresses all your visitors. You want to immediately grab their attention.
The right website design builds trust. It gives social proof and encourages people to inquire about products. The best sites attract people, not repel them.
It’s time to strengthen your brand image. Keep reading to learn how a professional design makeover can improve your website.
1. Visitor Experience
The design of a website is a make-or-break moment for your business. An Adobe study noted that if “given 15 minutes to consume content, two-thirds of people would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain.”
A well-designed website enhances the visitor experience. It’s visually pleasing and captures people’s attention. You’ve probably landed on an unattractive website before, and your instincts automatically tell you to exit the screen.
Instead, you want to draw people in. Here’s an example from Tatte Bakery & Cafe. The site is modern with two bold images, the brand’s logo, and lots of white space.
Beyond eye-catching images, the visitor experience also includes the functionality of the site. Can visitors easily navigate your site without any hassle?
Your website isn’t a static piece of art. It’s a dynamic tool for presenting your business to the world. So, you’ll want to insert strong calls to action within your site to lead visitors on a journey.
Good design gives visitors a clear pathway to find what they need on your site. Set your design standards and observe how people use your site to make improvements.
2. Brand Identity
The marketplace is crowded with businesses seeking to gain more customers. With so much competition, it’s easy for buyers to mistake your brand for another business.
It’s vital that your website stand out from the rest, and it all starts with a solid brand identity—the consumers’ perception of your business. Itai Elizur, COO at InboundJunction, agrees:
“It’s hard to overstate the importance of a solid brand look, no matter the size of your business or how long you’ve been around. From first impression to building engagement and growing solid relationships, your brand identity is crucial.”
A modern website not only looks great and impresses your customers, but it also tells a story about your brand’s mission and values.
To create a distinct and memorable brand identity, think about your customers’ expectations and the message you want to convey. Your identity is represented through the structure, the color palette, and the fonts of your site.
Keep consistency as a guiding principle as you create your website. Visitors should recognize your brand within a few seconds—without having to see your logo.
Moreover, finding the right balance between branding and design takes time. Don’t feel anxious if it takes you longer than expected to build your website.
3. Mobile Lifestyle
Your audience is exploring websites when they’re commuting from work, visiting a friend out of town, and waiting in line at the grocery store. Research found that “mobile devices now account for nearly 2 of every 3 minutes spent online.”
Your goal is to develop a mobile-friendly design that works seamlessly on all devices, from smartphones to desktops. Sizing your site to fit each device makes it convenient for visitors to navigate your content.
“Taking a mobile-first approach necessitates a lot of focus and attention on the needs of the user, and it requires the company to hone in on what is most essential about its message and its content. There’s no room for flashy widgets and vanity features,” states Forbes contributor Gabriel Shaoolian.
Below is a mobile website from airline JetBlue. You’ll notice that the content fits in the screen without having to zoom in or out. Plus, a simple finger tap opens drop-down menus.
You also want to consider the limitations of mobile devices. Not every task on a desktop website is suitable for a smartphone or tablet version.
For instance, you might disable a live chat support feature or remove specific pop-up windows. You’ll have to make critical decisions on how you will engage with your mobile visitors.
4. Social Proof
People trust websites that look professional. If you want customers to work with you, you need to fortify your brand site with social proof.
When consumers visit your website, they need immediate indicators that you’re a reputable business. They want to know that you’re not engaged in phony transactions or attempting to sell their personal information.
Social proof eases the tensions and gives credence to your brand. These trust elements include badges from the Better Business Bureau or logos from past mentions in publications.
However, those types of social proof aren’t always the most effective. People believe their family and peers more than another business vouching for a brand.
Fast Company reports that “70% of consumers say they look at product reviews before making a purchase.” Buyers want honest opinions from current consumers.
Serial entrepreneur Neil Patel practices this strategy. On his consulting page, he provides testimonials from his past clients showing how he impacted their work.
Experiment with different forms of social proof on your page. You can post a customer quote with a photo of the individual. Or you can upload a short video clip from a past client.
The key is to illustrate the respect your brand receives in the industry. This is your chance to brag a little.
5. More Sales
Let’s be honest. When visitors land on your site, you don’t want them leaving without purchasing your product or at least inquiring about your services.
It’s important to work with your designer to create a natural flow from interested buyers to new customers. This means anticipating how visitors will interact with your website as it relates to the sales funnel. Obed Richman, an experienced web designer, offers his perspective:
“It isn’t enough to state explicitly in your written content that you can solve someone’s problem—not if that message is drowning in so much poor design that your customer doesn’t read it. Every element of your website needs to be designed to point towards that one end goal: attracting your customer, and solving their problem.”
What pages will people visit first? How easy is it for visitors to shop in your eCommerce store? Can they contact you directly?
For example, the checkout process should be streamlined for the buyer. Focus on reducing the number of clicks it takes to complete a transaction. Normally, businesses implement a three-step process: the add-to-cart page, the payment page, and the confirmation page.
Designing a sales-ready website is less about the product and more about the consumer. You’re crafting an experience that promotes shopping.
It’s Makeover Time!
Is your website lacking pizazz? Take the leap and get a professional design makeover.
A new website look enhances the visitor experience by improving functionality. It displays your brand identity with visual storytelling. Also, you can update your site to fit your audience’s mobile lifestyle.
Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology, and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla champions access to remote work opportunities. Connect with her on Twitter at @shaylaprice.