In 2022, upgrading your website is essential in growing your business and staying relevant in the forward-thinking and fast-paced market we navigate today. For many years prior a brand’s website was simply an additive element to a more physical business that would shop at or consult with in real-life. Today a brand’s website contains that shopping aspect or provides services digitally, and not having a well-functioning website can hinder your business from succeeding. That’s why we’ve created this list of 5 essential elements to help improve your website to make it user-friendly and provide solutions.
Use White Space
White space makes your content more legible while also enabling the user to focus on the elements surrounding the text. White space can also be referred to as negative space in some cases, as it is creating space between the various subject matter and allows designers to focus on composition. Subject matter such as graphics, text, margins for the text and other elements a designer may use. As mentioned, white space can improve legibility by directing or guiding your user visually.
Designers can also visually guide their user’s to more interactive content on your site and fast, utilizing white space to prevent them from distractions. Adding a sort of padding to your interactive media draws users in faster to the focal point and can increase their comprehension.
Guiding users into call to action interactive media also benefits the quick read aspect of your site, for many users don’t spend more than 15 seconds on website according to proven data-driven research. (Zheng)
Using white space is also a crucial part in adding balance to your website’s composition. Without white space websites can end up looking cluttered, confusing users, and lacking in quick and efficient accessibility. When you have balance and breathing room between subject matter users can navigate your website easily and improve their user experience.
Optimize Your Page Speed
A slow page load is an interruptive experience for the user and it can be a source of frustration, which I’m sure a lot of us are all too familiar with this experience in the past. The impace a slow loading page can have on your users can be detrimental to your user’s experience and affect the amount of time user’s spend on your website. A user must be impressed within the first 10 seconds of visiting your website to avoid them exiting. Even if user’s stay on your site after those first 10 seconds, a slow loading page can make their visit irritating and ineffieceint.
The key to finding a solution for a slow loading page stems from understanding where the root of the problem is. Are the graphics on your website to large of files to be processed quickly? Is your server loading correctly? Are there too many redirect links on your website? Among many other possibilities, it’s crucial to identify what the real issue is and evaluate where you can improve. Google offers a free service where you can get a data analysis on your page speed and further assess where your site may be having these issues. An optimized page speed will allow your users an efficient and satisfying visit to your site which is essential in keeping up with today’s technology.
Attractive Call to Action
A clear call-to-action can turn a website visitor into a lead or conversion. It’s essential to make sure the call-to-action buttons stand out clearly by choosing the right colors and words. For example, if a call-to-action button was a small and similar color to the background of a page it would most likely blend in and go unnoticed by most users. An example of a great call-to-action button would be the “Subscribe” buttom displayed on YouTube channels, it’s red with a contrasting white bold text, and in a section with negative space as padding above the actual video content. This allows for users to have a quick read as they browse through the channel and simply a clear call-to-action button. Numerous businesses utilize this method with their “add to cart” or “request an appointment” buttons with intentionally bold and projecting designs.
When designing a better call-to-action it’s important to visualize how your users would approach your website, would they focus on certain locations more than others? What would guide your user to these call-to-action items, and how can you make their experience as efficient as possible? Designing with your user’s immediate perspective in mind is always an essential part of the design process.
Be Responsive and Mobile-Friendly
Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly and easily accessible is key to maximizing your site visits. A website that is optimized for mobile access takes into account the way image, text, and graphics are displayed on smaller devices. With limited spacing on smaller mobile screens it’s imperative to simplify your content and not overwhelm your users view.
Responsive web design is another essential element to working with mobile devices, in which designers use a single URL amongst all their platforms. Mobile devices tend to be more vertically formatted, therefore designers will need to accommodate this format with easy to use scroll-down browsing and shift proportions to fit vertically.
Typically users visit websites on their mobile devices with a specific task or goal in mind, therefore providing a simplified format accelerates that process faster and conveniently. Giving your users the option to visit your website on their mobile devices is crucial in continuing to grow your website traffic.
In 2021 mobile web traffic accounted for approximately half of overall web traffic consistently since 2017. (Clement)
Consistency is Key
Everything should be themed to make your design coherent between pages and the overall website. Heading sizes, font choices, coloring, button styles, spaces, design elements, illustration styles, and photo choices are all elements to consider when attempting to design with a consistent theme in mind. Benefits such as efficient browsing, faster design decisions, and improving usability. Consistency in your design even aids your users in navigating through your website effectively and seamlessly. Once they understand how to access one page it will become intuitive to continue accessing new pages throughout your website. Keep your website consistent in it’s design allows for an efficient design process as well, for your designs can have a cohesive formula that takes away the constant decision making process that would otherwise be necessary. When your website appears coherent even through the smallest of details, will elevate the user experience.
The functionality and accessibility of your website is imperative to improving your user’s experience as they navigate through your content. Whether you are selling a product, promoting a service, or providing insightful information, a well designed website can be the key factor in growing your audience. As we mentioned earlier, designing with your users in mind is essential in optimizing your website’s design for every user that visits.
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What Questions Do You Have About Improving Your Website’s Design?
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