60 seconds or less — the average time a user spends on a web page. A website must clearly communicate its main solution within 10 seconds, to achieve several minutes of the end users attention. Visitors time-on-site will give you a good idea of the popularity of your website. The higher the time-on-site, the better chance you have for a high conversion rate. This is exactly why having a well designed website is critical. If a site doesn’t look professional, they won’t stick around — especially if they’re looking to invest in paid services or to buy your product.
- Call to action on every page.Your main website goal is to have your visitor take action on your website. It could be to get them to watch a demo video, view testimonials, purchase your product, subscribe to a mailing list, or fill out a contact form. Whatever this might be, make it apparent to the user. Whether it’s a button or a hyperlink, have a call to action on every page that directs them to the action you ultimately want them to take.
- Use clear, sustainable and easy navigation.Placement of your website’s navigation links dictates the stickiness factor of your site (how long a visitor is engaged and interested in your brand’s site). The navigational structure should be clean, consistent, and easily approachable for an ideal user experience. The design of the navigation should also be flexible enough to allow any future changes to occur, such as additional links and new pages.
- Highlight quality and relevant information for viewers.Keep your top content fresh and properly placed to direct viewers’ attention to exactly what they are looking for. If you want to produce beautiful and effective results, make sure to work with a content strategist. Once they have finalized content for the website project you can work your designer magic using a variation of font types, font weights, colors and imagery to guide the users in the right areas of the site. Always remember to utilize strong call to actions.
- Wireframe, wireframe, wireframe.Wireframing is a very important phase of the web development process. A wireframe is a bare-bones visual presentation or blueprint of basic page layout structure and navigational scheme of a website, as well as vital site components (including web forms and ad space). This allows both the agency and the client to see where the different design elements of the website are going, their proportions, and if they’re working. Build your wireframes using grayscale boxes and blocks of placeholder text. The key idea here is to keep things simple and to not get caught up in using design elements such as color and textures, so that the client can truly understand the importance of placing site elements without being distracted by aesthetics.
- Let white space & simplicity be your BFF’s.Keep it simple, less is more! White space is the empty spaces that help break up the page and separate elements. It’s the space we purposely leave between elements to give a layout a polished, clean look, if used correctly. Use it in headers, between menus, footers, between images and text, information and sidebars. Remember, too, that white space doesn’t need to be taken literally as a white colored space, it may be any color, as long as it is empty. But do limit your color palette. Professional looking websites tend to use no more than 2-4 colors. Use color to help highlight valuable information on your website. So go ahead and take advantage of your BFF’s to create cleaner designs and user friendly experiences.
- What the font.Many designers simply forget that 95% of web design is typography. Websites render differently in different browsers and the same goes for fonts. Make sure to test out your chosen web-safe fonts in all popular browsers. It’s the small applied details that make a huge difference in your visitors’ reading experience. Being mindful of your letter-spacing, word-spacing, line-height, text-alignment, and typographical hierarchy can effectively help lead your audience through your site.
- Big, bold images go a long way.Images speak louder than words, which is exactly why this seems to be a pretty big trend in web design. Capture your visitors attention with beautiful imagery. Using photos as design elements is also a great way to add a personal touch and give a unique feel to your website. You can use a photo as a background, in the header, as central elements and much more.
- Incorporate social media.Your social media channels and website should work smoothly together to promote your online brand. Integrate social where it makes sense. Make sure to include visible social media buttons in your design. Best practices recommend that these buttons should be presented on the top, bottom or along the side of your home page. Links or buttons that stick in your navigation as the user proceeds from page to page are optimal.