When it comes to the world of digital marketing, one can’t go on without mentioning website design. After all, this is one of the essential elements that impact a person’s digital experience.
A website’s visual appearance and usability extend beyond its aesthetic appeal. It plays an important role in the long-term commercial value of a company. But how exactly does website design affect visitor experience? Good question. In today’s article, we will delve more into the impact website design has on customers and some steps you can take to improve user experience by focusing on a stellar web design.
The Impact of Web Design on Visitor Experience
It Impacts the Overall Look of a Website
Naturally, the first thing that people see when visiting a website is its appearance. You only have one chance at making a first impression since people (especially new visitors) are generally visual by nature. Whether we like it or not, people will tend to judge a brand based on its appearance.
No matter what your website is about, regularly update your website’s design to attract and keep visitors engaged. Some of the latest web design trends that are making the rounds in 2017 are:
In the early days of the Internet, people were only browsing sites through their desktop computers. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see a person browsing online content straight from their smartphones and tablets. This is the reason why UI experts are preaching the importance of having a responsive design to provide a smooth and clean user experience on any device.
Responsive design allows the flexibility to adjust and view website content seamlessly regardless of the type of device used. Whether someone browsed your website from their computers or smartphones, responsive design offers them the same rich browsing experience.
Long-scrolling or infinite scrolling allows users to scroll down for hours to view more content. Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, we are seeing more long-scrolling websites go mainstream. Some websites do away with the clutter by removing menus and tabs. They place everything in one web page where users can scroll endlessly. The reason why long-scrolling is very popular is the increasing usage of a mobile device. Scrolling is easier on smaller screens than clicking different buttons to navigate around a website.
Changes in web design trends are also notable in the typeface used. While printed materials like books and magazines still generally use serif typefaces on body text, the online world uses more sans-serif typefaces like Helvetica, Futura, and Roboto. However, that is about to change as more designers use different kinds of typefaces by creating a contrast between serif and sans-serif typefaces. Advancements in technical capabilities and bold decisions will definitely shape trends in typography in the coming years.
It Impacts Web Page Speed
Web page load time refers to the amount of time a visitor spends waiting for a website to display a web page requested. It is one of the ranking factors in Google with its mobile-first index drive on search results. People want instant gratification; it typically takes a minimum of 3 seconds for them to decide whether they wait for the page to load or not.
So how can you improve your website speed?
- Check your website speed using Google PageSpeed Insights. Take note of the areas you need to work on to lower your website speed.
- Ensure that your hosting supports the latest HTTP version – the HTTP2 which is faster than HTTP1.
- Use AMP (or Accelerated Mobile Pages). It is a project by Google with the purpose of speeding up web content delivery by stripping down codes known as AMP HTML. Here’s how to create a basic AMP Page: Enhance AMP for Google Search.
- Use CDN when possible to make sure that your content is delivered from server location nearest the visitor.
- Install caching plugins like W3 Total Cache or WP SuperCache to optimize website performance.
- Optimize images before uploading them to your site.
It Impacts your Credibility as a Company
When someone visits your website, you want to impress them with an image of professionalism and trust. A visitor’s impressions are predominantly based on how you represent your brand through your web design.
Having a detailed “About Us” page gives the visitor an idea what your website is about. Customer testimonials, employee and corporate responsibility highlights can often shed some positive light on your business. It enhances your reliability as a company to prospective customers.
It Impacts Conversion Rate
The lifeblood of any profitable online business is conversion rate. If you can’t convert casual visitors into customers, then all those marketing efforts are deemed wasted and unsuccessful.
In today’s highly visual market, it’s a must to have a great web design. In just a few seconds, how your site looks can help a user decide whether to stay or click that back button. If your website features poor design, there’s a good chance that they will bounce and look elsewhere. With that being said, it’s crucial to make the best first impression for your website.
Creating a compelling web design for your site depends on these factors: colors, spacing, structure, symmetry, amount of texts, fonts, etc. Try to focus on optimizing your site with these elements to create an interface that attracts your customers to your website.
It Impacts Navigation
More than just the aesthetic value it offers, a great web design also help users navigate around the site as quickly and efficiently as possible. Making your website more intuitive allows visitors to easily find the information they need.
A website navigation comes in different styles which includes:
- Breadcrumbs – increases the findability of pages and sections by displaying a visual aid indicating the location of the visitor within the website’s hierarchy. Breadcrumbs reduce the number of actions a visitor needs to take to move to a higher-level web page.
- Drop-down menus – is a list of drop-down items (hence the name) that appears when you click on certain menu title or text selection. A good example is the one on top of this website, where you can find the drop-down menus – “Hosting”, “Services”, “About Us”, “Contact Us”, “Support”, “Blog”, and Client Login”.
Both types of navigation can work together to create a seamless visitor experience. As an example, your homepage can use a drop-down menu. When someone clicks on a web page under the homepage drop-down menu, use a breadcrumb navigation on that page to guide users on their location way back.
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Make Your Web Design Improve Your Visitor Experience
When designing a website, always put yourself in your visitor’s shoes. What are the things that will likely make you want to stay on a website? You’ll realize that what you find ineffective and visually unpleasant will be something that your users will also experience. By understanding the impact of web design on your website, you get the right results you need and your customers will find value in what you are offering.
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