Website design is an important part of your marketing and communications strategy. Websites are one of the first things potential clients look to when assessing your brand and offerings. It’s not just about how your website looks overall, but all the little features that go into it. Aesthetics, navigation and colors are only a few of the many features that can affect your customers’ experience! It takes about 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not and whether they’ll leave or stay. What does that mean for you? It means your web design can make or break a potential sale. We’re going to discuss 5 ways web design impacts customer experience and how you can improve them.
Appearance is at the top of the list for this one! This plays a huge role in your customer’s first impression of your company. Everyone knows that styles change with trends as the years go by! You hear it in fashion all the time, “That trend is coming back! I haven’t seen that since the 80’s”. Well, this is true for website design too. Trends come and go, and it’s important to keep your website updated with these trends. We’re not suggesting you redesign your website every year, but a little editing and updating won’t hurt. Current modern web design trends today include:
Responsive Design: Does your website’s appearance change based on each device it is used on? Is it accessible and easy on every device? Nearly 8 in 10 customers would stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device.
Parallax Scrolling: Does your background image move slower than your foreground images?
Big, Bold Fonts: Do your fonts catch your customer’s eyes quickly? Is your most important information bold and big enough?
Eye-Catching Images: Do you have striking images that are up to date and catch attention?
Multimedia: Do you have a multitude of media (Images, videos, interactives, etc.) on your website to help break up text?
This all has to with your site’s appearance, but web design involves a lot more than just appearance.
Professionalism can refer to how you come off to a customer before they even start reading your site. You can have a nice appearance, but does the content you're showing come off as professional? People want to feel like you know what you are doing and if your website doesn’t tell them that then they aren’t going to be willing to look any further. You want to give the impression that you are a modern, respectable business. Some website design elements that can contribute to professionalism are:
Culture Pages: Culture pages can show that your company isn’t just a business you randomly started. This is where you can show customers your values and what you believe in. Anything that makes you unique and differentiates your company.
Staff Photos and Bios: Staff photos and bios can demonstrate that you are a thriving company with a happy and dedicated staff. Headshots are important but so are photos of your staff enjoying their time at the company. Staff bios contribute to professionalism by showing customers you know what you’re doing and you have experience.
Customer Testimonials and Results: This shows that you have done the work, you have results and your customers are happy with them. Showcase your work and let visitors know what your customers say about you when it’s all said and done. Testimonials can go a long way in demonstrating professionalism!
Clarity and Easy Navigation
This is important to customers while using your site. If something gets too complicated they will leave. This is especially true for mobile users. 67% of mobile users will leave a website if they are frustrated with the navigation. You don’t want your customers to have to think too much while using your site. You want it to be clear on where they need to go to find something and how easy it is to get there. If there is something most of your customers look for, put it at the top where it can easily be found. A few navigation styles used today are:
Breadcrumb Navigation: Breadcrumb navigation allows an easy way for users to get back to what they were just looking at. Your site can automatically add their previous page to the navigation bar so a user can just click back to that page if they want too.
Drop-Down Menus: A drop down menu lets a user hover their cursor over a menu to see all the pages it contains. This allows users to be able to find information quicker without having to go to multiple pages to find it.
Load Time refers to how long someone has to wait for a page on your site to display on their device. Load time is not only important to your customers, but also to Google. Load time is a huge Google ranking factor and can affect your website coming up in Google results. Customers want their pages to load quickly. In fact, 53% of mobile site visitors will leave a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Here are some ways you can improve your site’s loading time:
Optimize Image Sizes: Image sizes can slow down your load time so it’s best to use .jpg files for your images. This allows high-resolution photos while also minimizing the size of the file.
Remove Auto-Play Multimedia: Auto-play media tends to get on users' nerves because not only does it use a lot of their data, but they find it to come off as pushy. Make all your multimedia manual play which will not only improve your load time, but also make your customers happy.
Use White Space: White space not only helps your website’s load time, but it also makes your text and elements easier to see. White space is all the unused space on your page, which means, no text, no images, no videos – nothing. Too much can stress a user out and it can be a lot to load.
Website design can impact conversions significantly. Ask yourself—why are viewers visiting our website anyway? It’s more about a button that says “click here to purchase”. There are design elements that can help streamline your conversions and make your customers want it. Some impactful website design elements to help your conversions are:
Color: Colors are important, especially when highlighting your call to actions. This is the most important part of your website, and you need them to stand out. You have to make sure the color of your CTA stands out, but it also has to match your color scheme.
Simple Wording: Too many words are too much for your users! Simpler designs are sometimes better. Too many flashy elements can distract your users from conversion. Keep it prominent and simple to understand.
Real Faces: Human faces help visitors relate to your business. You can always use stock images, but the truth is, most people can tell the difference between a stock photo and a real one. You want to show the human side of your company so try using your own staff and yourself for images.
Overall, website design can contain a lot of elements, and these things can make or break a user’s opinion on you. If you are building a website for the first time, try to implement these tactics. Also remember to keep up with new design trends and update as needed. If you already have a website, but It has been a while since you updated it, it may be time to go back and review. Either way, 30|90 Marketing can help! We have great packages to start your website from scratch or even revamp your old one. Contact us today for more information!