5 Web Design Best Practices to Elevate User Experience
Web design is more challenging today than ever before. It plays a huge part in winning customers’ satisfaction after every visit. Yet, compared with only a decade ago, today, competition is fierce out there as there are between 12 million to 24 million e-commerce sites in the world, according to 99firms.
Still, your website is and should be the core anchor for your digital marketing efforts, especially since 94% of first impressions of the customers about a brand relate to the brand’s site design. But it is also the most powerful sales tool you have. It is your 24/7 salesman, and as such, you should prepare it to attract and retain customers.
Today, UX designers are the unnamed stars of the show as they make all the magic happen for you and your customers. They cover everything from the aesthetic of your website to its usability. So, you should hire a designer who has a standout web design portfolio and is familiar with the following best practices that elevate user experience:
1. Optimize your page load speed
Sit down because this statistic will blow your mind: slow-loading websites lead to a $2.6 billion revenue loss every year.
Yes, you’ve heard that right! E-commerce websites miss out nearly two billion dollars of revenue annually because their websites don’t load fast enough. In today’s modern era, everything moves quickly. And, perhaps one of the most frustrating experiences for today’s users of the web is to wait for a page to load for too long.
So, if you want to meet your audience’s need to access information quickly, you may want to optimize your page load speed. If you fail to do so, your audience will usually bounce. In fact, data shows that even an extra of five seconds to page load time can increase your website’s bounce rate by over 20%.
So, how do you improve page speed to prevent users from bouncing? You can start by compressing all your images before loading them on your site because the image file size is often the leading cause of slow page speed. Also, you should choose a less sophisticated custom website design because minimalist designs have faster download speeds.
2. Optimize for mobile
Today, people spend 51% to 42% more time on mobile devices than on desktops, meaning that mobile users will expect your website to look and work great on all their devices.
In fact, data from Adobe shows that a mobile user is five times more likely to bounce from your site if it isn’t optimized for mobile. On the other hand, data shows that 74% of users are more likely to return to a website if it is mobile-friendly.
So, what does a mobile-friendly website means? It pretty much means that your website should also look great when seen from mobile devices, including providing good readability and ease of use even if users access it from their smartphones. Keep in mind that mobile screens are smaller, so navigation and CTAs need to be optimized accordingly.
If the stats above did not convince you that your website needs to be mobile-friendly, we have one more reason: Google will penalize you if it isn’t. Recently, Google has started to penalize sites that aren’t correctly optimized for mobile devices.
3. Use white space
White space isn’t a new trend in web design. However, it is growing in popularity as it now considered a good practice. Why? Simply because white space makes the content of a website more legible while also enabling users to focus on the elements surrounding the text. In fact, data shows that white space around text and headlines increases user attention by 20%.
Read also: 4 Web Design Trends to Watch in 2020
White space can also add up to a minimalist design, which is also a growing trend as minimalist web designs have faster download speeds, better conversion, easy navigation, and they often require less maintenance.
4. Do create a sitemap
Suppose your website isn’t clear about where and what users can find on it, you’re going to lose a lot of revenue. Illogical content structuring, together with poor navigation tools, is the most common web design issue that leads to poor user experience.
The goal of a site map is to create a structured architecture that categorizes information by grouping related content on it. In other words, it helps users to find what they are looking for quickly. The faster they find the content they came for, the bigger the chances of getting a pleasant experience with your site.
Also, to help users quickly access the content they want from your site, you can use sticky headers to allow better navigation. Plus, remember that in half of a second, your users will evaluate your website’s design and decide whether they can or not find what they came for. So, don’t make it difficult for them to see the action buttons.
5. Make it accessible
Everyone with access to a computer and Internet connection should be able to access and use your website, regardless of their circumstances or abilities. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case with all websites out there. According to WHO, nearly 15% of the world’s population deals with some form of disability, which often prevents them from utilizing the web.
Your website needs to be designed so that everybody can use it, including people with disabilities. To make it accessible, you should stick to practices such as keeping your navigation predictable, avoiding content that can cause physical reactions, and making your text big and bold for everyone to see.
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