Website design isn’t only about the aesthetics, although it plays a large part. Around 75% of consumers judge a website’s credibility by its design.
Each element of your website works together to create a first impression. The copy, content, menu, buttons, images, videos, and other design elements are marks of your brand and can make or break that first impression.
As such, how do you keep things interesting to stand out from the crowd? Keep on reading to learn the simple ways you can improve your website.
1. White Space
“White space” is the “negative space” created from the untouched space between elements on your web page. Effective use of “white space” makes it easier for visitors to see important elements, rather than the risk of overwhelming them with too much in one section of a web page.
White space is the best way to keep things clean on your website, but how do you do levrage white space?
Simple – do not fill all the space on a web page – leave plenty of breathing room.
The opposite of white space is clutter, which will tends to make the visitor lose focus on what’s important. With white space, you can control where to direct a visitor’s attention – a product image, call-to-action (CTA), and so on.
If you intelligently use white space, the visitor will have fewer things to focus on, and the navigability of your site will improve. It will be easier for them to find the information they need, and, you’ll have a higher chance of getting a conversion by directing the path of their eyes.
Of course, we can’t mention white space without mentioning the Apple website. Visit their website, and you’ll see an intelligent use of white space, accentuating the imagery of their products and their CTAs.
2. Large Typography in Main Messaging
Large typography is making waves for its effectiveness in capturing the attention of the audience. It’s perfect for headlines, and it works great when using it with white space, as well.
Bold typography can catch the eye of viewers in an instant. It tells them where they need to look; it also creates hierarchy, which tells them where they need to look next.
To create this heirarchy, you’ll use a smaller font size beneath or beside the larger typography. The human eye will naturally look at the largest text, then to the next size, and so on.
Keep in mind, though, that your choice of typography matters. It must match your brand, so it’s worth finding a set of fonts that compliments your logo and company culture/brand.
Think of Coca-Cola or Harry Potter. The “brand recall” of their fonts are so strong that our minds associate the font with the brand, even if the text says something totally unrelated.
3. Small Blocks of Text
Wait, you just told me to use large typography, what do we mean by small blocks of text?
Rather than the font size, we’re referring to the amount of text on a web page.
Don’t create white space and then fill it with a ton of text – no one will read it. Large blocks of text might even hurt your conversion rate as your visitors will lose interest and leave your site.
Website vistors are likely to skim your content and not read it word-for-word, so make it short, concise and easy to read.
Take another visit to Apple’s website and navigate toward any product page. You’ll see that it has all of the information you need about a product, yet it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
That’s because the website has small blocks of text and a great use of white space. Each feature has a section with subheadings. And, what follows is a short yet informative description.
4. High-Quality But Fast-Loading Images
Once again take note that Apple also uses high-quality & sharp images. However, you have to be careful with this.
High-resolution images aren’t always the way to go. The image/photo must be crisp and clear, but it should also load as fast as possible.
Large files, like images, slow down the loading speed of a site. Not everyone has high-speed internet, which is an important consideration when it comes to web design. If your website does not load quickly, people might also assume there is something wrong and leave.
Google found that the optimal loading speed of a website is 1 to 3 seconds. If it goes past 7 seconds, the probability of bounce increases by 123%.
On the other hand, low-quality images look unprofessional and can hurt your credibility. They will also steer the audience away from your site.
As such, you must optimize your images so that they look great, but they still load quickly. This will not only improve your bounce rate, but your conversion rate as well. It can help to increase site ranking too.
5. A Clear Navigation Menu
When it comes to your website navigation, a row of menu options in the upper right corner is the most common way to present your web navigation. This allows users to quickly choose where to go.
We believe that being traditional when it comes to the main navigation (and placing it in the upper right-hand corner,) is your best bet. Visitors know where to look for your navigation instinctively – in the upper right corner of the header.
Make sure the navigation link names are clear (try not get super clever with naming your links. The last think a visitor wants to do is wonder where you are taking them. EX: If you had a company named “The Food Collective” Instead of “About Us” if you said “The Collective Experience” it might be confusing. Be clear that they are going to an “About Us” page.
Try not to exceed 7 navigation links – you can always create subnavigation or mega-menus if you have a lot of pages/subpages. If you have more than 7 navigation links in the main header, it starts to look cluttered – and clutter can creates confusion (and confusion leads the vistor to the exit sign.)
6. Semi-Flat Web Design
A semi-flat design seems to be the cornerstone of a minimalist design these days. Gone are the deep shadows, 3D elements, and over-animation – from app icons to web design.
There’s a reason why a semi-flat design is popular these days – it looks elegant, simple, and clean. It also adds a little depth to your design.
However, be careful, many designers go “too flat” without any interesting detail incorporated into the design.
One way to add interest to your design is to add subtle depth. Add subtle shadows or add layers to an image/illustration. The key word here is “subtle…”
They may not consciously notice the difference, but it will add that extra element of depth on a subconscious level without them knowing why. It’s a great way to elevate your web design and help it stand out from the rest.
Learn What Makes A Web Design Stand Out
These are only some of the simple ways to make your web design stand out. Keep it semi-flat, utilize a traditional navigation menu, utilize negative space, and optimize your images.
If you need help improving your web design, or maybe you have tried to “DIY” your website, find a trusted expert to get it done right. If you would like our help in your web design journey; contact us today, and let’s see how we can elevate your website.