Are you a web designer looking to create visually appealing and user-friendly websites for your clients? With so many different elements to consider, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together some key best practices for web design that will help you create successful websites for your clients.
In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for any business or individual. As a web designer, it’s up to you to create websites that not only look great but also function well and provide a positive user experience. However, with constantly evolving technologies and trends, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest best practices for web design.
That’s where our article comes in. By following these key best practices, you can ensure that your websites are easy to navigate, visually appealing, and accessible to a wide audience. Whether you’re just starting out in web design or are looking to refine your skills, these tips will help you create successful websites that meet your clients’ needs and goals. So let’s dive in and explore some of the most important best practices for web design.
Keep it simple
Simplicity is key in web design. A cluttered or overly complicated website can be overwhelming and confusing for visitors. Instead, focus on creating a clean and straightforward design that is easy to navigate. As the old saying goes, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” So, let’s not make our websites look like a Las Vegas buffet – full of flashy, over-the-top options that leave visitors feeling dizzy and unsure of where to start. Remember, people visit your website for a reason, and it’s your job to make that reason as clear as possible. Think of it like ordering a pizza. You don’t want to go through a maze of options before finally being able to select “pepperoni.” Keep it simple and straightforward, and your visitors will thank you for it. In fact, research shows that 76% of website visitors say the most important factor in website design is ease of use. So, ditch the clutter and focus on making your website user-friendly.
Make it mobile-friendly
As more and more people access the internet through their mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website is no longer just a recommendation, it’s a necessity. In fact, mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop usage in recent years, making it imperative for businesses to have a website that is optimized for mobile devices.
Designing a responsive website means that your website will adjust to fit the screen size of any device, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. This not only improves the user experience for visitors on mobile devices, but it also helps with search engine optimization. Google, for example, has made mobile-friendliness a ranking factor in its search algorithm, meaning that having a mobile-friendly website can help your site rank higher in search results.
In addition, having a mobile-friendly website can also help increase conversions and revenue for your business. According to a study by Google, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing, and 40% will visit a competitor’s site instead. This highlights the importance of providing a seamless and user-friendly experience for mobile users.
By designing a mobile-friendly website, you can ensure that your business is accessible to a wider audience and provide a positive user experience for visitors, regardless of the device they are using. It’s important to keep in mind that as technology continues to evolve, designing a mobile-friendly website is not a one-time task, but an ongoing process of testing and optimization to ensure that your website remains accessible and user-friendly on all devices.
Use clear and readable typography
The typography on your website plays a key role in its overall design and readability. Choose a font that is easy to read and use headings and subheadings to break up the content and make it easier for visitors to scan.
In addition to choosing a font that is easy to read, it’s important to consider the size and color of your typography. Using a font that is too small or too light can make it difficult for visitors to read, while using a font that is too large or too bold can be overwhelming. Strike a balance between legibility and aesthetic appeal.
It’s also important to use consistent typography throughout your website to create a cohesive look and feel. This means using the same font and font size for headings, subheadings, body text, and buttons. Consistency helps visitors navigate your website more easily and makes it easier to scan for information.
In addition to using headings and subheadings to break up the content, consider using bullet points and numbered lists to highlight important information. This can make it easier for visitors to quickly understand the key points of your content.
Finally, avoid using too many different fonts or typography styles on your website. This can create a disjointed and confusing look that can be difficult for visitors to read and understand. Stick to a few simple typography choices that work well together and complement your website’s overall design.
Use high-quality images
When it comes to choosing images for your website, quality is key. Low-quality images can make your website look unprofessional and negatively impact the user experience. On the other hand, high-quality images can enhance the visual appeal of your website and help your brand stand out.
For example, if you’re designing a website for a travel company, you might use high-quality images of beautiful destinations to entice potential customers. These images can help convey the sense of adventure and excitement that the company wants to promote.
It’s important to not only choose high-quality images, but also to optimize them for web use. Large, unoptimized images can slow down your website’s loading time, which can lead to a poor user experience and lower search engine rankings. Use image editing tools to resize and compress your images before uploading them to your website. This will help ensure that your website loads quickly and smoothly, even with high-quality images.
CTAs are an essential part of any effective website design, and can significantly impact conversion rates. According to a recent study by HubSpot, websites with a clear and prominent CTA had a 47% higher conversion rate than those without one.
To make the most of your CTAs, consider using specific and actionable language that clearly communicates what action you want visitors to take. For example, instead of a generic “Learn More” button, use a more specific CTA such as “Sign Up Now” or “Get Your Free Trial.”
Another effective strategy is to use urgency or scarcity in your CTAs. For example, using phrases like “Limited Time Offer” or “Only a Few Spots Left” can create a sense of urgency and encourage visitors to act quickly.
It’s also important to ensure that your CTAs are prominently placed and easy to find on your website. Consider placing them in a prominent location, such as the top of the page or above the fold, and using contrasting colors or bold fonts to make them stand out.
In addition to traditional CTAs, you can also use micro-interactions to encourage user engagement and guide them towards your conversion goals. For example, a pop-up that offers a discount code in exchange for signing up for your newsletter can be an effective way to encourage visitors to take action.
By including clear, specific, and well-placed CTAs in your website design, you can guide visitors towards your desired conversion goals and improve your overall conversion rate.
Make it easy to navigate
A well-organized and easy-to-navigate website is essential for a positive user experience. According to a study by Forrester Research, website visitors are 50% more likely to leave a website if they can’t find what they’re looking for within the first few seconds of arriving. This highlights the importance of making it easy for visitors to navigate your website and find the information they need quickly.
To achieve this, consider using a clear hierarchy and logical structure to guide visitors through your website. This means organizing your content into categories and subcategories that make sense, and using intuitive navigation menus and links that are easy to understand.
Additionally, consider including a search function for larger websites. This can be especially helpful for visitors who are looking for something specific, such as a particular product or piece of information. Make sure that the search function is easy to find and prominently displayed on your website.
Another important aspect of navigation is ensuring that your website is optimized for mobile devices. With the increasing use of smartphones and tablets, it’s important to make sure that your website is responsive and easy to use on smaller screens. This can include using larger font sizes, optimizing images for mobile devices, and ensuring that navigation menus are easy to access and use on touchscreens.
By making it easy for visitors to navigate your website, you can improve the user experience and keep visitors on your site for longer. This can ultimately lead to higher engagement, more conversions, and a greater likelihood of visitors returning to your website in the future.
Use white space effectively
Why was the web designer always tired? Because he couldn’t find any more white space to remove!
But on a serious note, effective use of white space can make a huge difference in the overall design of a website. It can help balance out the design, highlight important elements, and make the content easier to read. In fact, a study by Crazy Egg found that using white space between paragraphs and around images can increase comprehension by almost 20%.
When it comes to white space, less is often more. Avoid cluttering your website with too many elements, and instead, use white space strategically to draw attention to key content and calls-to-action. And remember, white space doesn’t have to be white – it can be any color or pattern that creates a sense of openness and breathing room on your website.
Test your website
Why did the website go to the doctor? Because it had a case of the broken links!
Okay we’re gonna leave the joking aside now… But anyway, testing your website before launching it is crucial to avoid any technical issues and ensure a seamless user experience. According to a survey conducted by HubSpot, 75% of website users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website design. That’s why it’s important to test your website on different devices and browsers to ensure that it looks and functions the way you intended.
In addition to testing for technical issues, it’s also important to get feedback from actual users. Ask them to perform certain tasks on your website, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form, and observe how they interact with your site. This can give you valuable insights into any usability issues and help you improve the overall user experience.
Remember, launching a website is not a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process of monitoring, testing, and improving. By continually testing your website and making necessary adjustments, you can ensure that it stays user-friendly and effective in achieving your business goals.
Accessibility is an important consideration in web design, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s required by law in many countries. There are a few things you can do to make your website more accessible, such as:
- Using alt text for images: Alt text is a text description of an image that is displayed if the image cannot be displayed. Adding alt text to your images can help users with visual impairments understand the content of the image.
- Providing transcripts or captions for audio and video content: This can help users with hearing impairments access your audio and video content.
- Using clear and descriptive link text: This can help users with screen readers understand the purpose of links on your website.
- Using proper headings and formatting: Proper headings and formatting can help users with cognitive disabilities better understand and navigate your website.
Following best practices for accessibility isn’t just a good idea, it’s a great way to create websites that are user-friendly and accessible to everyone. So, make sure to keep things simple, mobile-friendly, and easy to navigate, while also using clear typography, high-quality images, and calls-to-action that encourage users to take action. And don’t forget to test your website before launching it – it’s better to catch any issues early on! By staying up-to-date with the latest web design trends and techniques, you can create amazing websites that your clients will love. So, keep on learning and growing, and keep following these best practices to create the best possible user experience for everyone.