6 web design best practices for 2021
Today, almost anyone can get a website up and running with relative ease, however, that doesn’t guarantee it’ll be that effective for you and your company.
A website is “open” 24/7 and is effectively your storefront to the world, with users forming an opinion within a few minutes it’s vital that you make a good impression, with intuitive and effective design and content.
Here are 6 web design practices that will help to ensure success for your site.
1. Consistency in branding
It’s important to keep branding consistent across all of you marketing material, including your website. Your company’s logo, typography, images, iconography and brand voice all reinforce your value proposition and reputation.
2. Clear Call To Actions (CTA’s)
Usually when you have a site you want the users to do something, such as subscribe to newsletters, view and purchase products or make an appointment, so it’s important to motivate your target audience to perform that action. You can achieve this in a number of ways, such as:
- Having a bold, coloured CTA in a location that is highly visible eg within the navigation or page headers.
- Make the copy within the CTA obvious what’s going to happen if the user clicks on it eg “view product” and “sign up to newsletter”
- Less is more. You want to avoid too many CTA’s, as too many could distract the user from performing the key task that you want them to do.
3. Clean design
It is important that your site is easy for the user to scan and your content is digestible, people don’t have time to waste trying to find content if it’s not obvious.
You don’t want to overload your audience with bright contrasting colours, too many images, and pages of copy, instead make the website easy to use and an enjoyable experience with clean design and meaningful content.
It is also important to make use of white space. White space doesn’t mean having blocks of white boxes all over your website but means having “negative” space between layout items such as paragraphs and images. Have more white space on your web pages will allow your content to be more scannable and it’ll also be easier on the eyes.
4. A/B Testing
A/B testing is a method of comparing different versions of a webpage to see which one performs the best based on your goal for the page. You can use A/B testing to determine which CTA is the most effective or which headline works better, the options are endless.
Collecting the right data takes the leg work out of optimising a website. A/B testing allows you to make decisions based on statistical data, which is always a good design practice.
5. Website speed
The speed of your site plays an important role in the overall user experience. A slow website will frustrate users and can result in them abandoning the site. Google also takes into consideration your website speed when ranking sites, so if you want to appear relatively high in search results, it should be something that you are considering.
Heatmaps present you with visual feedback on where your site users are spending time on your site, they work by tracking your users’ mouse movements so you can identify the areas that are receiving the most attention.
With information from heatmaps you can:
- Optimise your design, you can improve the elements that aren’t getting a much attention
- Optimise placement of CTA’s, you can place your most valuable CTA’s in the areas that are getting the most attention
The most important takeaway from this article is that if you want a website to generate results you can just leave it once it’s built. Your site will require continuous ongoing optimisation and improvements to serve your company and customers.
Back to the journal