Did you know that one of the top reasons why websites fail is because they focus too much on design and too little on strategy? The truth is that the best website design should not be creative for the sake of creativity, but should rather use creativity to make a website intuitive and relevant. The best website design brings in conversions because it focuses on the users and what they need. So how can you boast effective website design? Well, start by avoiding these mistakes.
Ignoring how the design works
The steps that precede the moment when you move in behind your desk with your headphones on to wait for inspiration relate to research. There will be a meeting where you find out all about the company that you work for followed by the industry and competitor research. And, then you still need to build some user personas to understand the consumers better.
Though, a capital mistake is to forget to ask your client what they want to achieve via their website. So, ask them to name three major objectives and rank them in order of importance so that you can figure out what’s essential for your client. Also, remember to ask the client what best website design looks like to them. This helps you to develop the sitemap because you now know the conversion goals for the project.
Ignoring the power of good planning
The sitemap shows you how content is organised on a website, giving you a first visual of that content. It’s important for the sitemap to be focused on the users and revolve around the content, but there are two things to take into account here: the company’s goals and what the consumers want.
Basically, the biggest mistake you can do is to ignore what your consumers need and only focus on the brand’s goals. For instance, the “About Us” page should focus on how brands help solve people’s needs instead of an insipid mission statement.
Ignoring the user flow
The user flow is the way your website’s visitors navigate through the content available to them. If at the beginning of the website design project you leave the user flow for later, you won’t have the complete picture of how different sections interact with each other.
Focusing on who the users are helps you to structure information in a way that’s relevant to them. Therefore, they will be able to navigate through your website in a manner that makes sense. As such, think how each user persona you have created earlier moves through the website and what they want to find out. Confusing navigation is one of the most common mistakes that will ruin a website design, yet it is so easy to prevent.
Ignoring what converts users
If you’ve taken into account your users’ needs and navigation, it’s wise also to consider what makes them convert. This is called the customer acquisition funnel.
If you know how visitors move around the website, think about the elements that might lead them to a place where they can convert. It’s useful to have various user personas instead of a generic, homogenous audience because you can focus on their specific goals and how your website design helps them achieve these goals.
It also helps if your website displays relevant content and guides visitors with relevant calls to action. If the primary goal of your visitors is to buy your product, make sure you funnel them through this process smoothly. Basically, best website design should focus on bringing results.
Content is what drives websites, what helps you to connect with your consumers, instils loyalty and creates a community of supporters who are always ready to vouch for you. Website design that ignores content is like building a brick house without using mortar: the bricks will never stick together.
Basically, you should have the content – or at least some of it – ready before you start building the website design. Good, relevant content is based on the sitemap. Plan how you will place the content in these sections and how you will make it easy to read and understand. Basically, easy-to-read content uses simple phrases and common terms, not intricate metaphorical constructions.
Assuming people will read anything you write
Easily digestible content should follow some rules. For instance, you should use short sentences, small paragraphs and pictures which are scattered along the way to explain things visually. Huge paragraphs require attention which people are no longer willing to pay when reading online text.
Optimise the clarity of your phrases by erasing fluff words or difficult-to-read phrases. In the words of Leonardo da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.
Ignoring the layout
Once you’re completely done with the content, don’t ignore the layout! Just like sitemaps, wireframes are a plan for organising your content in a relevant, easy-to-navigate manner for your visitors.
And, because wireframes are structural tools that help to organise content, you shouldn’t add any colour, font or design choices at this step. Wireframes focus on building a solid hierarchy of content that makes sense to your visitors from a visual standpoint.
This means you need to focus on details such as how you arrange the sections, and how the content hierarchy looks on mobile devices as well as desktops. You want a responsive website design, which means that your wireframe should be flexible too.
Ignoring the order
Having a content hierarchy is essential for good wireframing. You need to present your website’s content in a manner that meets the needs of your visitors and that helps them convert faster.
Once you have figured out what you want to convey through the information on your website, the wireframing process becomes rather intuitive.
Your content may easily demand a certain order depending on your objectives, and you can figure this out by analysing your headlines and calls to action. This tells you exactly the focus of each section so that you can organise your content sections properly.
Wireframing is something that some website designers ignore because it seems redundant to them. Yet, wireframes are what connect the content to the design so that they’re an essential part of your website’s effectiveness and success.
Ignoring the responsiveness of your design
Ah, finally, we’re talking about the design. This is the part you love and the part that your company has hired you to do. Once you’ve figured out a strategy that’s based on research and thorough planning, you can use aesthetics as a valuable weapon to achieve your goals. Now you know how to be effective, where to place different sections and how to bring in more conversions.
However, responsiveness is one of the essentials of best website design practice, considering that over half of online users are using mobile phones or tablets. Even if each website designer has a different approach to this, there are some major strategies that can help you out with responsiveness. Let’s talk about the most commonly used ones:
If you need your website to work on mobile phones, you might consider a mobile-first design. This means starting with a mobile layout instead of a desktop-friendly layout. This second option would entail changing the size of elements on your website to make sure they can be squeezed on to the mobile interface while remaining easy to read.
Another good approach is to consider a pattern library. This is where you collect various design patterns that need to be used in your interface. You can enrich your pattern library by adding new design elements every time you use one which ensures that your website is consistent, regardless of other variables.
Besides, consistency makes your website look extremely professional. In turn, this increases the perceived level of expertise which makes the brand more trustworthy and adds points for reputation. Consistency also makes your website more functional because visitors know which steps to take in order to be effective and find relevant information quickly. Lastly, consistency helps you figure out how to make adjustments and updates.
If you’ve followed the guidelines above, you will know which mistakes to avoid and how to build a perfect plan of action to create best website design. The website design errors we’ve outlined help you to focus on the process of outlining an intuitive website that’s relevant to your visitors.
However, this plan might need revising before or after you launch your website. That’s why it’s important to keep a degree of flexibility and leave room for adding new elements. While you’re taking out the guesswork involved in building a successful website, this is only the foundation you’re building upon. And, luckily, it depends on your flair and creativity. Now isn’t that exciting?