By: Rafa Ticzon|
29 Dec 2023
In today’s digital world, having a visually appealing website is just the tip of the iceberg. While aesthetics play a crucial role in capturing the attention of visitors, these are not enough to keep them from clicking away. What makes a good website goes beyond aesthetics and focuses on functionality. To deliver a seamless user experience, an effective website should be easy to navigate with well-organized content and an intuitive user interface design. By striking the perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality, a website can create a memorable and engaging experience for visitors.
Based on a study conducted by Adobe, it was found that 38% of online users will stop engaging with a website if the content is unattractive in layout or imagery. Because of this, websites have evolved to accommodate this and other factors such as short attention spans, emotional reactions to design, and user interaction.
In this article, we will explore the qualities that contribute to a highly effective website, helping you to optimize your web presence and achieve your business goals.
Understand and cater to the needs of your audience.
A website’s purpose is crucial for its success, as it should help users achieve their goals. Understanding user intent is essential, and designing product personas and ideal customer profiles before creating the website is crucial. Using user feedback is key to successful website development and optimization. Each webpage should have its own purpose, reflecting user intent in layout, content, and calls to action (CTAs). Each page should have its own unique purpose to ensure the website’s effectiveness.
At Verz, we strive to bring our client’s visions to life, whatever the type of website they may need. Explore our portfolio here: https://www.verzdesign.com/portfolio
Users should find what they’re looking for quickly.
User Experience (UX) is crucial for a website’s success, as it helps visitors understand, use, and stay on the site. To achieve a good UI, create clear navigation with a clear hierarchy and consistent layouts. The site should satisfy both searchers and browsers, helping users accomplish tasks quickly and engaging them with related and eye-catching content.
Strong UX design focuses on creating a seamless user journey, making the site well-organized, easy to navigate, and accessible for users with limitations. Elements like a clean and coherent design, utilizing white space and engaging elements like videos and animations, are crucial. Consider customers’ navigation needs and create a product experience that allows users to do what they came to do. By designing with easy, intuitive navigation, you can create a great product that attracts loyal customers.
Aesthetically pleasing, consistent, and appropriate for the target audience.
Your website represents your company, products, services, and brand, so it should be visually appealing, polished, and professional. It should have white space, uncluttered layouts, quality photographs, and graphics to let your message shine through. The site must work quickly, correctly, and as expected, adhering to web standards, proofreading, and testing regularly for speed or functionality issues. Broken, slow, or poorly constructed areas can leave visitors frustrated and encourage them to leave.
Website design is crucial for a first impression and defining how visitors interact with the content. Professional web designers are increasingly hiring to refine their site design to stand out from competitors and attract more visitors. Some best practices include understanding basic colour theory, themes, and rules, using online colour palette generators like Adobe Color or Coolors, strategically arranging all website elements, and establishing a visual hierarchy using colour, proportion, contrast, grids, and whitespace. By following these best practices, businesses can create a great website that stands out from competitors and attracts more visitors.
Fast loading times for all pages
Page load time is a crucial factor in ranking web pages in search results. A fast website enhances user experience, boosts search engine rankings, and reduces bounce rates. To optimize site speed, use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix. Hostinger’s web hosting plan allows you to run a speed test directly from your hPanel. To optimize site speed, optimize images by choosing the right file format and compressing them without compromising quality. Minimize code using gzip compression to reduce data transfer and improve page load times. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to store website resources on servers worldwide, reducing load times. Enable browser caching to store local resources, making data access quick and easy.
Responsive design for various devices.
Technical optimization is crucial for a website’s search engine ranking, ensuring it loads quickly, is free of broken links, and is mobile-friendly. A responsive design allows a website to adjust its layout on the device used to view it. Having said that, mobile traffic continues to grow day by day. In fact, smartphones now account for over 51% of all online traffic. Because of this, it is crucial to ensure that your visitor’s mobile user experience is just as smooth and efficient as it is on the desktop. So if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, focus on it and work on mobile SEO.
Additionally, most sites are still developed desktop-first. This means that designers create websites with only the desktop experience in mind, with mobile viewing as just an afterthought. Cramming it down to mobile size often loses its authenticity and freshness. Adopting a mobile-first mindset helps focus on tasks users should perform on your mobile site. Additionally, this method also helps clean up clutter and often leads to a minimal and fully focused design.
Mobile-friendly design improves user experience, as it allows visitors to interact with content regardless of their device. According to a study conducted by Akamai, a mere two-second delay in web page load time increases bounce rates by 103% for eCommerce sites and 53% for mobile eCommerce site users.
Make your website accessible to people with disabilities.
Website accessibility is crucial for inclusivity, meeting legal requirements, improving user experience, and future-proofing. Strategies to make a website more accessible include providing alt text for images, creating a proper heading structure, adding clear captions for video and audio content, and conducting accessibility testing during development. These measures help users with visual impairments understand the content, assistive technology users, and deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. Additionally, using online accessibility evaluation tools like WAVE ensures compliance with regulations.
Poor font selection can negatively impact a site’s accessibility and user experience. Use web-safe fonts like Arial, Times, and Helvetica for compatibility across devices and browsers. Select appropriate font sizes and spacing for improved readability and visual appeal.
Helps in ranking higher on search engines.
The content of a website is crucial, and it should be user-centric, not SEO-focused. However, this does not mean that SEO is unimportant. Rather, to emphasize the importance of creating quality content that resonates with your visitors and goes hand in hand with optimizing high ranking.
SEO can help shape content decisions by understanding customers’ search intent and their needs. Utilizing pillar pages and topic clusters can help explore user-interested topics and build authority, helping your site rank higher on search engines like Google. To implement SEO-friendly website design, follow these best practices:
In summary, a well-designed website is essential for attracting and retaining users. By following these best practices, your website can rank higher on search engines and attract more visitors.
Consistent look and feel across different browsers.
Consistent design is crucial for a website’s usability and learnability. It involves having the same functions, symbols, and animations throughout the website, allowing users to transfer past knowledge to other pages. Poor design can lead to frustration and confusion for users. Visual consistency refers to elements perceived the same way, such as fonts, buttons, photos, and colors, which help users learn about the website.
Internal consistency is the combination of both functional and visual consistency. As content is added to the website, it is essential to ensure that visual and functional elements remain consistent with past pages. For example, updating visual elements on a page without updating past pages containing the same older elements is considered bad internal consistency.
To achieve design consistency, branding, typography, colors, space, and grid should be consistent. A strong visual hierarchy should be created, with the most important elements larger than the less important ones. The color palette should be consistent across the product, and padding and margins should be consistent in all similar elements. The website should be ordered in a grid, and nothing should break this grid.
Finally, ensure that all functions are consistent, such as the functionality of forms and buttons, and that all boxes function the same. By achieving these three elements of design consistency, a better site will be created for users.
Relevant images, videos, and audio that enhance the user experience.
Multimedia can capture users’ attention and keep them on your website for longer periods, increasing the likelihood of them taking desired actions. It can also enhance the aesthetics of your website, making it visually appealing and easy to navigate. It can also help explain complex ideas in a simpler and more engaging way, making it easier for users to understand and retain information.
In addition to increasing user engagement, multimedia can also improve your website’s traffic and search engine rankings. By creating more engaging and shareable content, you can increase your social media reach and drive more traffic to your website. Search engines tend to favor websites that incorporate multimedia, as they are viewed as more credible and authoritative sources of information.
Using multimedia can boost your credibility and authority in your industry by showcasing your products or services and communicating your brand’s values, personality, and story. This can build a stronger emotional connection with your audience and establish you as a leader in your industry.
Lastly, multimedia can drive higher conversion rates and sales by creating a more engaging and memorable user experience that makes your products or services more tangible and relatable to your audience. By leveraging the power of multimedia, you can create a more compelling and memorable user experience that can help you achieve your business goals and succeed in the competitive online marketplace.
Ensure that your website is secure, especially if you handle user data or transactions.
Trust is crucial for both search engines and users, as it ensures the best possible results for users. Search engines like Google prioritize the best results, and if a website’s claims are doubted or used by unscrupulous experts, they will not display it. Therefore, it is essential to improve trustworthiness at all levels, both technical and content-wise.
A website should also be a safe haven for visitors, ensuring security is in order. Hacking is easier to prevent than fix, so it is crucial to use up-to-date software, SSL certificates, strong passwords, and tools like Cloudflare to protect your site from DDoS attacks. Emphasizing user security can make a website more trustworthy to potential customers.
To keep your site secure, run security scans, keep your software and extensions up-to-date, and use a strong website password. A password manager can be an effective way to keep all login credentials safe.
Keeping users safe is a significant aspect of a good website, with great owners prioritizing protecting their personal information through multi-factor authentication, SSL certificates, and secure hosting. Security is especially important for protecting customers’ credit card information on eCommerce sites and users’ financial data on fintech sites. Ensuring users’ data is safe allows them to focus on having a great experience with the website.
Incorporate user feedback to continually improve the user experience.
User feedback is crucial in the design process, as it helps guide decisions, enhances usability, and promotes inclusive design. Designers use real insights from users to make informed decisions, ensuring the process is rooted in reality. Feedback helps identify areas of struggle, allowing designers to address them promptly. It also helps craft delightful experiences that resonate with the target audience, reducing churn and increasing retention. Overall, diverse feedback ensures products are accessible and inclusive.
Display testimonials, reviews, or social shares to build trust.
Social proof is a powerful marketing tactic that can be used to add credibility to a business by providing cool content examples. It is based on the bandwagon effect, a social psychology concept that suggests people are more likely to engage in an action if others are doing it. This can be achieved by showing a large number of people have purchased a product or supported the business, such as over 20,000 copies sold or 1 million satisfied customers. Displaying social media follower counts can also be used to convey social proof.
Social proof can also help convey trust, which is crucial for converting customers online. Showing satisfied customers through testimonials and user reviews can build trust that a business is legitimate and trustworthy. Additionally, social proof can be used to convey authority, as a buyer may find a testimonial from an expert more convincing than a hundred reviews from average people. Displaying customer logos of big-name clients can also demonstrate both social proof and authority.
Social proof works by tapping into the basic human instinct to follow the actions of others, building trust and credibility, and lowering barriers to making purchases online.
Clear and compelling calls to action to guide user behaviour.
Your site should have a clear purpose for visitors, allowing them to engage with your content and engage with your organization. Each page should have a specific purpose, reflecting the user’s intent. This can be achieved through the use of call-to-action buttons, which should be prominently displayed and encourage specific actions like purchasing or signing up for a newsletter. Additionally, persuasive language and call-to-action phrases should be used to encourage visitors to take the desired action. By doing so, your site will likely attract and retain visitors.
Keep your content fresh and up to date.
To engage your audience, use concise, interesting, and new language, avoid jargon and corporate speak, and explain your “why.” Spell correctly, be accurate, and relevant, and update regularly. Blogs and social media updates are great ways to add fresh content, keep visitors returning and improve SEO strategy. Investing in fresh content is essential.
Provide reliable technical support for users.
Technical support is crucial for addressing and resolving technology-related issues, ensuring users can effectively use and maintain their devices, software, and systems. It helps reduce downtime and improve productivity, enhances customer satisfaction by providing guidance and solutions, and safeguards against potential risks and vulnerabilities.
The best ways to provide technical support include offering multi-channel options like live chat, phone, and email, implementing a comprehensive knowledge base or FAQ section, using remote desktop tools for real-time assistance, providing prompt response times, and offering personalized and empathetic support.
The purpose of technical support is to provide assistance and guidance to users in resolving technical issues related to a product, service, or system, aiming to ensure smooth functioning and optimal performance of technology by addressing customer queries, troubleshooting problems, and offering solutions. This quick and efficient technical help can improve client satisfaction, reduce downtime, and maintain the overall functionality and dependability of businesses’ products and services.
Ensure that your website complies with legal and regulatory requirements.
Websites are essential tools for businesses to operate legally and maintain a competitive edge. However, there are several legal requirements that must be followed to ensure compliance and mitigate risks. These include copyright, privacy policies, terms and conditions, and security measures.
Clear display contact information for customer support.
To engage your audience, provide multiple points of contact, such as phone, email, social media, and an easy-to-use contact form. Include a Google map and make this information easily accessible on your contact page, ensuring it’s accessible on every page of your site.
A good website requires careful consideration of design, navigation, search engine optimization, and user experience. Whether you’re a seasoned web developer or a first-time website creator, these tips will help you create an effective and engaging website for your audience. Remember that a website should be easy to use, visually appealing, and provide valuable content to users. If you’re interested in having your own website or looking to revamp it, contact Verz Design today at 6841 1680 or [email protected] for a free consultation!