The world of web design can be difficult to navigate. There is so much troublesome and outdated advice.
How many times have you been advised to adhere to the 3-Click Rule? It says users have to get what they want in three clicks. But, according to the Nielsen Norman Group, no research supports the 3-Click Rule. Just a guess, the web is an urban myth.
There are things to do and do about effective web design in 2022. In this post, we will present the most important ones so that you can design websites with confidence.
Make: Using Design Patterns
Design Patterns are a complex technique. It simply involves copying well – known standard approaches. Jakob’s Law says that people spend most of their time on other sites, so they will understand your site better if it’s similar to those other sites.
You can’t make your site look like everyone else, so your job is to pick and choose the design patterns that would most help your target demographic.
Some of the most recognizable design patterns include placing the logo at the top left of the visual, highlighting links, and basics such as address information in the footer.
Do: Make It Inclusive
Comprehensive design is of the opinion that the web is suitable for everyone. That has not always been the case. A few years ago, it was common to see sites excluding some demographics to reduce development costs.
It is wrong to exclude anyone from your website. In many jurisdictions, it is so wrong that it is illegal. But, perhaps more importantly, if 5% of users are excluded, 5% is deducted from your profits.
Being inclusive has never been easier. The first step is to make your website responsive so that it serves all devices. Then follow the accessibility guidelines to make sure you are welcome. Lastly, be ready to listen to your users, and tailor to their needs.
Do: Keep It Simple
As a website designer, you have no doubt envied some of the most original sites out there. It is important to remember that many of the most experimental sites are usually focused on other designers. What works well on a portfolio site will not translate well to a local convenience store.
99 times out of 100, the simple choice is the right choice. Most people are not interested in original design. They are interested in completing a task. The less effort you put into completing the task, the better the experience.
The complexity often goes into shipping. Start with a logical structure, and use simple hierarchical navigation.
Do: Stay Focused
Every website has goals. It could be promotion, profit, utility or combination. Every part of that website should have one goal, every single page.
Hick’s Law states that the more time it takes to make a decision increases when there are more choices. And Target Effector Grades say a customer is more likely to complete a process the closer they get to completion. Combine the two, which means that the chances of getting a single CTA (call to action) will increase for users on a page.
It’s okay to still have navigation, links, and secondary goals provided that each page has one clear purpose.
Do: Keep Your Interface Consistent
Consistency is often referred to as a hallmark of quality. It means you paid attention to detail. But consistency is not just to make a good impression. Consistency is also essential for a good UX (user experience).
Users learn how to navigate your Web site as they go. They learn the ‘rules’ of your website or the logic of interacting with it. If your UI (user interface) is consistent, they will learn the rules faster and feel more confident.
The areas that often fail in the consistency test are the corner radius of the boxes, the style of the links, and the tone of the writing.
Do Not: Ignore Aesthetics
Design does not involve usability studies and dependence on design patterns. Design should be beautiful too.
Shallow and insignificant beauty is often seen. However, the Aesthetic-Usability Effect states that a beautiful website is more likely to be seen as usable by customers.
Nice design is a high-conversion design.
To ensure that your design is beautiful, pay attention to your typographic hierarchy, color scheme, and the symmetry of your layout.
Don’t: Make Users Wait
The worst thing you can do is make users wait. The more advanced the technology, the faster connections get the higher user expectations.
Your site needs to load within seconds and be interactive within two seconds. Otherwise, you will lose customers who bounce back to their search engine and try to become one of your competitors instead.
Delays are not just about the speed of your site. You need to make sure that the information or product that a customer wants is easily accessible. Do not add multiple levels deep in your site. If users are delayed due to complex navigation or unpredictable structure, they will terminate your site as surely as it would take 10 seconds to load.
Users have zero amounts of patience.
Do Not: Block the Screen
Browsing through the web, the number of designers that prevent users from viewing the content on a Web site is staggering.
The most popular culpris are newsletter subscription offers. How will a customer know if they want to sign up for your newsletter when they have not yet seen your products ?! Allow the user to browse your site, and then offer them a newsletter subscription.
Cookie ads are another common culprit. Most sites require a moderate cookie notification to stay on the right hand side of the Law. And yet they show a great method of blocking sites as if the cookie notification is the most important topic on the site.
Do Not: Leave Content Until Final
Content is often left to the last hour. That’s because it’s hard. Just because we learned to read and write as children does not mean we can write persuasive sales copy.
Content is crucial for SEO (search engine optimization), but more importantly, it is essential for CX (customer experience).
Most websites make big mistakes with their content.
Mistake one is an unfair copy. That means writing 25 words about your flagship product and 5,000 words about company history.
There is a mistake in writing for the company, not the customer. That means organizing content around the company structure rather than customer tasks.
Mistake three is too much to do at once. Text walls are a shutdown. Instead, write short scalable excerpts that will keep customers engaged.
“Don’t try to be original …
… Try to be good. ”
That excerpt came from a twentieth century design titan, Paul Rand.
This is relevant: originality is about you, and quality is about the website. Great designers care more about their output than their reputation.
Image featured by Pexels.