Website design is one of the key elements that determines a website's success. Good web design is not only about a pretty first impression but also meeting a website's objectives. In other words, the prettiest solution is not the most important feature. Good web design is about user experience and structure that leads visitors to conversion.
Why Does Good Web Design Matter?
How many times have you visited websites that immediately turn you away upon first sight? Maybe the colour palette is wrong, maybe the page is too colourful, monotonous, confusing or unattractive for some other reason. Whatever it is that bothers you, you cannot trust that company 100%. You have your doubts. Maybe some more googling will help…?
Sound familiar? If so, you know from your own experience that web design is important. First impressions can be made only once and that time is crucial. British researchers have proven that 94% of first impressions are design related. Users judge your site by structure, navigation, colours, pop-ups, site speed, font size, text length, images and search opportunity. Bad website design creates an urgent need to leave from the site and causes doubts about a company’s reliability. Even worse, visual appeal can be assessed within 50 ms, which means your website has less than an eye blink to make a good first impression. If you’re still not convinced, here’s more statistics:
Over 70% of web users will make a judgment on the credibility of a company or business based on its website design (Fogg, BJ, Standford Guidelines for Web Credibility).
Over 65% of online shoppers agree that they will not trust a website that has an unprofessional appearance (eMarketer).
Advantages of good web design:
- positive first impression
- shows your credibility
- can help people find your business
- gives your SEO a purpose
- increases your website conversions
How to Manage Conversion Design
1. Know Your Target Group
The website image should project your target group. The overall impression gives visitors a sign whether the site is for them. If your business is selling heat pumps you cannot make a pink and shiny website. It’s like going to a single party with a date. It just doesn’t work. Your website has to say “you’re in the right place”. If the feeling is wrong, visitors will leave the site.
Web design is about building site structure. Information flow. Simplifying communication. The idea of conversion design is to make information easy to consume and lead to conversion. It’s such a self-evident thing that is often not considered in the design process. When someone wants a website, they normally don’t think about user experience and how to make the site easy to use. Clients want a nice design, meaning emotion header, colours and style. They don’t think that information consumption applies for the Gutenberg rule, where users’ attention moves diagonally from the right upper corner to left bottom corner i. e. from primary optical area to terminal area. So where you should never put the CTA button? Left bottom corner.
How do you know how to turn on a television, open the window or a door? You don’t even need to think about it, it’s so self-evident. A window has only one handle to open. You have no other choice. A TV has only one turn-on button and a door has one handle. Your website should work on the same principle. Visitors’ path on your website should be so clear that no one should think about “what to do next”. Navigation helps to direct visitors to what they are looking for. This means clear menu and categories. For bigger sites with lots of products and topics it’s important to create subcategories.
4. White Space
White space that is also called a negative area is a pace on website that is left empty. This includes line spacing, section breaks, space between elements, page margins etc. It’s not just empty space but a design element which allows different objects to co-exist on the page. Without white space any website would look like a big lump with no information architecture or understandable elements. White space is needed for a clean image. The better the elements are allocated on page, the better user experience and information architecture you can give. Quite often page elements are separated with boxes that are not as clean as white space. That’s why designers prefer white space to highlight elements.
5. Above the Fold
Social media channels and news sites have broken the myth that users don’t want to scroll down on page. You can even find pages with infinite scrolling where information emerges as long as the user bothers to scroll. So you don’t need to fear scrolling. However, it is recommended to place most important information above the fold. Why? Primarily for the first impression. Visitor needs to understand where he is and what he needs to do on that page from the very first second. That’s why CTA buttons are placed above the fold. When the page content is not clear, the visitor won’t stay scrolling on the page to get more insights.
6. Page Speed
What has a design to do with speed? A lot, to be more specific the whole website speed depends on web design. Web design is not only the homepage cover and text colour but also structure, navigation and content, it has a great impact on page speed. Too capacious website loads slowly. Slow page means that over 40% of visitors leave the page if it loads over 3 seconds (Econsultancy). So the page speed must be as good as the first impression.
Web design has an important role in website conversion. Conversion optimized design is not only about good first impression, but it’s about great user experience and information architecture. It’s more likely to get conversions when you lead visitors through your page to desired action.