Great Web Design Starts With a Great User Experience
Updated August 2023
It’s All About User Expectations
Everyone wants great web design. But not everyone gets it. I am sure you have seen websites that, in some way, miss the mark. Maybe they did not provide an acceptable user experience on your smartphone.
Perhaps they lacked the usability you expected. Ultimately it does not matter what made you move on. The initial experience turned you off enough that you never bothered to examine the content.
Being Creative is Not Enough
The world’s most informative and relevant content is useless if website visitors don’t stick around long enough to see it. Informative content and beautiful images themselves don’t amount to great web design.
Great web design means providing the specific usability and user experience your target audience expects. Great web design is not how your site looks but how it works for your website visitors.
The ultimate success of your website or online store depends on how great your design is. And since your website is the online face of your brand and business, focusing on great web design is essential. By failing to create that crucial first impression, you could end up ruining your company.
Great web design starts with user expectations. You are pretty much done if you fail to meet your user expectations immediately. Impatient mobile consumers will not wait to see “if things get better.”
What do modern consumers expect from your website? Let’s find out!
Meeting Website User Expectations
Over 55% of website traffic comes from mobile devices, and 92.3% of internet users access the internet using a mobile phone. Most online shoppers use mobile devices at least once during their conversion journey. In 2023 great web design is a mobile-first design.
Improve Mobile Page Load Speed
Over half (53%) of all mobile visitors will leave if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load. And businesses with slow-loading pages leave a negative impression on 45% of customers. If you want great web design, you must optimize your page speed.
Focus on Mobile E-Commerce
If your web design is outdated, you and your business will appear out of touch. Great web design is current, relevant, and up-to-date.
Focus on Design
58% of website users want appealing design and usability. Without great web design and usability, your online engagement will decrease, and shopping cart abandonment will increase proportionally.
Optimize Your Images
In 2023, page speed is essential, and image optimization is critical to a fast-loading site. Slow images can result in you losing nearly 40% of all visitors.
Include Effective CTAs
You want your website visitors to take action on your site. Great web design means you make that as straightforward for them as possible.
Eliminate Sliders and Slideshows
Once an essential web design element, sliders and slideshows do little to convert site visitors in 2023. Less than 1% of visitors interact with them. They are pointless and slow down your page load speed as well.
Focus on Credibility
75% of website visitors will base your company’s credibility on how your website looks, feels, and interacts with them on their conversion journey. What does your website convey about your business?
Focus on Essentials
86% of all website traffic seeks information on your products or services. Make it easy for your audience to learn why you are the best choice to meet their objectives and fulfill their needs.
Make Contact Info Obvious
Most likely, your target audience will want to contact you. Don’t hide your contact info; without obvious contact info, including your email and phone number, 44% of visitors will leave. Not having contact info makes you look suspicious and untrustworthy.
Use Bullet Points and Lists
Mobile consumers are getting ever more impatient. 70% of them prefer bullet points or lists over long-form text content. Use this to your advantage.
Websites with video content are 53 times more likely to be listed on the first page of Google search results. Video also helps to improve both your user experience and user engagement.
How Can You Design a Great Website?
Great web design requires many skills and professionals with experience in these areas. The days when your neighbor’s kid could slap together a site for your business are long gone.
To create a compelling and user-friendly online presence, you must stand out from the digital noise, meet mobile user expectations, meet current SEO guidelines, and keep this cost-effective for your business.
This may sound overwhelming for most business owners, so building your website may not be the best option. But great web design is well within the reach of most business owners and professional service providers.
All you need to do is to follow some basic principles of great web design. This will make your business website or online store aesthetic user-friendly, effective, and engaging.
Principles of Great Web Design
Focus on Mobile Users
In 2023, great web design is mobile-first web design. A great website must take mobile user expectations and usability into account if it is to be relevant and practical. Since mobile consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and demanding, your business website or e-commerce store must provide an exceptional user experience across all devices and screen sizes.
Optimize for Page Load Speed
The primary purpose of any website or online store is to communicate information. If you can quickly share why your business is the obvious choice for your visitors, they will spend more time on your website. Great web design means using short, compelling headlines, avoiding clutter, and eliminating unnecessary content.
Focus on Essentials
Don’t over-design your site. Putting too many elements on the page only distracts visitors from the primary purpose of your website. Great web design focuses on simplicity. It will make your website more appealing and help users to find and consume your content.
Don’t distract your target audience with the latest design gimmick that provides no actual benefit. Keep your design as simple as possible by avoiding all unnecessary design elements.
Great web design is consistent from page to page. And this will take some planning. You must consider key design elements such as headers, footers, and navigation menus. Select a simple font set for your headings, titles, and content, and use it throughout your site. Ensure the styling of your buttons and interactive elements is consistent and stands out.
Keep it Readable
Great web design includes your web typography. Keep your typography visually appealing and readable for visitors. I recommend avoiding serif fonts as they are harder to read and setting your body text size no smaller than 16pts. Ensure sufficient contrast between your text and the background, leave plenty of white space, and avoid placing text on top of images.
Use Visuals Effectively
If you want great web design, you must also use colors and images carefully. Since different colors evoke different emotions, selecting the right color palette and combinations for your online presence is very important.
A perfect color combination attracts users, while a poor combination can lead to distraction. I do not recommend overly vibrant or bright colors, as they annoy visitors.
It would be best if you were equally careful when using images. If you stand out and get noticed, you should use your images instead of relying on stock images. Always avoid low-quality photos, and ensure all your images are optimized to avoid slowing down your page load speed.
Studies show that website visitors spend more time on websites with simple navigation. Great web design focuses on simple and consistent navigation menus that make it easy and intuitive for site visitors to locate the content they are looking for.
For a better user experience, ensure site content is no more than three clicks away. Improve usability by designing clickable buttons that are easy and intuitive on mobile devices.
Final Thoughts on Creating a Great Website
Creating a great website for your business or product brand is more than being able to “build something quick” on WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, or Shopify. While these may seem like acceptable options to get an online presence quickly and easily, they will most likely not meet your business objectives for long.
When you started your business, you considered establishing an effective brand. You need to spend the same amount of time and energy to build a great website that will stand out and get noticed among your competitors.
Great web design doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of effort to ensure that the time, effort, and money you invested in building your website will pay off by attracting, engaging, and converting your intended target audience.
User experience is what needs to guide great web design and development. Keeping the basic principles of great web design in mind, any business owner or marketer can develop an aesthetic and functional website that will serve your short and long-term business objectives. Without that focus, you are likely to fail.
Design and optimization are two critical considerations that impact various user experience and usability aspects that are too often forgotten in search of an ‘affordable’ website. Don’t make the mistake of considering your web design costs simply as an expense. Instead, treat it like any other business investment and get the most out of it. We are here to help.
We Build Great Websites for Businesses and Product Brands
Then, if you believe we are a good fit for your small business web design needs, let’s talk! We offer a full range of consulting and design solutions for businesses and product brands.
And if you are still unsure how to improve user experience, let’s talk. We will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine how to build a user-friendly website for your business or product brand!
Did You Create a Great Website?
Did you create a great website that meets demanding user expectations? If so, how has this helped your brand meet its business objectives? What is your biggest obstacle in creating a successful website and online presence if not? Do you have other problems with great web design?
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For more content relevant to your business or product brand – check out the range of articles on our web design blog. (This one, explaining the importance of user experience in web design, is an excellent place to start!)
Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!