First impressions matter more than you might think.
When a visitor lands on your website for the first time, he or she makes a split-second judgment about the design. In fact, three-quarters of consumers say they base their impression of a company’s credibility on its web design. Furthermore, 94% of first impressions are based exclusively on layout & design. Before your visitor reads any copy, they already have an impression of your company. That’s why it’s essential to follow website design best practices that directly impact conversions. You don’t just want your website to look beautiful. You want it to function!
5 Website Design Best Practices
1. Use consistent branding throughout the site
People often misunderstand how branding works. They’re are not aware of how website design influences conversions. Before you embark upon a web design project, decide what story you want to tell. Base website visuals on your brand values, beliefs, and target audience.
2. White Space
White space — also called negative space — gives website elements room to “breathe”. If you group items too close together, you risk overwhelming visitors and convincing them to click away. When you’re designing your website, use margins and padding to increase space between images, copy, and other elements. Using white space effectively is stimulating on the eye.
3. Compress images as much as possible
According to MachMetrics, a site speed monitoring service, the ideal website load time is just 3 seconds. However, based on industry averages, most websites load much slower than that.
Compressing images is one of the best methods we have found. Not only should you upload images that are no larger than what the screen size demands, but you should also compress them after uploading.
Several WordPress plugins exist for this purpose, including Smush. It’s a lightweight, handy tool for getting your pages to load faster, especially if you use lots of images.
4. Add breadcrumbs
Think of your website as a map with lots of disparate destinations. Your visitors can land on any destination based on how they arrived, but they also want to know where they are. Breadcrumbs are like those signs at the mall that say “You Are Here.” They tell you where your current page falls in the site’s navigation.
Breadcrumbs become even more important on e-commerce websites. If you have dozens or even hundreds of nested categories, you don’t want your visitors to get lost. When they can’t find what they want, they’ll search for it elsewhere.
5. Use colour and contrast
Contrast helps certain website elements stand out from the rest. If you want your users to convert on an offer, make sure you’re using greater contrast on those specific areas.