Do you remember the internet in the early 2000s?
Web design was still new back then, and we didn't have many tools to make sites look good. We've come a long way since then.
Internet users expect your site to look good today. Research shows that two-thirds of people prefer to read content on a website that looks good.
If you are new, then you might be wondering how to build a site for today's standards. Our post will give you a starting point.
Keep reading to learn seven tips that will help make your site a pleasant experience for everyone.
1. Don't Forget About Mobile
Phones have come a long way. They aren't limited to calls and texts anymore.
You should also make your content easily scan able, a strategy adopted by the best paid survey respondents online.
Much of internet use has moved to mobile. In 2018 mobile traffic made up half of all internet traffic.
You can't ignore mobile users anymore. You need to make use of responsive technology to change the look of your site to fit the user's screen size.
Many designer today focus on mobile first. Mobile design is more straightforward than a full page one. It's easier to add onto a design instead of subtracting from one.
The lack of space also forces you to keep things simple. You don't have much room to work with, so you need to make every pixel count.
2. Make Use of White Space
It's a simple concept, but many designers overlook it. Don't underestimate how white space can add to a design.
Not many people like clutter. If you don't give the elements on your page room to breathe, how does the user know what you want them to read?
White space isn't only dead space. You can use it to bring focus to the essential elements of your page.
You can make use of white space to separate sections of your site.
Take services, for instance. White space allows you to focus on each part of your business as they are reading about it.
You can also use white space to highlight text and create a hierarchy. You can use this practice on hero sections to separate page titles and less critical information.
3. Let Your Visitor Know What Your Main Content is About
A poorly designed site won't have a reasonable retention rate. You only have a few seconds to grab someone's attention. If your visitor doesn't know what to do when they land on your site, they will head somewhere else.
To make sure your visitors know what content you have to offer, always make sure it is above the fold.
You should also make your content easily scannable. A lot of users will scan a website before reading to see if your content interest them.
Break things up with headers so visitors will get a good idea about what they will read. If they see giant blocks of text, then you could lose them.
If you have any content that you don't need anymore and is still getting traffic, then you need to redirect users to the right page, so they aren't wasting time.
A WordPress or Squarespace redirect will point your visitors to the right page.
4. Keep Things Simple
It can be tempting to learn the newest tech. Everyone wants to see something cool, right?
You might get a few people who love it. But ask yourself if added complexity actually benefits your website visitors?
Most of the time, keeping things simple is what works best for your site.
Keeping things simple will help keep your website clean and uncluttered.
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This simplicity is what provides a pleasant experience that will make people want to come back.
5. Don't Let Your Website Grow in File Size
Just like your design should look good on mobile, it should also be small in size so your visitor can load your page quickly.
When a website takes more than a few seconds to load, then your bounce rate is going to go up.
To reduce the file size of your website, you need to optimize your code and images.
Use compression on your images to reduce their file sizes. You can also make use of vector graphics for logos and other art.
For your website code, use minification to reduce size.
When you minify your code, all your white space is automatically removed, and any variable names are replaced with one or two letters. This minification leads to a smaller file and a faster website.
6. Learn Existing Design Patterns
It's hard to find inspiration sometimes. But there are ways for you to work through it and come up with good designs.
Don't discount using existing work to come up with ideas. There are proven layouts and hierarchies you can use to build your website.
Find a design inspiration site to see what others are doing and the layouts that they use. You can learn these layouts by taking these designs and reproducing them yourself.
Keep doing it over and over until it's burned into your mind. This repetition will help you learn and will allow you to come up with new designs.
7. Make Use of Grids
If you try to do everything from scratch every time, then you are spending time doing work that was done already.
Page layouts are hard, and grids make them more accessible.
A grid is a flexible layout system that provides you rows and columns to lay your website out. Grid frameworks are also responsive. This functionality removes a lot of the work of making a responsive page.
Check out frameworks like Bootstrap and Foundation to see how they work. They could reduce the amount of work you do on your sites.
Make Sure to Keep Up With Web Design Trends
The web is evolving every year. There are more resources than ever to create great looking websites, so make sure you learn about the tools that can help you make a beautiful site. It's not easy, so make sure you put in the work to learn.
Are you curious about how you can use web design to help your digital marketing efforts? Head over to our blog for more articles on the subject!