When visitors look at your website, what do they see?
Can they quickly understand what your company does? Or how you can help them?
Can they find what they want in a few seconds?
If not, it may be time for a web design refresh.
An excellent design keeps the visitors glued to your website. Leading brands often spend a fortune on custom web designs that enhance user experience and help generate more conversions. The only problem is you have less than 50 milliseconds until the users form an opinion about your website.
If your website fails to make a good impression in 50 milliseconds, you will keep losing your potential customers. The last thing you want is to give away your potential customers to your competitors. To stop that from happening, you need to revamp your web design – pronto!
Here are twelve essential tips for improving your web design in 2022:
Table of Contents
1. Keep Your Design Simple
The most effective websites are often the simplest ones. Although, simplicity doesn’t necessarily mean a minimalist web design. It simply means removing all the junk from your content, code, and the design.
This brings you a ton of benefits, including:
- Fast loading speed
- Easy navigation
- Highly scannable content
- Quick website design and development
- Easy to find and troubleshoot bugs, if any
- Less server place, which saves money
- Timeless and universally appealing design
Given these benefits, going for simple custom web designs makes sense. A simple design makes it easy for your visitors to find the information they’re looking for without being distracted. In fact, many web design tools nowadays focus on creating simple, decluttered, and super-engaging web designs. So, keeping your design simple shouldn’t be a tough nut to crack.
2. Utilize Negative Space
Negative space, also known as “white space,” refers to the empty areas of your web page. Think of the space between graphics, columns, images, text, margins, and other elements.
Research shows that white space can improve comprehension by around 20%. In other words, including it in the design can help users understand your content better.
Essentially speaking, negative space:
- Organizes your content
- Makes text more readable
- Creates a balanced and clean brand image
- Get users’ attention to the focus elements
- Seamlessly adapts to different screen sizes
White space is a timeless trend in custom web designs. If anything, big brands like Apple love negative space. They have used it generously. The decluttered look immediately takes the user’s attention where it needs to be.
3. Use Color with Intention
The colors you use on your website can profoundly affect users’ perceptions and behavior. People love content. But colors are often the first thing they will notice on your website. That’s what grabs their attention first, so choosing the right color palette can work in your favor.
However, different colors evoke different emotions, making it necessary to choose colors that are in line with the feeling you want your website to convey. Colors like red, yellow and orange evoke warmth, while cool colors like blue, green and purple bring out calmness and tranquility.
On the other hand, neutral colors like grey and brown don’t create any emotions. Highly impactful custom web designs often take the color theory into account. You should also choose the colors suitable for your target audience.
4. Ensure Your Text is Easy to Read
If visitors can’t easily read the text on your website, they’re likely to leave in frustration. And with virtually unlimited options – many with better typography, they are less likely to return. That’s why your text needs to be spot-on.
There are a few things you can do to ensure your text is easy to read, such as:
- Choose a clean, simple font
- Use a large enough font size
- Contrast the color of your text with the background
- Try to use no more than three types of fonts
- Use the right amount of characters on each line
- Use a typeface that works effectively on all screen sizes
- Don’t minimize the space between letters
5. Strategically Add Keywords and Phrases
Keywords are the connecting link between your website and potential customers. Nearly two-thirds (68%) of online experiences begin with a search engine. Keywords are nothing but the phrases or words people use when searching online.
Research shows that the highest-ranking pages for one keyword also rank in the top 10 for about 1,000 other keywords. This means your website content needs to include different keywords naturally wherever possible.
When adding keywords and phrases, remember to:
- Prioritize, with the focus keyword at the front and center
- Optimize for the keywords your target audience is searching for
- Include your target keywords in the title, meta description, and even URLs
- Create an FAQ page and on-site blog to optimize for voice search and phrases
- Be sure important content gets indexed
6. Optimize Your Images
Images are an essential part of any website, but they need to be optimized for the web. The first step in image optimization is choosing the right file format. PNG and JPEG are the most commonly used file types for static images, while GIF format works best for animations.
There are also next-gen image formats like WebP and JPEG-XR. They offer advanced image compression without affecting the quality. Google recommends using these formats, and they also improve your local SEO.
Furthermore, consider compressing the images as it helps them load faster. There are two common compression types, lossy compression, and lossless compression. While the lossy compression cuts down image size significantly, it also affects image quality. On the other hand, lossless compression prioritizes quality over file size.
Finally, add descriptive “alt” text to all images, including banner images. Search engines will rely on it to understand what the image is about. This will also make the images more accessible to visually impaired users.
7. Include Calls to Action
A call to action (CTA) is a button or link that encourages users to take a specific action like signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. Visible placed CTAs can help increase conversions by giving visitors an easy way to take the next step.
Try to put the following into action when creating CTAs for your website.
- Use practical language
- Use actionable words
- Create a sense of urgency
- Keep it short
- Be consistent
8. Consider Ease of Navigation
The navigation menu is one of the most critical elements of your website. It should be easy for visitors to find their way around, even if they are unfamiliar with your site. It’s no surprise navigation is at the heart of successful custom web designs.
Whether you choose a hamburger menu or a sidebar, visitors should easily find what they want. So, keeping it simple should be the right place to start.
But this would also include:
- Streamlining the content
- Mapping out a navigational hierarchy
- Making hypertext obvious
- Keeping sidebars separate
- Prioritize the menu per your business needs
9. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 54.4% of global website traffic in the last quarter of 2021.
Moreover, Google is already using mobile-first ranking and indexing for all websites.
This means you need to optimize your website for mobile devices.
Responsive website design and development boils down to ensuring seamless user experience across all devices. If a user switches from a laptop to a smartphone, they can still access your website.
In other words, if your website isn’t responsive, you will need to redesign it. There are many online tools for testing how responsive your web design is. Make sure to run your website through these tests first and take the necessary steps accordingly.
10. Use Social Media Buttons
Social media buttons make it easy for visitors to share your content with their followers. This can help increase traffic to your website and generate more leads. For example, customers often like to share a product or purchase with their followers/friends on social media. With social media buttons, they can quickly spread the word.
This also helps your customers share their views/feedback on social media. Because these reviews include photos and customer names, they effectively build trust with your target audience. The bottom line is – add social media buttons to your website as soon as possible.
11. Add an Email Newsletter Sign-Up Form
You should also add an email newsletter signup form to your website. This is a great way to stay in touch with your audience and keep them updated on your latest news and offerings. Newsletters also tend to get more opens and clicks.
Most custom web designs include the signup form as part of their CTA. But ecommerce websites can add to the checkout process or confirmation email. You can also opt to place the signup form at the end of your blog posts with a responsive button. Visitors interested in your content can sign up for the newsletter.
12. Never Stop Testing Your Website
A regular website health check is necessary to ensure everything is working properly. Besides, a website is more like an evolving piece of your brand voice. It requires constant updates as there is always room for improvement. So, keep testing it regularly.
This includes checking for broken links, testing forms, CTAs, and making sure your site loads quickly. Directly linked to user experience, these factors will affect your local search engine rankings. If you see one of these factors going off the charts, investigate, analyze, and implement a suitable solution.
You need a user-friendly website for running a successful business today. It helps you generate not only online sales but also in-store footfalls. That’s where a user-friendly UX design comes in. If you follow this twelve-step web design improvement plan, your website can enjoy more traffic, leads, and conversions.
Watermark Design is a full-service website design and development company. Our experts can help you with virtually all your digital needs ranging from web designing to hosting.