Designing a website can be fun for some, yet seem tedious and unimportant to others. This is how we get the difference between well-designed and badly designed sites. You can see who put in more effort into the visual appeal of their website, and who simply wanted some mild version of an online presence.
With the modern age of technology and the digital-based lives which many now lead, the visual design of a website has become a much more important factor to consider, and ensuring that your website is visually appealing can create a much better visitor to customer conversion rate. So what are the exact reasons for great visual website design?
While the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” may have some great teachings morally, when it comes to visiting a website, in most cases, people will do exactly that - judge the credibility of the website based on the way it looks. First impressions matter, and the design of your website plays a major role in the way that people perceive your brand.
The first impression is often the deciding factor as to whether they will stay on your website or look elsewhere, so designing your website well will provide a better chance for you to retain customers and create a lasting impression. Other than that, when it comes to the visual design of a website, you need to consider that not all of your customers have access to fast internet, which can increase loading times and potentially lead to client loss. A study by Internet Advisor showed that only 71% of American households have high speed internet.
On the note of retaining customers and brand credibility, another aspect which will improve your chances of actually keeping visitors interested is consistency. Bad websites are inconsistent with brand messages, as well as are often inconsistent in terms of the physical design; you know, all the fonts and colours? All that stuff. When you are trying to portray your brand as consistently as possible (to deliver a brand personality which resonates in everything that you do), this, of course, should also be reflected on your website.
It not only feels great to create a consistent brand image, but customers will feel familiarity when visiting your site, allowing you to build trusted relationships and give them comfort when interacting with your brand. Brand consistency has always played a big part in success for brands, this isn’t anything new, the same concept just needs to be applied digitally as well.
Usually, well-designed websites go hand-in-hand with great navigation. When users visit your website, they want a clear view of where they need to go, to get what they want from being on the website. And they want the process of actually getting what they want to be simple and unobstructed.
A well-designed website will offer them an easy way to find where they are going, and get them there without anything getting in the way. If a user has to search for too long through multiple different pages of your website just to try and find something simple, chances are they will leave and look elsewhere. (Have you started to notice the pattern? Good design = good user retention, bad design = users leaving your website).
On the note of navigation with good design, we should point out that creating a good website design is also knowing when to stop designing. You don’t want to over-design to try and stand out as much as possible, as this can often create a complicated environment for users to navigate and again, they will probably leave your website. As we said before, the route to where they want to go on your website should be clear and easy to find, with nothing stopping them from getting there quickly and efficiently.
On top of the actual interactions with your website, there are many design elements and practices which can actually affect whether or not your website is even displayed to users. This is something which will be very important from the get-go, and will determine how difficult your fight for visibility will be in the future. There are a few different things which can affect SEO strategies and your site’s statistics but, for the purpose of this article, we’ll look at the importance of two website design aspects which affect it: design elements and code.
Firstly, web design elements and practices have a direct effect on the way that you will be publishing content onto your website. This will obviously determine the interactions which your website has with search engine software and how this software will index your site. So design elements therefore play a role in determining if your website is even seen by users at all, let alone their actions when interacting with it.
Secondly, the code of your website also needs to be considered. To put it simply, your website code needs to be SEO-friendly as it has a direct impact on SEO indexing. When you choose a web designer, make sure that they understand the importance of SEO-friendly code. In most cases, those who understand this importance will also be able to design a good website for you, but be sure to do your research first just in case.
Alex Williams of Hosting Data found that changing colors makes a huge difference. On his blog he experimented with changing font colors, background images and even the icons on various buttons. Results showed anywhere from a small 3% change to a 40% change with button size and icon having the biggest results.
As you can see, great web design plays a big role in both customer retention as well as SEO. Great web design not only allows you to deliver a consistent brand message that people can trust, but gives your website a better chance of actually being found in the first place. While some might look the other way if your website is designed badly, in most cases, people will not appreciate an outdated or visually unappealing design. So, try to do the best that you can when strategizing for web design. It may seem unimportant to you individually, but when it comes down to it, well designed websites are the ones that thrive in the digital age in which we live.