When you get down to it, business is competitive. If there’s an avenue you’re not using to your advantage, there’s a high chance your competitors are.
Your website is among the most important assets your company has, and it’s worthwhile doing everything in your power to boost conversion rates.
Here are 7 essential web design principles that’ll help you.
1. Hick’s Law
Hick’s Law, named after psychologist William Edmund Hick, says that the number of options available directly relates to the time spent making a decision.
The more options there are, the longer you’ll take to decide. (Ever noticed how much easier it is to order brunch from a small menu?
Boost your conversions by limiting the number of options available.
Keep this in mind both for your on-page design (how many links and buttons you have), how many options you include in your navigation bar, and having clear CTAs so users know what action you want them to take.
When applying Hick’s Law to your web design, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of the customer journey and design and build a website that factors that in. Each page should focus on one primary goal.
2. DON’T get creative
An important element of high converting websites is how intuitive it is to use.
There are certain things users have come to expect from websites: menus along the top, search bars, Home, About, and Services pages, and so on.
While it can be tempting to disrupt user patterns and do things wildly differently, it can lead to frustration for users trying to complete simple tasks on your site.
Use a predictable layout to allow users to do what they want to do quickly and easily.
That extra second they need to spend searching for that button on your site might be the second they decide they don’t need your product or service after all.
3. Be intentional with your colours
Colour can create an immediate emotional experience, even before the user has read a single word of the copy. (Check out our post on Colour Psychology for more info!) It’s more than emotion though, and it’s also more than branding.
Contrast can make or break the usability of your design. Use it to make sure headlines and CTAs stand out and text is readable. Fonts and buttons should also contrast highly with their surroundings.
Make your important buttons, links, and CTAs pop by using bright colours that aren’t used much on the rest of the page. Colour psychology is a whole thing in itself when it comes to boosting conversion rates.
In fact, it’s so important we wrote a whole article explaining how to use Colour Psychology in your marketing!
4. Make your value prop super obvious
Granted, this one is a team effort between the design team and the copywriter. Make sure your value prop and the branding and design are aligned, and also make sure it’s centrally placed so that visitors immediately see it and can read it easily.
If you’ve got a strongly written value proposition, use it in the header immediately followed by a CTA. It’s a bold move, assuming people who’ve only read one sentence on your site could be ready to convert, but ask and you shall receive.
Just kidding. Not acceptable for the workplace.
You might have come across the acronym already, ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid.’ Take it to heart, and use it as gospel. Apply this to EVERYTHING.
Whatever you want visitors to do, make it as simple and easy as possible.
Minimise the number of alternative options. Yes, like Hick’s Law, BUT ALSO:
- Minimise the difficulty of finding information.
- Minimise the amount of information they need to enter.
- Minimise the number of clicks required to complete the action (AKA minimise how many inner pages you have on your site).
6. Less is more. But more is also more. (Images that is)
Use fewer images. They might all be pretty, but too many are distracting.
The images that you DO use, should be larger, more impactful, and high quality, fuzzy images can cheapen your brand perception. You should also use images with faces to build familiarity. Our brains are hardwired to recognise and empathise with human faces.
If you are (or there is a person who is) the face of the brand, use photos of them. If not, use models ( or stock images if you must) that align with your brand personality or your target audience.
Use photos of your happy clients to boost the credibility of your testimonials.
7. Make sure it’s responsive.
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again, and we’ll keep saying it forever. People use a variety of devices these days. If you’re only designing for desktop, you’re missing out on a huge slice of the market.
Make sure your site is both pretty and functional on phones and tablets. Just do it.
8. Make sure it’s accessible.
The great thing about the world wide web is that people with disabilities face fewer barriers to communication and interaction.
That being said, there are still some things that designers should be aware of to avoid accidentally creating barriers to disabled users.
Make sure that everyone can access your content and services by including alt text on your images, transcripts for audio, and allow assistive technologies that mimic keyboards (e.g. speech input).
You can also check out this handy resource to review your website’s accessibility.
Don’t trust yourself to DIY a high converting website? Hand it over to some seasoned professionals. Get in touch today.