Can a visitor see what your business does within 5 seconds of entering your site? Can users easily navigate to your blog if necessary? Are your prices displayed? Is your website’s response rate low?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, it might be time to rethink how you have designed and optimized your website.
A website is only as immeasurable as its design, which contributes to the user experience and functionality of the site and complements the content appropriately.
However, a successful website needs to balance high-performing content and a great user experience.
Even if you’ve written excellent content for your blog or service website, the last thing you want is poor design, navigation, confusing layout, and missed conversion opportunities.
However, user experience on a website is so broad that it can be challenging to understand it all and identify the key points that need to be addressed.
So what do you need to do to start improving your web design?
The answer to this question is 5 tips to help you make sure you’re on the right track with your website redesign and that you’re not putting off visitors.
1| Have a plan
Now that you know you need to redesign your website, it’s time to go back in time and make a plan to do it.
Start by tracking your customer’s journey from when they first visit your site to when they become customers.
Think about which pages they visit, which content they read, and which offers they convert on. Once you understand this, you can design your site to nurture leads throughout the sales funnel.
I’ve always liked Leadfeeder’s customer journey maps. It may not be as illustrative as theirs, but the idea is clear. What do users do when they visit your site, and what do those who become customers and those who don’t have in common?
If it’s difficult to gather this kind of data or don’t have a CRM system, you can ask your customers. Ask them to give you 15-30 minutes of their time to ask a few questions (or give them a $10 gift card to Starbucks or Amazon as a thank you). Conduct as many interviews as possible, but don’t overdo it.
Then use the data to develop a strategy. This will help you identify the key touchpoints on your site and the areas where your users are interacting.
You should identify the emotions, thoughts, goals, pain points, and opportunities that each touchpoint should provoke through these touchpoints.
The responses to these proposals will help familiarize your design process. Do you have an idea of how you would like these areas to address to suit your taste? What about specific color schemes? As you begin to draft out your consumer journey, you can answer these questions and enhance your design.
2| Remove interference and reduce friction
Some elements on your website can detract from the value and message you are trying to convey. Complex animations, overly long content, and bulky images on the site are just a few examples.
If you need to apprehend an audience’s attention that only has eight seconds to do so, you need to clarify what they can expect on the page they are viewing and make sure the design does not detract from that.
Start by creating a set of consistent brand guidelines.
These guidelines should detail the use of fonts, colors, images, icons, and logos. Without these guidelines, brands will have a hard time designing pages. Random color schemes and different font styles and sizes can distract from the message and confuse the visual perception of those trying to convert.
It is also important not to use too many animations or interactions on the page. If you are scrolling through a page and all the buttons are pulsing, or each part of the icons has its energy, it can be overwhelming and keep people from reading what is on the page.
Take the website below as an example. Note that the brand logo has been removed from the image for anonymity, as this is a review.
The first thing I noticed when viewing this site was the colors.
First of all, the use of colors makes it difficult for the user to decide where to look: which of the two red buttons to look at? What about the Hello bar? Or is it the top navigation?
We must be transparent about where we want to draw the user’s attention when he comes to the page and in what order that attention should naturally flow. The simultaneous arrangement of colors creates friction points to achieve this.
Second, the spacing is inconsistent. The hover in the Hello bar (“you!”) creates a second line, but this can easily be corrected by increasing the container’s width around the text. The H1 is also not exactly in the vertical center of the white space, which draws attention to the “problem” rather than the main message.
A (not very contextual) button runs in the grey area below the header and is tucked away above the image, as it were. As a user, I wonder if it assumes that there is space underneath or if it is directly related to the idea. Did the page load badly? Internal discussions like this cause friction and confusion.
So let’s look at a page that provides a better user experience and meets our brand guidelines.
The example above is from IT company Communication Square. At first glance, the site looks much cleaner, with fewer bright colors and white space.
In terms of color, we like that Communication Square has split the buttons into two colors: one for low priority actions at the top and in the middle of the tunnel (blue) and one for activities at the bottom of the tunnel. (orange). As a result, my eye instantly goes to the orange color, for which I would like to see more critical actions.
The font also has a coherent look. There is only one font family, and it appears to be either light, medium, or bold. It creates a sense of unity, and everything fits together nicely.
The image of the hero is not always distracting. The hero image is not too detailed and masked with a white overlay so that the content stands out without being lost in the picture.
Such details can affect the overall look of the site, as it allows users to see better what you want them to do and not get confused.
3| Add Social Proof
When most people shop on Amazon, they are drawn to products with 4-5 star reviews written by people who have used the product.
These reviews give us confidence that the product will deliver what it promises and what we need and buy it.
It can achieve the same effect with your product, service, or website. Studies have shown that when users see an impressive testimonial from a natural person, they are 58% more likely to buy your product.
Instead of randomly placing all the videos next to each other, Upland separated them and added a caption and a sentence explaining the result or benefit the customer received by working with them. Now users have context for what they hear in the videos.
I also like that a few of the videos show thumbnails of the people speaking, visually reassuring the user that they are likely to hear the client themselves rather than watching a video with text.
If you’re not already equipped with video recordings like Upland, you probably have a case study page where you can detail all the things you’ve done to help your customers.
Each card is produced with an image that shows the company members, which is much more reliable than using stock photos or just a picture of their logo.
And because they have five pages of references, they added a filter at the top of the page that allows users to categorize what type of industry or solution they’re looking for. Now users can more quickly search for case studies that interest them.
Finally, if your site contains only text references without case studies, there are some considerations when designing it.
For example, you can’t just post a set of text references and a name. These are less likely to be considered genuine, as users will be interested in what company they work for, their role, and how visible this person looks (for visual confirmation that this person is probably accurate).
In their case, they use Twitter reviews, but you can easily supplement this layout with something that doesn’t use the Twitter feed.
Regardless of whether they come from Twitter, this section has several positives. First, thanks to the interest-based layout, many reviews can be viewed at once.
Second, the testimonials include pictures and names of people/companies, making the reviews much more legitimate.
Regarding places to put testimonials on your website, I always recommend a home page, service pages, and a dedicated testimonials page to include in your navigation. Each of these pages is the best point of contact for people learning more about your business or considering a purchase.
If authentic, testimonials will improve the experience of your website and build trust with your potential customers before they become customers.
4| Introduce Calls to Action
Once visitors arrive on your website (likely via a blog or homepage), you need to direct them to places on the site that will help them convert. People are lazy, so make it easy for them. Point them in the proper control, so they don’t have to do a detailed search for what they’re looking for.
One of the best ways to improve site design with this in mind is to use strategically placed calls to action, such as in the top right corner of the navigation, below sections that require effort, and at the bottom of site pages.
However, don’t lose sight of the buyer’s journey. It’s easy to flood users on your website with as many bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) calls to action as possible wherever they go, but if someone isn’t ready to buy, they probably won’t take any action at all.
Instead, you need to meet the user where they are, based on the page they are currently viewing.
For example, if a website tells them about the material used to make a custom cabinet, that person is more likely to stay informed and aware of their problem. Instead of confronting them with a “contact us” call to action, give them a call to review a comprehensive guide to custom cabinet-making materials. They’re more likely to convert because it’s their current problem.
| Key results
If you take the time to apply these tips to your website, it can significantly improve your website performance, usage, and customer conversion. However, once you put some of these tips into practice, you may think that the more significant project ahead of you is refreshing your website with a redesign.
While it’s undoubtedly a more intimidating project, you’re not the only one who has thought of this idea. Whether you’re unsure if you should do a website redesign or want to get an idea of what it entails, I encourage you to download this guide and keep it in your pocket.
It will give you a much better recognition of what needs to be done when a website redesign comes up in your organization, and you’ll be more confident about what needs to be done. If you are looking for a web designer there are many web development companies that can help in designing your websites.