Research Backs 10 Highly Effective Web Design Tips
Web design tips can be found all over the Internet. Many people have different ideas about what the ideal website should look like. Design is subjective to some extent. One person might like something, while another might find it hideous.
Web design is crucial for a website’s success. Nearly half of the people believe that web design is the most important factor in determining a company’s credibility. It also has an impact on conversions, bounce rates, and many other factors.
It would be so nice to have objective data about how to design a website that is successful. There is! This article has a lot of it. Keep reading for web design tips that are backed up by science. Don’t rely on gut instinct, do what is proven to work.
Use science-based web design tips to crush your next website project
The following will provide some research-based tips to help you improve your web design.
Site speed should be a top priority
Speed is an important fact in web design. Research shows speed has an impact on everything, from bounce rate to user satisfaction to conversions or revenue.
Visitors will leave if your site is not fast enough. Period. Search engines care because users care and include page loading speeds in their ranks. It is important to make your website as fast as possible.
Use the Fold to your advantage
The debate about whether or not the fold exists is heated. Some argue that the fold is irrelevant due to the variety of screen sizes. Others may disagree.
The fact is, people still spent 57% of their time above the fold in 2018. This trend continues to decline after that. 74% of their time is spent on the first screenful.
It seems that the fold is still important. This means that your website must prioritize your content and make use of the space available to draw users in to continue. Here are some ways to do this:
Give your visitors a clear, descriptive headline. Highlight the site’s benefits and explain what it can do. Use power terms and be concise. Our copywriting tips will provide more guidance.
Include your main call-to-action — The fold is where you should start the user journey to increase conversion rates. Your CTA should be clear and easily visible.
Include media – Images, videos or audio help emphasize your point. Below, we will discuss more visual content.
You can find more amazing examples of these practices in this article.
Hick’s Law: Take advantage
Hick’s Law says that more options an individual has mean they will take longer to make a decision.
This phenomenon is actually the subject of a fascinating study. In it, people were offered more or fewer jam options to choose from in a supermarket. The results showed that those with more options were less likely to buy jam than those with fewer choices.
This is a great idea for your website. You might be able to boost conversions by restricting the choices you offer users.
There are many other ways to reduce overwhelm and get users to make the decisions they want. An ebook is available.
Keep it simple
This applies to all aspects of your design, in keeping with the theme “less is more”. Google conducted a huge study that found that people don’t like visual complexity. Visitors are less likely to perceive your design as beautiful if it is too complex.
What does this mean for your website? Here are some ideas, in addition to the above:
Think about the sidebar – More websites are moving away from sidebars to single-column designs (e.g. the one you’re currently on). This design eliminates distractions and focuses on the content.
Stick with standard layouts – People like familiarity and can be confused by non-standard designs. It can be a good idea not to change from familiar layouts or design tropes. There are still ways to stand out.
Avoid Sliders, Carousels, Tabs, and Accordions
Carousels are a favorite feature of website owners. This is probably the most requested feature by clients. However, research shows that they are quite ineffective.
Notre Dame University has some of the most amazing data. There was a webmaster who noticed that the first slide of a carousel received nearly 90 percent of clicks, while the rest were mostly ignored.
Ninety percent! It doesn’t seem like the other slides are worth having, does it? It seems like web designers who convince clients to use a slider have it all wrong.
Tabs and accordions share the same problem as sliders or carousels. They are often ignored. The fact that very few people actually read the whole page is another factor. Most people only scan, so they are less likely to click on your content.
But what if the information in these areas needs to be included somehow? This is exactly what we are doing right now.
Prioritize Scrolling Over Clicking
If you can’t compress information into accordions or sliders, how do you present it? All the information should be on one page. It works.
Crazy Egg has a compelling case study to support this claim. Their original sales page was simple and short. They now have a 20-fold longer one.
Conversions increased by 30% This is nothing to be ashamed of.
It seems that users prefer scrolling to click more than clicking. If you’re currently spreading information about your product on many pages, it might be time to reconsider.
Direct Attention using Visual Cues
Web design’s main function is to help users. This can be done by assigning different weights to different elements and directing the focus to where you want it.
You can use visual cues that are more specific to accomplish this. You can take advantage of the fact people tend to look in the exact same direction that they see in advertisements.
You can see that more people are reading what the baby is looking at than when he was looking at the camera. This is a real phenomenon and you can use it to direct your attention to the areas you need most.
You don’t need to be subtle in directing attention. Sometimes, it’s better to be direct. In one study researchers tested the effects against a simple arrow that pointed at stuff.
Take Pictures of People (but Avoid Stock Photos)
They can be used to draw attention and include images of other people on your website. People like to be connected to others, both in real life and online. This is why we have pages on our blogs.
This is evident in a case study from Basecamp. Their conversions increased by 102.5 percent after they switched from a text-based landing site to one that featured a large photograph of a person as the background.
Simple, but very effective. One caveat is that stock photos can easily negate the effect. A Nielsen Norman Group study showed that we are quite adept at recognizing generic images and tuning them to our liking.
If you plan to include images of people on your website, ensure they are authentic and true. Include customers and staff. Say no to stock.