13 web design best practices to follow in 2023
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Website Design Best Practices for 2023: Simplifying Your Site
Creating a website isn’t just about making it look nice. You have to think about how people will use it and how enjoyable their experience will be. Imagine having to decide if you like a website in just a few seconds – that’s how quickly web visitors judge your site!
When you’re working on your own site’s design, remember that it’s not just about the colours and pictures. It’s about making things easy to use and fun to interact with. Think about this: it takes people around 5 to 15 seconds to decide if they want to stay on your site. That’s less time than it takes to read a sentence!
Your website is like the heart of your online business. People will visit it to learn about your company and find important info. That’s why your website’s design matters so much. When people land on your site, they’ll judge your business based on how it looks. If your site is confusing or messy, they might leave right away.
Even tiny changes on your website can affect how many people actually buy something or do what you want them to do. Since your website is so important, it’s crucial to follow the best practices for designing it.
Every year, there are new things to learn about website design. It’s always changing! To make your website great, you need a solid plan that’s based on testing and research. This way, your visitors and even Google will like your site.
Remember, design isn’t just about looks. It also helps people move around your site, read what you wrote, and do things like buy your products. So, even though design might not seem super important, it really is when it comes to your online success.
That’s why we’re talking about some of the best practices for designing a website on this page. We want to help you make the most of your site and get great results. By following these guidelines, your site will have a great user interface, be easy to use, look good, and bring in more web users.
Why Web Design Best Practices Are So Important
When you design a website, you are not just creating a visual representation of your business. You are also creating an experience for your visitors. And the way your website looks and feels can have a big impact on how visitors perceive your brand.
That’s why it’s important to follow web design best practices. Here are some of the reasons why web design best practices are so important:
- They help you create a positive first impression. When people visit your website for the first time, they will form an impression of your business based on its design. If your website is well-designed, it will make a positive impression and encourage people to stay and learn more about your business.
- They make your website easy to use. A well-designed website is easy to navigate and use. This means that visitors can find what they are looking for quickly and easily, which will make them more likely to stay on your website and take action.
- Responsive. Your website should look good and function properly on all devices, including computers, tablets, and smartphones.
- They help you improve your search engine ranking. Search engines like Google use factors like website design to determine where your website will appear in search results. By following web design best practices, you can improve your website’s ranking and make it more visible to potential customers.
- They help you build trust and credibility. A well-designed website can help you build trust and credibility with potential customers. When people see that you have taken the time to create a professional and well-designed website, they will be more likely to trust your business.
If you are serious about growing your business, then it is important to follow web design best practices. By doing so, you can create a website that will help you attract more visitors, convert more leads, and grow your business.
Best web practices to implement
Establish your target audience
Before you start designing your website, you need to know who you are designing for. This is called your target audience. Your target audience is the group of people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services.
To define your target audience, you need to collect information about them, such as their:
- Pain points
Once you have a good understanding of your target audience, you can start designing your website with them in mind. Here are some things to keep in mind when designing for your target audience:
- Use language that they will understand.
- Use images and videos that appeal to them.
- Make sure your website is easy to navigate.
- Provide the information they are looking for.
By designing for your target audience, you can create a website that is more likely to attract and retain visitors.
Use Consistent branding.
When you design your website, it is important to use consistent branding. This means using the same fonts, colours, and logos throughout your website. This will help your visitors to recognize your brand and remember it.
Here are some tips for using consistent branding on landing pages of your website:
- Use your logo prominently on your website. Your logo should be easy to find and should be used consistently throughout your website.
- Choose a colour palette that is consistent with your brand. Your colour palette should be used throughout your website, including in your logo, your text, and your images.
- Use a limited number of fonts on your website. This will help to create a cohesive look and feel.
- Make sure your typography is consistent throughout your website. Your headings, body text, and buttons should all use the same font and size.
By following these tips, you can create a website that uses consistent branding. This will help your visitors to recognize your brand and remember it, which can lead to increased sales and conversions.
Create a style guide
A website style guide is a document that defines the visual elements of your website, such as your colour scheme, fonts, and images. It is important to create a style guide to ensure that your website has a consistent look and feel.
When creating a style guide, you should include the following information:
- Colour scheme: The colours you will use on your website.
- Fonts: The fonts you will use on your website.
- Image style: The style of images you will use on your website.
- Typography: The way you will format your text on your website.
- Layout: The overall layout of your website.
- Button style: The style of buttons you will use on your website.
- Other elements: Any other visual elements that you will use on your website.
You can create a style guide in a Word document, a Google Doc, or a design software program. Once you have created your style guide, you should share it with everyone who works on your website. This will help to ensure that everyone is using the same visual elements and that your website has a consistent look and feel.
Use Design conventions
When designing a website, it’s important to use design conventions. These are the common practices that people have come to expect from websites. By using design conventions, you can make your website more user-friendly and easier to navigate.
Here are some of the most important design conventions to follow:
- Place the navigation bar at the top or left of the page. This is where people expect to find it, so it’s important to keep it consistent.
- Use clear and concise language. Don’t use jargon or technical terms that your users might not understand.
- Use high-quality images and videos. Images and videos can help break up text and make your website more visually appealing.
- Make sure your website is responsive. This means that it will look good and function properly on all devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
- Test your website with users. Get feedback from real people to make sure your website is easy to use and understand.
By following these design conventions, you can create a website that is user-friendly and effective.
Opt for simple navigation
When designing your website, it’s important to make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for. This means having a simple and clear website navigation system.
Here are some tips for creating simple navigation:
- Use clear and concise language. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that your visitors might not understand.
- Use a logical structure. Your navigation should be organised in a way that makes sense to your visitors.
- Use consistent terminology. Use the same terms throughout your navigation, so visitors know what to expect.
- Keep it simple. Don’t overload your navigation with too many options.
- Use visual cues. Use icons, colours, and other visual cues to help visitors understand your navigation.
- Test your navigation with real people. Get feedback from users to make sure your navigation is easy to use.
By following these tips, you can create a simple and effective navigation system that will help your visitors find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.
Use responsive design
Responsive design is a way of designing websites so that they can be viewed well on any device, from desktop computers to smartphones. This is important because more and more people are using their mobile devices to access the internet.
When you use responsive design, your website will automatically adjust its layout and content to fit the screen size of the device it is being viewed on. This means that users will have a good experience no matter what device they are using.
There are many benefits to using responsive design. Here are a few:
- It improves the user experience. Users will be able to easily navigate your website and find the information they are looking for, regardless of the device they are using.
- It increases your website’s reach. Since more and more people are using their mobile devices to access the internet, responsive design will help you reach a wider audience.
- It improves your search engine ranking. Google and other search engines prefer websites that are mobile-friendly. By using responsive design, you can improve your website’s ranking in search results.
If you are thinking about redesigning your website, I recommend using responsive design. It is a good investment that will benefit your website in the long run.
Enhance Your Website with Visual Elements
Visual elements are like the superheroes of your website – they grab people’s attention and make your web pages exciting. While web pages full of text might feel boring, adding graphics and photos can turn browsing into an adventure!
A simple trick to make your site more interesting is to mix in pictures and graphics with your writing. These cool visuals catch people’s eyes and keep them scrolling through your content. When picking pictures, remember they should match your content and brand identity. Instead of generic stock photos, use real photos of your team, work, and products. This gives your site a genuine touch.
You could also team up with a designer to make special graphics or infographics. These add a unique twist to your site. Visual elements aren’t just cool to look at, though. They also help break up the text, making your site easy to read. Plus, they help customers imagine how they’d use your products.
But there’s a small challenge here. If you use too many big images, your site might take longer to load. People expect websites to load within two seconds. If they wait longer, they might leave. To fix this, you can shrink image sizes using tools like Kraken. This keeps quality high and load times quick.
Now, let’s talk about the best practices for website visuals:
- Pick the Right Images: Choose good images when you’re planning your site. Avoid generic ones and use clear photos of your stuff or team. This helps build trust.
- Responsive and Compressed: Make sure images adjust to different devices. Also, compress them to keep your site speedy. Add alt text for SEO and accessibility.
- Animations: Animations are fun, but don’t use huge files. They could slow down your site.
- Keep It Fresh: If your business changes with seasons, swap out images to show what’s new.
- Superpower of Videos: If you can, add videos. They boost conversions and make your site more engaging. Google loves videos, too, so you might rank higher.
Remember, visuals are like the secret sauce that makes your site stand out. So, don’t shy away from using them to create an awesome browsing experience!
Check your readability
Check Your Readability
When designing your website, it’s important to make sure that the text is easy to read. This means using clear fonts, a good contrast between the text and background colours, and short paragraphs.
Use Clear Fonts
The fonts you choose can have a big impact on readability. Avoid using too many different fonts, and stick to simple fonts that are easy to read. Sans serif fonts are generally easier to read than serif fonts.
Use a Good Contrast
The text and background colours should have a good contrast so that the text is easy to read. You can use a tool like Colour Contrast Checker to test the contrast of your colours.
Use Short Paragraphs
Paragraphs should be no more than 3-4 sentences long. This will make it easier for readers to scan the text and find the information they’re looking for.
Other Tips for Improving Readability
- Use headings and subheadings to break up the text and make it easier to skim.
- Use bullet points or numbered lists to make the text easier to read.
- Use images to break up the text and make it more visually appealing.
- Use white space to make the text easier to read.
By following these tips, you can make sure that the text on your website is easy to read and understand. This will improve the user experience and help you achieve your marketing goals.
Use White Space to Break Up Text and Other Elements
White space is the empty space around text, images, and other elements on a page. It’s often called “negative space” because it’s not actually filled with anything. However, white space is an important part of web design because it can help to make your website more readable, organised, and visually appealing.
Here are some of the benefits of using white space in web design:
- It makes your text easier to read. When there’s too much text on a page, it can be difficult to scan and find the information you’re looking for. White space can help to break up the text and make it easier to read.
- It improves the readability of your website. White space can help to create a clear visual hierarchy of information on your website. This makes it easier for website visitors to understand what’s important and where to find it.
- It makes your website more visually appealing. White space can help to create a sense of balance and harmony on your website. It can also help to focus attention on the most important elements on the page.
Here are some tips for using white space effectively in web design:
- Use a variety of font sizes and weights to create visual interest.
- Use images and other visuals to break up the text.
- Use white space around your CTAs (call to actions) to make them stand out.
- Don’t be afraid to use white space around your header and footer. This will help to create a clean and organised look for your website.
By following these tips, you can use white space to make your website more readable, organised, and visually appealing. This will help to improve the user experience and encourage visitors to stay on your site longer.
Write strong calls to action
- Make it clear what you want the user to do. Your CTA should be specific and actionable. Don’t just say “Click here.” Instead, say something like “Sign up for our newsletter” or “Download our free ebook.”
- Use strong action verbs. Words like “click,” “download,” and “subscribe” are more likely to get people to take action than words like “learn” or “explore.”
- Make it relevant to the user. The CTA should be relevant to the content that the user is currently viewing. For example, if the user is reading a blog post about how to lose weight, the CTA should be something like “Sign up for our free weight loss guide.”
- Keep it short and simple. People are more likely to click on a CTA that is short and to the point. Avoid using long sentences or complicated language.
- Use strong visuals. A well-designed CTA button can help to increase click-through rates. Use bright colours, clear fonts, and concise text.
- Place it prominently. The CTA should be placed in a prominent location on the page. Avoid burying it in text or making it difficult to find.
- Test different variations. The best way to find out what works best for your website is to test different variations of your CTAs. Try different colours, fonts, and placements to see what gets the best results.
Here are some examples of strong CTAs:
- Sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off your next purchase.
- Download our free ebook and learn how to lose weight fast.
- Get a free consultation with one of our experts.
- Call us today to learn more about our services.
- Subscribe now and get exclusive access to our members-only content.
By following these tips, you can write strong calls to action that will help you convert more visitors into customers.
Optimise your website for search engine optimisation (SEO)
Optimise Your Website for Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving your website so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This means that when people search for keywords related to your website, your website will show up higher in the results.
There are many things you can do to optimise your website for SEO, but some of the most important include:
- Using relevant keywords throughout your website. When people search for keywords, search engines will look for websites that have those keywords on them. So, make sure to use relevant keywords in your website’s title, meta descriptions, headers, and body copy.
- Creating high-quality content. Search engines want to show people the best results for their searches, so they look for websites that have high-quality content. This means content that is informative, well-written, and relevant to the user’s search query.
- Making your website mobile-friendly. More and more people are using their phones and tablets to search the web, so it’s important to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. This means that your website should look good and be easy to use on a mobile device.
- Building backlinks. Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. When other websites link to your website, it tells search engines that your website is a valuable resource. So, try to get backlinks from other websites in your industry.
By following these tips, you can optimise your website for SEO and improve your chances of ranking high in SERPs.
Here are some additional tips for optimising your website for SEO:
- Use a responsive design. A responsive design means that your website will automatically adjust its layout to fit the size of the screen it is being viewed on. This is important for SEO because it ensures that your website will be accessible to users on all devices, including mobile phones and tablets.
- Optimise your images. Images can slow down your website’s loading time, which can hurt your SEO. To avoid this, use lightweight image file formats and add descriptive alt text to all of your images.
- Keep your website up-to-date. Search engines prefer websites that are updated regularly. So, make sure to add new content to your website on a regular basis.
- Use social media. Social media can be a great way to promote your website and drive traffic to it. So, make sure to share your website’s content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
By following these tips, you can optimise your website for SEO and improve your chances of ranking high in SERPs. This will help you to attract more visitors to your website and grow your business.
Keep improving by A/B testing
Once your website is published, don’t stop there! Keep testing it to make sure it’s working as well as it can. A/B testing is a great way to do this.
A/B testing is when you show two different versions of a web page to different visitors and see which one performs better. This can be used to test different things, like the headline, the call to action, or the images on the landing page.
To do A/B testing, you’ll need to:
- Choose a page to test.
- Decide what you want to test.
- Create two versions of the page, each with one change.
- Show the two pages to different visitors.
- Track the results to see which page performs better.
A/B testing can be a lot of work, but it’s worth it. By testing different design elements of your website, you can find out what works best and improve your results.
Here are some tips for doing A/B testing:
- Start with a small change. Don’t try to change too much at once, or you won’t be able to tell what’s working and what’s not.
- Test for a long enough time. It takes time to collect enough data to make a reliable decision.
- Use a statistical test to compare the results. This will help you to make sure that the difference in results is not just due to chance.
A/B testing is a powerful tool that can help you improve your website. By following these tips, you can get the most out of A/B testing and improve your website’s performance.
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