Designing a website that engages your audience isn’t terribly difficult. It’s just a topic that gets bogged down in all these tiny, minute details that really don’t help you. Leave “typography psychology” to overpaid Fortune 500 marketing consultants.
All you need to worry about is functional design and conversion. In this article, we’re going to share 5 website design tips that are guaranteed to boost visitor engagement, without any fluff.
Much ado about color branding
Color plays an important role in your branding, but a lot of hype has been given to so-called “color psychology”, which mostly relies on summarized theory. Marketing experts love to point out color wheels and corresponding emotions, which are incredibly subjective.
They give examples how the color red evokes “anger” and “danger”. Do you fly into fits of rage when you see a can of Coke? Or how blue evokes “melancholy” and “sadness”. Do you burst into tears when you log into PayPal? Well actually, I do, but not because of the blue logo.
You can safely ignore the “color psychology” experts where emotions are concerned. It’s all subjective. Some colors are more powerful in branding, but not because they make people “angry” or “cheerful”. Also, pay attention to how colors are perceived culturally. For example, white is a traditional wedding color in the west, whereas it is a traditional funeral color in some parts of Asia.
At the end of the day, A/B testing will be your best friend.
Various sources report that over 50% of global web traffic comes from mobile browsers. It’s incredibly easy nowadays to make your website mobile-friendly, although if your website has a lot of visual elements, it will take a bit more work and testing to make sure it is entirely user-friendly on mobile devices.
According to Parachute, who provide web design in Toronto, some helpful tips for mobile website optimization are:
- Keep it simple and easily navigable
- Make it easy to scroll
- Keep text legible, large, and use short sentences
- Display action buttons prominently (G. Maps, FB, email, etc)
Focus on functionality first
A big mistake you can make is trying to create a beautiful website with no regard for functionality. Aesthetic design matters, but not as much as providing a user-friendly experience. Design trends come and go, like that horrible time when everyone wanted a Flash loading page, and super-minimalistic design in recent years.
Leave the artsy website design to people showing off their design skills. The most visited websites on the internet are some of the “ugliest”. Craigslist, Reddit, Drudge Report, 4Chan, etc. These websites all serve different audiences, but their design shares one thing in common – easily accessible website areas.
This doesn’t mean you should build a website that looks like it came straight out of 1998. Just don’t focus so much on aesthetic design that it becomes an extension of your ego, and not a platform for customer conversion.
Pump that call to action
Every page on your website should serve one purpose – converting your visitors. That means having a prominently placed sign-up form for your newsletter, and mentioning it once or twice on your main page. Mentioning it again on your “About” page, as well as your company’s contact information. You should basically never miss an opportunity to invite the visitor to engage with you.
Call-to-action buttons are also a powerful tool, and we see them every day. “Sign up now!”, “Try now – it’s free!”, “Yes, tell me more”. The trick with call-to-action buttons is that they’re bold, captivating, and make it incredibly easy for the visitor to sign up for whatever you’re trying to sign them up for.