Why You Need Good Web Design

We’ve already proven that your customers care about good design, but how does your website design actually impact their experience? Let’s look at a few specific ways good design can improve your website design.

Usability

Design has a huge impact on how easy it is for visitors to find what they’re looking for from your website design. Research shows that 86% of your website visitors want to see product or service information, 65% look for contact information, and 52% seek an About page for you business.

Your web design should make these things as easy to find as possible – otherwise you’ll frustrate your users and potentially drive them away. Consider using standard conventions, like putting your primary services in your main navigation, and featuring your phone number in the upper-right-hand corner of your site.

Even if your website functions perfectly, a bad website design may make users feel that it’s harder to use or find what they need. Two Japanese researchers actually conducted a study on this. They created two ATMs that functioned identically, but one was attractively designed, and the second was not. Users reported that the aesthetically-pleasing ATM actually worked better. So good web design impacts both usability and our perception of usability too.

Navigation

Your navigation is one of the most important elements of your website design, so how it’s designed is critical. Here, many designers actually consider the psychology behind the design by applying Hick’s Law.

Hick’s Law essentially says that the more choices you give someone, the longer it takes for him/her to make a decision. It’s often summarized as, “Keep it Simple, Stupid.”

So when we apply Hick’s Law to website navigation, we want to keep the choices as simple as possible to make it easier for users to decide where to go. As a good rule of thumb, try to limit the number of options to seven or less.

Take, for example, this office furniture company. Their product menu has 11 different options – which is a lot of choices. If you look closer, you’ll see that they have multiple similar categories like “conference chairs,” “task chairs,” “guest chairs” and “other seating.” They could simplify their navigation by combining all those categories into a single option called, “Chairs.”

Furniture-Soup-Menu_cropped

Conversion

Good web design helps guide your users’ eyes and tell them where you want them to look. On your website, your design can draw attention to special offers, highlight calls to action, and help users identify buttons and clickable elements. All these things can help drive users to take the actions you want.

There are many different ways to optimize your visual design for conversion, but let’s take a look at couple common examples.

Apple Homepage-875908-edited

One of the most effective ways to draw users’ attention toward a desired action is to use white space – or open space – around your call to action.

It’s hard to talk about white space without mentioning Apple. They’re known for clean designs and simple, bold images (like this iPhone) surrounded by a ton of white space. The message here is very clear: they want you to click on this phone – and with almost nothing else on the page to distract you, it’s almost hard not to do.

Amazon page-923559-edited

On the opposite end of the spectrum, take a site like Amazon. This page is crowded with information and product options, but one thing always jumps out: the yellow Add to Cart button. Even on a busy page, contrasting colors and styles create a visual hierarchy that draws your eyes toward that all-important conversion button.

Brand Professionalism & Trust

As we mentioned earlier, 3 out of 4 users will judge your business’s credibility based on your website design. Designs that look modern and professional tend to encourage trust. Meanwhile, a poorly designed website might make someone doubt your legitimacy. For example, if you were looking for a used car, which of these businesses would you trust more?

AIC Auto Homepage-751895-edited
LingsCars Homepage-068395-edited

Another way that good web design improves trust is through brand consistency. Especially if you have a well-established brand, your customers probably recognize things like your logo, colors, or style. Your website design should reflect your brand and help reassure people who know you that they’re in the right place.

For example, take a look at these website designs from two well-known shipping companies. Even if you can’t read the logos, you probably recognize the distinctive color schemes of UPS vs. FedEx. 

UPS Homepage-159241-edited
FedEx Homepage-121188-edited

Mobile-friendliness

The majority of online searches now happen on mobile devices, and that trend is only going to continue. And with Google now pushing a mobile-first approach, a mobile-friendly website design is a necessity to stay relevant and get found online. In fact, 85% of adults think a company’s mobile website design should be as good or better than their desktop website design.

Too often, web designers get caught up in making a website look perfect on desktop – like they would a brochure. But good website design must go well beyond a single screen. In today’s mobile-friendly world, you need a responsive website design that will make your website look and function great on devices of all sizes.

SEO

Finally, great website design isn’t just about the visual elements on the front end. How the design comes together behind-the-scenes can deeply affect things like search engine optimization.

A website design may look great on the outside, but if it has cumbersome coding or too many large images that make it slow to load, that can drive visitors away and negatively impact SEO marketing. Web designers can also sometimes get carried away with clever designs or technologies that look great, but ultimately hurt the optimization of a site.