People notice change, and if your website has been stagnant for the past few years, it’s time for an update. Here are five simple tips that will improve and refresh your website, giving you a new look for the new year!
Use Powerful Images
We’ve all heard a picture is worth a thousand words, and this is equally true for web design. People spend more time and give more clicks on sites with strong visual imagery. The right photo, chart or infographic can tell a story as well as any words. Just make sure you don’t overload your site with bandwidth intensive graphics which impede the user experience. Instead, pick one or two relevant images that convey your message and connect with your customers.
Employ Responsive Design
This is a must! Responsive web design adapts automatically to the user’s viewing environment, whether it be a desktop, laptop, phone or tablet. Responsive design gives the same user experience regardless of how or where the information is viewed. By using a “begin with the end in mind” approach (a good philosophy for any endeavor in life, not just web design!), you first design your website for mobile access – tablets and phones – and then work your way to a laptop and desktop. This is especially important if mobile devices are how your customers most often get online.
Flatten Your Design
Microsoft, Google and Apple all do it, so why don’t you? We’re talking about flat web design. Shiny buttons and drop shadows which were once all the rage are now outdated. A simple, classic esthetic is what flat design is all about. The user experience is the focus, not flashy buttons and network rich images. Simplicity does not mean boring. Blocks of color can be used to great effect, text should be clear and obvious with links and buttons easy to find and click. Flat design works well as a responsive design and looks good across all platforms.
Include White Space
In the visual arts world white space is known as negative space, the area on a page left blank and free of text and images. White space gives our eyes a place to pause and rest, much needed in today’s over stimulated world. Sometimes less is more, and for the end user a site with less stimulation can draw their attention quicker than a site over-packed with graphics, photos, charts, videos, maps, buttons, links and text.
Interact With Your Visitors
Static, passive web pages may be good at presenting data, but do they engage your website’s visitors? Interactive elements serve a dual purpose – they give your visitors something to do on the website, while allowing you to collect data that can help improve and increase your business. Interactive elements can be as simple as requesting an email address in exchange for a reward (an ebook, video, coupon), to answering a poll to providing feedback, ratings and reviews. If you want to know what your customers want and need, give them a way to tell you. One caveat – don’t let interactivity impede the overall user experience. The last thing you want to do is turn off a customer because of a cumbersome process. Allow interactivity, but do not force it on your visitors.
With a few simple changes, you can create a new look and feel for your website and provide additional value to your customers.