It’s just a fact; the look of your website has a direct effect on the perceived credibility of your business. If you have a stellar landing page that is trendy and easy to navigate, it doesn’t matter if you’ve only been in business for a week, viewers will take you seriously.
Alternatively, if you have a clunky and cluttered site, it can lose you the viewer’s interest and, more likely than not, their business.
With all that being said, choosing the right way to go can be tough, because there are a million factors to a well-developed and modern site. Here, we’ll touch on some of the best ways to get a polished, professional, and up to date site, whether you are employing a web design firm, or you are doing it yourself.
1. Focus on UX/UI
The absolute top thing to focus on when designing a modern website is the people who will be viewing it. UX, in the marketing world, refers to the User Experience and UI is the User Interface.
Think of it as riding a horse. The User Interface is all the stuff that gets you riding: the stirrups, the saddle, and the reins. Whereas, the User Experience is the feeling you get when you ride the horse.
This tactic of framing product development around the human experience is, technically, one of the oldest tricks in the book. You just need to shift that user-first focus into the digital realm.
Keeping in mind that the “product” here is your fabulously designed website, think about things like: How straight forward is the experience for the user? Was the interaction with the website smooth or clunky? When they were browsing, was it aesthetically pleasing or totally visually overstimulating?
It’s worth the effort to design your site using an interface with which your target audience will want to interact; ultimately, creating the ideal experience for them and revenue for you!
2. Custom Illustrations
This is a fantastic way to express your brand’s style and engage the viewer quickly. Having a custom illustration can show your brand’s personality and character in a single image, or even a set of them. Utilize the fact that a picture is, indeed, worth a thousand words.
Choose an illustration that tells a story and helps the viewer develop a deeper understanding of who you are. Captivate them with images that show them how the services or products you offer are going to fulfill their needs.
Then, you can use those illustrations and that style of art throughout your website, and even across various platforms. In the end, you can let your fun imagery do the work to help promote your brand. Just try to stay away from obviously stock-looking illustrations. You know the ones we’re talking about; they may as well be ClipArt.
3. Embrace Minimalism
One very common thread for a modern look these days is minimalism. Really, this goes for everything in life. Hey, Marie Kondo’s tidy tendencies were a sensation for a reason, right? We all want things to be a little more simple. Our web browsing experience is no different.
There are also endless perks for designing a website with simple and minimal content. First of all, it will load a heck of a lot faster than a site that is bogged down with a boatload of content.
Plus, minimalistic sites are just easier to navigate. It is possible to give the viewer too many buttons to click or pages to browse. There’s a theory, called the paradox of choice, which states a wealth of options can actually create consumer stress. Which, in turn, is overwhelming and leaves them not making a decision at all.
Rule number one for success in any business endeavor: don’t stress out your potential clients.
4. Don’t Be Afraid of White Space
Sticking with the minimalism theme, don’t shy away from a white background. Sure, it can feel like you want to fill in that “gap”, but try not to think about it that way. Reframe your thinking - it isn’t a gap in space, but rather a way to highlight exactly what you want the viewers to see.
If you have too much stuff going on, such as colors and backgrounds, it can take away from what you’re trying to convey. For instance, if you have a custom illustration as we discussed earlier; those types of design choices just don’t mesh super well with a patterned or bold-colored background.
Accepting white space as a valid design choice, you can really emphasize the relevant aspects of your site. Not to mention, it makes developing your site a breeze. All you have to focus on is the meat of it, not matching color schemes.
5. Try Full-Page Headers
This wicked fun little design tip is all the rage these days. Take advantage of the fact that the majority of people looking at your site will be scanning it, more heavily focusing on the header.
The goal is to effectively provide your viewers all they need to know about your business and your brand in that designated space. Sure, they can bop around to other pages of your site. But for the basic information, technically, they shouldn’t have to.
There are several ways to go about using this technique. You can have a header with sliding images and text, an auto timer, or even little arrows on either side. Each “slide” can have a general outline of your services or products, with a button that’ll take them to the page with more detailed information.
You could also go for Hidden Navigation within the header. Try embedding link buttons into the images of your header. So, as the viewer’s cursor moves across the screen, the options pop up. It’s a fun way to add more with less and make it interactive.
With your business’s credibility on the line, make sure that your viewer’s first impression is a darn good one. Keep your web design choices simple and user-friendly. It’s easy to want to throw everything you’ve got at your audience. However, a precisely illustrated image can actually go a lot further with a lot less.
Remember that minimal doesn’t have to mean boring, and don’t be scared to use a little white space sometimes. Or, perhaps, try playing with full-page headers to really sum up what your brand is all about. That way, you use less space to create an easy-on-the-eye interface for the user.
Staying up with the times and making a modern website isn’t hard at all. Thanks to the popular less-is-more philosophy, you can design a snazzy site in no time!