With currently more than 1.9 billion websites out there, you definitely want yours to stand out from the rest if you aim to keep visitors engaged, encourage them to come back, and of course, convert.
As a Miami web design company, we must say that it’s not just the aesthetics you should focus on. Sure, your site may look incredibly appealing to visitors, but what’s the point if it confuses them with its poor navigation? You gotta keep usability and user experience (UX) in mind as you design your website. Otherwise, you’ll end up driving potential customers away.
If you’re new to the world of web design and are keen to learn its ins and outs, or the basics at least, then you’ve come to the right place. Our ultimate guide to website design will tackle all the important areas – what website design is, how your business can greatly benefit from it, the best practices you must follow, and more.
Shall we begin? Let’s!
Website design, or web design, refers to the process of creating and designing a website to reflect a company’s brand and ensure a positive user experience. It also includes user interface design, web apps, and mobile apps.
While there’s no exact way to approach web design, here’s what the general process usually looks like:
The web designer starts by exploring the concept of the project in order to gather all the necessary information, such as the target audience, business goals, and initial vision. This is also the phase where they identify which technologies to use and how they can integrate them into the final output.
Once the web designer completes the initial research and development, they initiate the design process. Here, they come up with sketches and visualizations of the final product, works out any flaws in the design, and establishes a consistent style for all the elements on the website.
The web designer then builds the user interface, which includes designing all of the pages and components required for an effective online experience. Among these components are the main menu, pop-ups, ads, logos, favicons, and other graphics that will be used throughout the website.
Next, the web designer turns to the content team for the copywriting aspect. The writers will craft compelling copy that should resonate with the target audience, as well as effective SEO copy to boost the site’s search engine ranking.
After everything’s finalized, the web designer moves on to the development process. They code, test, and make necessary adjustments to make sure that the end result meets all the project requirements and exceeds client expectations.
The QA team will then take over to perform final tests to check that the website is completely free of errors before giving its official launch the green light.
Now, here’s something to remember: just because your professional website is finally up and running doesn’t mean the job’s done. It needs regular care and maintenance to preserve its appeal and functionality. Plus, constant monitoring will help you identify possible errors that may require tweaking.
There are numerous reasons why you should consider investing in a professional web design. And no, we’re not just saying that because we’re a Miami web design agency; we really want to see your business thrive in this day and age where digital reigns supreme.
Below are six of the biggest benefits you’ll get when you set up an intuitive website design:
Having your own website makes your products and/or services available to everyone across the world, which means consumers are more likely to patronize you. How much more if that site of yours is strategically and beautifully designed, and provides seamless navigation and engaging content?
Well, as a Miami web design agency with years of experience in the field, we can confidently say that you’ll be able to convert your website visitors into customers in no time. You’ll see your revenue growing and growing.
Let’s face it, people will only support and buy from brands they trust. In fact, 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research first before deciding to make a purchase.
What if we told you that a good website design can actually get you to earn their trust? We’re not kidding!
You see, one of the principles of effective web design is consistency, to which trust is built on. Maintaining a consistent look and feel throughout your website can make a difference in establishing user trust. On the other hand, if visitors come across a page that seems to be out of place with the rest, it could leave them feeling a bit suspicious
What’s more, responsive websites that are pleasing to the eye and easy to use are viewed as more trustworthy than their poorly-designed counterparts. The same goes for sites that post valuable content.
Let’s say you were to choose between two brands that are unfamiliar to you. You carefully explore their websites to learn more about them. Option A features a simple, organized layout and has all the information you need to know about the business, whereas option B is the complete opposite.
Which would you trust to solve your pain points? Obviously, you’d go for the first brand.
An SEO-friendly website helps your brand gain more exposure in search engines like Google. The more optimized it is for search, the higher it can rank. And, the higher it ranks, the more potential customers discover your business.
Think of your website as a store that’s ALWAYS available to everyone. It serves as your salesperson at any time at any given day. It doesn’t have any closing hours.
Online users looking for products and/or services you offer, no matter what time it is and where they are, can find your website in search engine result pages (SERPs). Your name will pop up even more quickly if your search engine optimization game is on point.
That being said, you’re pretty much promoting your business 24/7 without having to spend a fortune on ads or billboards.
Another reason to invest in a good website design is that it can keep your visitors staying longer on your site. You want to make sure they go deeper to find out what your business has to offer and how they can benefit from you. Doing so not only increases the possibility of converting them, but it also allows you to minimize your bounce rate.
Bounce rates play a vital role since they tell Google whether a page content is relevant or not, thus influencing the ranking decision. In case the term bounce is alien to you, it’s when a visitor leaves shortly after arriving at the homepage.
So, ideally, you must keep your bounce rate as low as possible. An intuitive web design can help make that happen.
The moment somebody enters your website, they form a perception of who you are as a brand. If they’re impressed with the content and the overall user experience, they’ll see you as a business that’s really invested in expanding your customer base and hitting your goals.
If your entire website appears sloppy and outdated, however, your audience will conclude that you’re not taking your business seriously. Some might even assume that your company’s no longer operating, seeing that you haven’t posted new content or updated your latest info for months.
Remember, your website is a representation of your brand. Once visitors are turned off – be it from a confusing layout, complicated navigation, or irrelevant content – chances of converting them into customers become slimmer than slim.
When designing a website, there are certain elements that should always be kept in mind. Some are there to improve user experience on any device, while others work to tell captivating stories and explain the essence of your brand.
There’s no need to use every element, actually. Picking those that align with your brand and goals should be enough to boost impact and generate results. And so, to help narrow your choices, this Miami web design agency rounds up the most effective website design elements:
Having a visually pleasing website that works well in all devices is imperative if you intend to reel prospects in and get them to see you in a positive light. Just don’t be that brand whose website is all over the place. Going overboard with animation, flash intros, scrolling text, and whatnot will only overwhelm visitors, eventually driving them away.
Navigation is the foundation of usability.
If your visitors are finding it hard to navigate their way to the different pages in your site, expect them to leave in a span of seconds. Just like that, you’ve lost folks who could’ve been your next customers.
Upon landing on your website, your audience shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time figuring out where to click next. Moving from point A to point B must be smooth and frictionless. They should be able to get around on your site with the fewest clicks possible. Otherwise, they’ll come running to your competitors instead. That’s the last thing you want to happen.
A singular design element, typography provides a consistent look across each of your web pages. Most companies today use a specific font that best signifies their brand identity. Take The New Yorker, for example. With Adobe Caslon as its trademark font, it leads visitors from one section to another based on font sizes.
Before deciding which typography perfectly fits your website, take time to think about the essence of your brand. How do you wish people to view you? Fun and upbeat? Serious and formal? Or maybe a little bit of both? Obviously, you wouldn’t wanna go for a font that quirky brands use when you run a medical practice. Your visitors could get suspicious and wonder if you’re legit.
You might’ve noticed by now that many websites today come with long menus of options and features available for users. Sure, you can say that it’s an advantage to everyone, as the menu can take visitors directly to wherever they prefer.
But, what about the screen space? It’s surely going to take a ton of it! A poor user experience is what you’ll be giving to your visitors, particularly to those who are browsing on their mobile devices.
This is where the hamburger menu comes to the rescue.
What’s that, you ask? As the name implies, it’s a type of menu with the concept of a hamburger. It’s basically an icon used on a website (and apps) that when clicked or tapped, opens up to a side menu or navigation drawer.
Besides saving your site space and keeping your web interface clean and uncluttered, the hamburger menu increases the likelihood that visitors will find the information they need to take a desired action.
In 2019, Google made a huge move when it rolled out mobile-first indexing, which drastically shifted the way users search and browse the internet. Seeing that the majority of people across the globe are now using their smartphones or tablets to look for information online, the company announced that it will use the mobile version of websites for indexing and ranking.
If you happen to be one of the few businesses that have yet to redesign your website and optimize it for mobile, don’t act surprised when you see your search rankings (both on mobile and desktop searches) suddenly dropping.
Fortunately, accomplishing a mobile-friendly website design doesn’t have to be all that complicated. We’ll be going through its basics later on in this post. And, if you still think it’s too much for you, you can always enlist the professional help of our Miami web design team!
If you were to ask us or any web design specialist what the most popular web designs currently are, you’ll hear the word minimalist right away. People prefer simplicity over fancy, and we’re totally with them on that.
One of the elements that make a modern minimalist website is white space. It minimizes distractions for web users by providing them with visual breaks as they process a site’s design or content. In other words, it makes it easier for them to concentrate, digest information, and gain a better understanding of what your business is all about.
Plus, leveraging white space will give your website a clean and organized appearance. What more could your audience ask for?
What good is a website that’s rich in compelling content and high-quality images if it has slow loading pages? With 53% of mobile users abandoning websites that take more than three seconds, you certainly want to ensure yours is as quick as a lightning bolt!
Now that we’ve covered the benefits and must-have elements of website design, let’s get to the exciting (or intimidating, we’ll let you decide) part: best practices that will take your professional website to the next level.
Here’s a fact: people tend to judge a website in less than 90 seconds, most of which is a result of the colors used throughout. For this reason, choosing your brand’s signature color scheme is your best bet.
Take a page from the playbook of the biggest brands out there. When we hear someone mention Starbucks, the colors that immediately come to mind are dark green and white. With Coca-Cola, we automatically think of the colors red and white. What about Apple? That’s right, black and grey.
Anyone would find it weird if they visit Apple’s official website and be greeted by a brightly-colored homepage. Unless maybe there’s a special occasion that explains the unusual theme, web users would be led to believe that they’re on the wrong site.
As pointed out earlier, people prefer minimalism, which is why you should stick to a website design that’s clean and simple. If your site features an explosion of colors, images, and animation, your potential customers will end up leaving you for your competition.
Always, and we repeat, always think about your audience when designing your website. Scanning your website should be a convenient experience, not one that gives them a headache from unnecessary elements, such as those that serve no functional purpose.
So, how exactly does a clean website look like? Our Miami web design experts agree that it should have a visual hierarchy, which is the arrangement of all the design elements of a website in order of importance. Elements with bigger fonts, contrasting colors, and are found at the center are obviously those that hold more significance.
This is also where white space comes in super handy. Using it properly enables you to achieve a design that perfectly balances text and visuals, making your website clutter-free and easier on the eyes.
Include Powerful Calls-to-Action
Calls-to-action (CTAs) exist to encourage web visitors to do something – whether it’s to buy a product, book an appointment, sign up for a free trial, or subscribe to an email newsletter.
However, if your CTA’s not compelling enough, nor does it stand out, people won’t be convinced to hit the CTA button. Take these things into account when coming up with your CTAs:
Visitors who struggle to find certain pages of your website are far less likely to convert. Instead of fishing for further information, they’ll find themselves looking for another website.
To guarantee a hassle-free navigation, our web designers have a few practical tips you'll want to follow:
More and more companies in this digital world are incorporating visual elements into their websites. The reason is simple: modern consumers are 10x more likely to interact with video than text.
However, that’s not to say that you can just add as many images and videos as you please. While we can’t deny that visual elements are great at engaging your visitors and breaking up chunks of text, too much of them can hurt your website. After all, who wouldn’t get annoyed browsing a website with scattered images here and there?
As much as you may have the urge to post dozens of photos or videos for the sake of higher user engagement, don’t give in to that urge. Rather, use visual elements purposefully. One such way is by integrating a quick video below a block of text for further details on whatever you’re posting about. This is especially advisable for products or services with in-depth details.
With mobile-first indexing as a vital website design element and 54% of all web traffic coming from mobile devices, it makes perfect sense that you want to have a mobile-friendly site.
The question is, how do you optimize your web design for mobile? This Miami web design company has the answers below:
Whether your goal is to grow your customer base, improve organic traffic, or boost your revenue, investing in our Miami web design services can help turn it into a reality.
Our dedicated team of web developers and web designers here at Digital Resource will do everything they can to ensure you have a website that converts. You can trust them to bring their knowledge and expertise to your campaign.
Or, feel free to read what our clients had to say about them first here so you’ll be 100% confident that you’re making the right decision.
For more information, you may reach us at 561-429-2585 or schedule a free consultation. We can’t wait to hear from you.