Online, you only have a second to grab someone’s attention.
“During that second, people make snap judgments about you, your business, and your website – Before they read your Content,” says Derek Halpern of Social Triggers.
In the internet world, we all know content is what ultimately gets your website traffic and return visitors. If Content is King, though… Where’s the QUEEN?
A recent study about user trust and mistrust in online health sites provides powerful insight on website visitor behavior patterns.A whopping 94% of study participants cited DESIGN problems as their reason for distrusting a website. A poor design can trigger immediate distrust.
That’s really saying something, no?
As a web designer and online interactive marketer, I can tell you that a good working user interface on your website is of the utmost importance. Nothing can affect conversions and sales more than a confusing design, and it could sky-rocket your bounce rate – After all, first impressions are important.
While King Content may be the ultimate reason users stay on your site, Design is it’s eye-candy Queen, so to speak, that helps you hook them!
If your web design is cluttered, has a distracting color scheme that hurts the eyes, is full of jumping flash animations or has some other design flaw that makes your visitors feel uncomfortable, then you can be sure the page will continually have this problem, even if the content is good.
8 Basic Design Tips
1. Install analytics on your website NOW!
Nothing is more powerful than having hard data on how people flow to, from, and through your website. Google Analytics is a great free solution that has many tools to help you take control of your website presence. They even have a heatmap feature called In-Page Analytics that shows you exactly where on your website peoples’ eyes are concentrated, so you can adjust your design to target them. To make conversions online, you absolutely NEED to know who your visitors are, where they come from, how they found you, the pages they visit, and where they leave from. Go get yourself some analytics!
2. Keep it simple.
Sometimes less is more. You don’t want to overwhelm your visitors. If your users need to spend time trying to understand your website or comprehend the features you provide, chances are your site will have a high bounce rate.
3. Concise Navigation.
Your menu options should tell users what your site is all about without having to scroll down the site or read posts. Everything they ever wanted to know about you should be clearly accessible here.
4. Above-the-Fold features.
The part of a webpage that is visible in the web browser window when the page first loads is described as being ‘above-the-fold.’ Feature the most important items here.
5. Legible Text Font, Size, and Color.
There is nothing that irritates visitors more than light text on dark backgrounds! If users have a hard time reading your content they are likely to simply leave. (I suppose you’re exempt photographers!)
6. Go easy on heavy images and applications.
Users are impatient online, try to compress your images for faster load times, and limit applications that start or auto-play on onload.
7. Beware of autoplay music!
Unless you’re a musician, chances are that your website shouldn’t be auto-playing music on load. Users find this incredibly annoying and often just leave the site when it starts. This is a remnant from the 1990’s that for some reason won’t go away!
8. No pop-up ads!
This one is a no-brainer. Most browsers nowadays have pop-up blockers, which means most users aren’t even seeing them. But when they do, pop-up ads tend to diminish your credibility and are generally seen as spam.
…And that’s that! If you have questions or comments enter them below! Happy surfing.