As a business owner, have you ever been totally clueless as to why your website isn’t converting? Do you feel like you have everything in place, yet your audience isn’t following through on your call to actions buttons, and your bounce rate is sky high? There could be a few crucial web design features that are missing on your website, and adding and adjusting them might mean the difference between success and failure.
Use this article as a ‘checklist’ to see whether your web design is on par, and which features you can implement to boost conversions and encourage engagement.
At the end of the day your audience will be attracted to modern design, elements they sub-consciously accept as the norm, because they’ve had that user-experience on other websites. Think of modern design as a combination of art, design, and functionality. When these elements ‘work’ in harmony your page will be undeniable and ultimately guide the visitor to where you want them to be.
So, ‘What’s Missing’?
1. Web Design That’s not Unique to Your Industry & Brand
Your web design is the first impression a visitor will have about the business. This page should not only be reflective of your industry, products or services, but it should stand out from competition and reflect your company culture. The Following should be considered:
- Design should attract and imprint in the memory of your visitors to create “awareness”
- Content should create a narrative to ‘tell your story’ through the website.
Make sure that your web design is unique and recognizable. Distinct visual approach & style, typography and interactive design elements play a big role in this department. All this creates the first impression in your visitor’s head and is crucial for the next interaction with your website.
Your content should engage. It shouldn’t be boring. A great way to incorporate additional interaction, to make your visitors stay connected is through the use of bold hero sections with enriched sliders, video content and content animations.
- Hover Animations will make the website more intuitive and will give additional information regarding a feature function. Hovering over a feature or image will allow for instant visual feedback.
- Large Scale Animations include effects like parallax scrolling and pop-up notifications.
- Loading animations are used to keep a user engaged and are popular for one-page sites, flat design and minimalism.
- Background animations and videos should be used in moderation but can add to the storytelling element of the page. It should be seen as an add-on and not a distraction.
A great example of this aspects is the creative WordPress theme TheGem recently released on Themeforest marketplace. This theme understands the need for individuality, creativity, awareness and interaction, offering many industry specific unique design concepts . When going through the demo pages of this theme you will see how different industry stories can be told in an attractive visual way, involving the user in interaction and remaining in his/her memory.
2. No Trending UX and UI Features
Even though your page visitor might not be able to pinpoint the exact reason why don’t find your website appealing, their subconscious will pick up that your page is sub-standard. Trending features within design can take a variety of forms, but for the last few years, these features are taking the front seat for UX and UI.
- Scroll Jacking is where the user’s scrolling is directed to an exact vertical point on the screen, such as the top of the next content container. It’s replaced native scrolling and is more targeted. Here are some examples for that:
- Material Design and Flat 2.0: As Google launched their new style language, Material Design, the designers got an opportunity to evolve minimalistic flat design principles in something more attractive, combining it with some old yet pretty features of skeuomorphic design (for instance through layering). This is aimed at making designs appear more realistic and appealing to the visitor. You can check some examples of creative flat 2.0 realisation on this pages.
- Font Icons & Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG): This feature is popular for the basic reason that it scales graphic designs without compromising the quality which is very important for responsive & retina design.
- Minimalism and Ghost Buttons: It’s all about keeping your visitors focused on what they need to do, read and see instead of distraction them with too many images, text, videos and pop-ups. The same goes for the trending ‘hamburger menu’ to simplify the browsing process for the user.
Making use of trending design features shows that you are focused on a user-friendly page. You want to make your page visitor’s experience as valuable as possible, which will hopefully lead to conversions and lead generation. Your design team or theme creators should have a deep understanding of current UX trends to make sure that the web page and design has a long shelf life.
3. No Call to Action
One of the most biggest signs of bad UX is the lack of intuitive design. As a developer, your aim is to anticipate the behaviour of the page visitor, and more so, guide the behaviour to be favourable to the brand. Call to Action buttons are there to motivate visitors into action. These could be in the form of newsletter signups, registration, ‘buy now’, ‘learn more’ or ‘contact us’. Call to Action Buttons not only drives traffic to certain pages, but it influences engagement and improves conversion rates.
If your web page design doesn’t feature a clear call to action sections button, you are preventing your visitors from taking action and ultimately lose leads.
4. No Search Functionality
In this digital age, web users want their needs met immediately. A split second can change their minds, and not being able to navigate or search for what they want on your page, will drive them to the competitors. A Search bar is of utmost importance whether it’s to search for blog content for a certain keyword, or a product or service on the page. Again, it’s about making the interaction and engagement with your page as easy and seamless as possible.
5. Low Performing, Slow Website
Many modern websites look really good, however being slow, results in high bounce rates, low page speed, yslow scores and low search engine rankings. This is because there are too many scripts and requests, no optimized images and no caching. Other websites (like for example TheGem WordPress theme) , is visually appealing and interactive, and pays a lot of attention to optimisation by only implementing what’s needed. As a result, the web performance is increased, and so is the Google Ranking.
The key to improving the web page’s speed is by:
- using the right size of images and design
- reducing the number of scripts
- using of HTML/CSS minifiers
- enabling website caching
6. Your Web Page Is Not Working Well on Mobile
48% users say that if they arrive on a business site that isn’t working well on mobile, they take it as an indication of the business simply not caring. (Source: MarginMedia.com) Not having a responsive website is almost as good as not having a website at all. Businesses need to have responsive web design in order to give them online credibility. As Noetiforce explains; ‘Responsive Web Design is the DNA of modern web applications’.
If you are starting to design your website, start with the mobile version first, before you expand your creative power on the desktop version. You shouldn’t worry about possible design limitations of such approach – just take a look at amazing designed creative WordPress Themes on Themeforest; many of them, like TheGem, were created with the mobile-first approach in mind.
Through studying the trends of modern web design, we can deduct what works well online, and what doesn’t. This article is aimed at taking a look at where your website might be lacking. Although we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover; we do it anyway. With the focus on great UX and UI, you can ensure that the users will be buying in on your product and services because of high quality design, trending features, a great user interface, brilliant functionality and a page that performs at the speed of light.
If you are looking for an encompassing solution for your web page problems, investing in a theme such as TheGem will be the answer to your ‘missing’ problems.