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The Dos & Don’ts of Website Design

Did you know that 48% of people rated website design as the most important factor when deciding the credibility of a business? And interestingly, 0.05 seconds is all it takes for people to form an opinion about a website.

Feeling a little daunted? Don’t be. YUMYUM is the go-to agency for web design services in Northampton. Keep on reading for the essential dos and don’ts that will help you design the perfect website.

The first challenge of web design is to get people to stay on your page for long enough to engage with it — 38% of users won’t stay on a website they don’t think looks pretty, but if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, 40% of visitors will give up before they even reach the home page.

Reducing Loading Time

We don’t need a survey to tell us how impatient we are in this fast-paced world. Don’t make visitors hang around while your website loads — 47% of them expect it to be ready for browsing in just 2 seconds.

bored yawn polar bear

There’s not much you can do about the volume of traffic and your website hosting server, but design choices can have a big impact on load times.

  • DO compress or reduce the file sizes of images.
  • DO use caching tools.
  • DO reduce HTTP requests.
  • DO implement a content delivery network.
  • DO check your load times for mobile and web.
  • DON’T overload your website with plugins. They can help you with additional functionality but too many will slow the site down.
  • DON’T be afraid to ask for help if the above left you scratching your head.

Optimising User Experience

The user experience is everything and it’s the web designer’s job to make it as smooth as possible. If you want to get creative with your visuals go for it, but where user experience is concerned think about your target audience. Some users will want to hop on, find what they’re looking for and hop off. In this case, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you’re appealing to visitors you know will appreciate something special, for example, if you’re targeting gamers, by all means, make your website an interactive work of art. Just make sure everything is in good working order and loads quickly.

  • DO keep it simple to navigate.
  • DO make sure it’s mobile-friendly. Up to 57% of users would not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.
  • DO some A/B testing to find out what works best.
  • DON’T use an unconventional format if you want to convert leads or boost sales. Seriously, when 88% of retail websites put the menu button in one place it will just confuse people if you move it.
  • DON’T overstuff your nested menus — fewer options will help people find what they’re looking for faster.
  • DON’T get complacent. User expectations evolve quickly so make sure your website can adapt in line with changes.

WOW Them With Stunning Visuals

stunning visuals art gallery

We’ve covered the techy bit, now it’s time to get creative. The stakes are high here as 94% of negative feedback about websites relates to design. Imagery or videos help to break up or replace written content and give users a taste of your brand, which we’ll cover next.

  • DO show rather than tell users about your company.
  • DO use high-quality images.
  • DO include a clear call to action (CTA) on all pages — ideally, users should be able to find it in 3 seconds.
  • DON’T be afraid of repetition. Use the same wording and design on your CTA on every page.
  • DON’T go for style over substance, unless that’s part of your brand (e.g. if you’re an art gallery).

Protecting Your Brand

Your website needs to be in line with your brand and that means a consistent tone of voice, a clear logo and imagery and fonts in line with your style guide.

  • DO pick a colour palette that works with your brand.
  • DO make sure text is easy to read. If in doubt think of black or grey font over a light background as classic rather than boring. Other colour combinations will work as long as they’re not hard to read and in a sensible font; your readers won’t thank you for cursive.
  • DON’T mix and match styles unless you are specifically aiming for a home-made feel. If you don’t have a style guide yet, now is the time to put one together.

Finishing Touches

We’ve covered the basics but there are still a few final touches to make the most of your website.

finishing touches website design
  • DO enable tracking. Exploring website analytics is the best way to find out if it’s actually meeting your goals. Include the functionality to track KPIs such as traffic and conversions in your design.
  • DO integrate all your social media channels with click-throughs on your landing and contact pages. Giving users a button to hop between your social platforms will broaden your reach and help to increase visibility and traffic, but it’s a good idea to put them in your footer so visitors are more likely to have explored your website before clicking on them.
  • DON’T forget to include a webform for sign users up to your newsletter. You can integrate this with your email marketing system to streamline capturing leads.
  • DON’T compromise when it comes to security. Your website should include fundamental security and privacy protocols to protect client and user data and to prevent any security breaches.
  • To deliver the best results, your website should be engaging, dynamic and offer a great user experience on both desktop and mobile. It’s well worth investing in a good web designer to help you get a website that looks great and works well behind the scenes.
  • DO get in touch to find out more about our custom web design services in Northampton.