6 Web Design Best Practices You Shouldn’t Sacrifice for Trendiness
Ditch the best web design practices, and you’re headed for failure.
If you remain diligently faithful to the latest design trends when you’re building a website you’ll be much better equipped when you don’t sacrifice the best practices. WordPress websites use premium themes that integrate trends for leveraging purposes. The trouble is, sacrificing best practices in order to needlessly incorporate the latest trends, results in an unpleasant experience for your users.
Six suggestions have been compiled that will keep you aware of those practices you can avoid and those you can enhance. At Web Wizards, we always try to follow the best design practices by staying up to date with new industry trends!
1. Optimize Conversions
With a degree of thoughtlessness, you can design without conversions in mind. But why would you? WordPress based websites share a common goal that gets its visitors and customers returning again and again. Logically it’s a great practice to adopt when you want to achieve likewise results. Use every tool available to optimise conversions and remember even new designs need a test run to ensure they perform properly.
A/B or split testing as it sometimes referred to is vital. Without knowing which of the two web pages performs better, you may as well be blind.
For testing on WordPress use Divi. It includes an A/B testing tool called Divi Leads, but there are other alternatives like Google Analytics Experiments and Optimizely. It is part of the process when delivering a design that will not only reward you with higher engagement rates, but visitors will have an enjoyable experience, usually one they want to return to.
It simply means that when you put in the effort and use the tools which apply not only to large designs but also to those little details that play a huge part in making your WordPress site a success, your images, your colours, your fonts throughout your pages and your navigational route will be a joy to operate.
For a more in-depth look at optimisation, click on over to Unbounce’s The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Centered Design.
2. CTA Strategies
Make your calls to action clear by reminding yourself that visitors to your site understand your message the moment they land. For example, benefits are immediate when visitors see an app and how to sign up to use it. Using the same colour for the app and the secondary button as the headline makes everything jump off the page at them. Avoid ‘busy’ colours and designs and stick to the streamlined design. In this case, it’s a visual trend that works extremely well.
Also use your own eyes to naturally locate where your calls to action should be placed on your page. They will usually take you to the left or the top of the screen. Become aware of trends that steer you away from prime-website real estate.
Another trend to avoid is having an animated background that will likely create an uninviting visual with your CTA thus reducing its click-through rate. In fact, to be truthful, animated backgrounds can be downright annoying and very distracting but it you must use them, make use of clever contrast and invariably it will draw the eyes to where you want them to be.
3. Easily Detectable Search Boxes
Your site has the potential to out grow it’s navigational menu, so a search box will be a welcome addition. Make it easily seen when you implement this function into your WordPress website, be it via a plugin, or Google Search. A search box has two components. An output and a submit function and does not need to take over the entire page.
Contrary to popular belief, these days every website requires a search box. It’s an expected entity that ensures convenience and less of a click out rate. However, if your website is not going to be regularly updated and communication is more often than not through social media, then a search box is pointless.
4. Shopping Carts
Shopping carts don’t need frills. Like search boxes they’re functional, and that’s it. The preferred shopping cart will remind your shoppers they haven’t checked out yet and will also keep a tally on the total items placed within. Keeping track of purchases is a convenience and when the check out is reached, a summary together with photos and a subtotal of what is about to be purchased should be available.
Make your shopping carts identifiable with a recognisable icon and highlight it with a circular band that will indicate how many items are within.
5. Error and Maintenance Pages
All is so far going well which means error and maintenance pages should rarely appear. But when something is amiss, it is a polite way of saying your visitor failed to insert a correct address. Polite messages that relay an error are fun, for example, Airbnb’s 404 error page, Oops we cant seem to find the page you’re looking for.
Being informative as well as a helpful guide back to the main site is a sure fire way of having your visitors return.
But if you want to be totally out-there unique with huge bells and whistles animated 404 flashing in your visitor’s face, you’re writing a recipe for instant click off. Don’t be cute or too artsy. All you’re really doing is sacrificing workable design over an out dated trend.
6. Typography – is it readable?
Typography sometimes gets overlooked, and design becomes more of an over-rated decision than an effortless component of your website. Leave the fancy fonts to the logo; your artistic preferences when it involves fonts needs to be tidy and easy to read.
You want your readers to pay attention; not being distracted by your fetish for gorgeous fontology. There are a couple of techniques to keep in mind when you’re choosing your font, and they are:
- Keeping lines at a consistent length
- Sans-serif fonts perform better as headings, while serif fonts are said to increase readability.
- Experiment with your fonts and if you must vary them don’t deflect too much from the mother font.
It is very easy to get involved with all the visuals and attractive animations that you might consider while designing your website.
Way back in the early days when Dream Weaver and Corel-Draw was new, websites were garish and rarely designed with usability in mind. Rather than follow out dated trends or even the latest, appealing trends that might have you second guessing your website’s design, think about the six points to which we’ve referred and ask yourself, is my sight flashy-tacky or is it a serviceable welcome addition to convenience?
- Have I split tested to figure out which of the two pages perform best?
- Are my CTA’s clear and concise and easy to locate?
- Is my search box easily detectable?
- Does my shopping cart send a friendly reminder and content indication?
- Is that big ol’ 404 on my error page and over-kill?
Learn more about our web design workflow in this blog post!