No matter how state-of-the-art your company’s website may have seemed when you first launched it, there comes a time when every site can benefit from a redesign. Given the multitude of algorithm changes than happen each year, and regular shifts in consumer Internet use, it can be nearly impossible for an outdated website to deliver the online results you need.
If you’ve recently launched a redesign, you were likely excited to see the results of your revamped site, like increases in traffic, conversions, and sales. And when done right, this is exactly what happens.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always the case – in fact, some site owners actually lose site traffic in the days and weeks following their website redesign.
If you’re currently experiencing this issue, keep reading for 3 possible reasons, as well as how to fix them.
Colors. Graphics. Original content.
These are all elements that work together to make your website interesting to potential customers. Unfortunately, you can’t just throw together a website with your two favorite colors, throw a graphic somewhere on the page and call it a day. There is research to prove that the appearance of your website has everything to do with conversions.
So is your website repelling your potential customers?
Ask yourself these few questions to find out!
When visitors arrive on your company’s website, you want them to take action. Depending on your business, that “action” may be many different things, from filling out a contact form to making a purchase.
Regardless, you should improve your site to make converting as easy as possible for your visitors. The best way to do this is with conversion rate optimization.
One of the simplest ways to optimize a site is with A/B testing, or by creating two versions of the same element and showing them to real visitors to see which performs better. As you run these tests on different parts of your site, you’ll be able to optimize each page for a higher conversion rate.
Before you get started, though, you’ll need to select a tool to help you set up, monitor, and review your tests. There are many available online, but the following four are our top picks at WebpageFX.
Your company’s website serves many purposes, like explaining your services, highlighting your successes, and building your brand. But most important of all, it helps visitors become customers.
But in many cases, those visitors need to get in touch with you before making a purchase. And for that to happen, you’ll need a compelling “Contact Us” page.
Creating a page that’s simple enough for visitors to finish, but thorough enough to get the information you need can be a challenge. These 10 examples will provide some inspiration for your company’s site.
For many, it’s understandable to want to fast-forward through all the rookie mistakes and the fumbles at the beginning of our careers. We all want to be great designers and creatives right away. But there’s something to be said about being a beginner that you just can’t get when you have a few notches under your belt. Here’s why you should cherish being a beginner designer:
1) Beginner Gains
In weightlifting, there is a phenomenon that happens with beginners when they first start lifting weights called “beginner gains.”
In a nutshell, beginner gains are huge observable improvements (or “gains”) in strength, muscle growth, and size. These huge improvements tend to only happen for the first 3-6 months of your training regimen as your body rapidly responds and adapts to the new stimuli you are putting it through. Simply put, you get stronger and bigger much faster as a beginner than if you’re an experienced lifter.
This phenomenon could apply to being a beginner designer (or beginner anything, really) as well. Being a beginner is where you’ll see the most improvements in your work. Your mind isn’t bogged down with jargon, or “the right way” to do things, or the battle scars that comes with working with a long list of clients. When you’re a beginner, all you’re worried about is improving and adapting to your new environment and if you commit to really learning from this point in your career, you’ll be better equipped the handle what comes next.
2) Mistakes Will Seem Huge, But Are Not
When you first start out as a designer or a creative, you will make mistakes and they will feel like you’ve just ruined your whole life. That poor choice in font or that horrendously put-together poster you designed for a friend will seem like a mistake that you just won’t be able to recover from, ever (but that is hardly ever the case, though).
This is a good thing.
Those small mistakes you make as a beginner designer will haunt you and prevent you from making them again in the future when the stakes are higher for you. Learning from these early mistakes is what’s going to make you a great designer.
3) Fresh Eyes
You might have good taste (which is probably why you’re a designer in the first place). However, you don’t really know what you like or don’t like yet. Which means you’re able to see design and think about design more open-mindedly. Your opinions are not rigid yet when you’re a beginner and you’re more willing to take risks and explore new solutions.
This “freshness” is an asset that you have to hold onto for as long as you can because it will fade sooner or later.
4) You Have Something to Prove
Having something to prove is a great motivator. Maybe you just want to prove to yourself that you can be great or to the people who doubted you. Maybe you just want to make mom and dad proud. In any case, that hunger to prove yourself is an asset that experienced and “proven” artists rarely have anymore in the same intensity and the same volume.
5) Freedom to Be Exactly the Designer You Want to Be
Again, not being held down by rigid ways of thinking or learning about design means you’re free to pursue exactly the kind of designer you want to be.
When you become a battle-hardened veteran creative, it gets much harder to stray from the formula that works for you and your clients. As with any job, the longer one does it, patterns begin to emerge and it becomes increasingly difficult to break from those patterns especially when they’ve been working for you. Beginners don’t have to worry about that yet.
While being a beginner is fantastic, unfortunately no one stays a beginner forever (and who would want that, anyway?). Being a beginner is a process; a transition period into being the designer you’re meant to be. And while most of us would probably rather skip all of the embarrassing and cringe-worthy moments that come with being a beginner, embracing this transition and leaning into your beginner status is something you’ll never be able to do again. So cherish it and learn from it while you still can… but don’t forget to move on be the fantastic designer you’ve always wanted to be.
Simplicity can be a valuable asset, especially when it comes to web design. Simplicity makes websites look sleek, reduces navigation confusion, and it helps achieve the desired goals and results (i.e., more signups, subscribers, and sales) in the most efficient way possible.
But too often, simplicity eludes many of us designers in our attempts at a well-designed site, often giving in to feature creep or scope creep or just plain old whimsy. So what’s a website designer to do? Fret not, for we’ve put together a few starting points to get you on your way.
1) Remember the Pareto Principle (or the 80-20 Rule)
A ‘clutter-free interface’ is the mainstay of a minimalist website. One of the ways to go about creating a website with very little, to no clutter is to remember the Pareto principle, also known as the “80-20 rule,” which states that about 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
Put the rule into practice by rethinking what you choose to include in your design in the first place.
To begin with, get rid of all the elements on your web design which do not drive your potential customers to the sales funnel/call to action/desired outcome.
This may include getting rid of long strings of text, ugly looking or unnecessary buttons, forms with too many fields, and arrows or text boxes which occupy white space and add nothing to the functionality of the website.
The thinking behind this minimalist approach is that only 20% of your design choices will affect the desired outcome of your website (i.e. more sales, conversions, subcriptions, etc.). Therefore, if you strip down your design to its barest essentials, you ensure that everything that is included in your design is making the biggest impact it can make.
2) Make Navigation Effortless
A website with tons of neat navigational features might seem like a great idea. It’s novel and it seems interesting.
However, an unfamiliar navigational scheme can cause a hindrance in the user-experience by making the user have to “re-learn” how to go from one place on your website to another. This can create a negative impression on the users of your website. Also, it discourages those same users to return to the site.
Here are some quick tips to help make navigation effortless for your visitors –
- Place the most important information above the fold.
- Cut down on redundant or unnecessary navigational links (i.e. if you have a “Home” button in your navigation bar, don’t include a hidden “Home” button in a “hamburger” icon).
- Get rid of redundant inner pages by using analytics tools to know which of your pages don’t increase your conversion rates.
- Make navigation buttons easy to locate.
- If you have a lot of content, Infinite scrolling might be a way to go since it will cut down on one extra navigational step to get your user from page 1 to page 2, for instance.
- Use universal icons and symbols for navigation buttons. It can be as simple as a ‘down’ symbol used for dropdown menus.
- Don’t underestimate the sitemap.
These tips are immensely helpful for creating an intuitive navigation on your website and provide an enhanced user-experience to the visitors.
3) Compelling Copy
Readers skim. With an incessant flood of copy doing the rounds on the internet, it is increasingly difficult to go through all the content that a reader comes across. The only way to grab readers’ attention is by creating compelling copy.
The copy on your website should not only be compelling enough in terms of the content, but also in terms of its presentation. From the designer’s perspective, make your copy more compelling by:
- Choosing a readable and user-friendly typeface. Forego the fancy, expensive fonts and go for the ones easiest on the eyes and causes the least fatigue.
- Try separating long copy into bite sized information.
- Highlighting important text using special formatting options
- Creating bulleted lists
Also, since quality content leads to your website being ranked higher on search engines, don’t forget to rope in the best talent out there to create extraordinary copy that makes an impression.
4) Embrace a Monotone Color Scheme
Depending on the type of content you have in a website, a monotone color palette can often give your design a sleek, classic look that immediately simplifies a web design.
Corporate websites often use a monotone color scheme for their websites mainly as a function of their strict branding efforts but a simple color scheme can benefit any type of website looking to simplify things a bit.
The thinking behind having a monotone color scheme is that with fewer colors for the user to process, the content that you need to emphasize (i.e. a line of text, a call to action, or an image) will have a better chance of grabbing the user’s attention. It’s a simple and effective technique for getting the job done.
Bonus: Break the rules and follow your instincts
At the end of the day, experimentation and following your instincts on simplifying your website can still do wonders. Don’t be afraid to break the rules and create your own path. Sometimes the best solutions are the ones no one has thought of yet.
What is your take on this? Let us know in the comments below.