It takes users 50 milliseconds for someone to form an opinion about your website. That split second is all it takes for someone to decide if he or she wants to stick around or move onto the next site and forget yours.
While that figure may sound intimidating, it can serve as a powerful motivator to nail your web design the first time. Today’s aesthetic is all about clean, responsive design that can be applied with the KISS principle. “Keep It Simple, Stupid” is easy to remember, but not always easy to deploy. Let’s take a look at some of the best practices:
Be Simple but Powerful
Gone are the days when complicated, fancy and saturated web design won awards. Today’s web design trends are all about simplicity. But just because your site needs to be simplified doesn’t mean you need to skimp on its power.
Take a look at the Webby Award-winning Land Rover website. Its homepage lets you choose your continent, country and language before entering. While that’s all the user interaction it offers on its homepage, the visual layout is stunning. The regal backdrop provides a landscape for the powerful Land Rovers that appear to be staring you down. It’s a hugely powerful branding statement that tells you that Land Rovers are classic, strong and powerful.
Today’s web design landscape incorporates clean, responsive design that looks great on any device. Mobile is dominating search and anyone with a website should be using a responsive design to accommodate demand. T-Mobile is a good example of a site that incorporates responsive design and a lot of information without overwhelming the viewer. Its Samsung Galaxy S 6 page features a product slideshow, specs, video, reviews and a live chat function, but the design focuses on simplicity and makes the user experience an intuitive one.
Focus on User Experience
Mashable famously said that web design is dead and encouraged designers to focus on user experience instead. With a wide variety of mobile devices available, it’s up to designers to ensure the user experience remains intuitive and cohesive. Think about what customers are going to see and do when they get to your site. Creating tiny buttons that can’t easily be activated by a thumb will only lead to consumer frustration. Mobile sites are also meant to endlessly scroll to find necessary information without jumping around from page to page.
Look at Apple’s website as an example. Its content is clean, highly visual and super intuitive. Customers have 360-degree views of its products and the only visual elements are the Apple products themselves. The site is clean and it’s easy-to-use navigation simplifies the shopping process.
Web design isn’t just supposed to look good and create a pleasant experience. Design should motivate action. What are you trying to accomplish? What is your end goal? Whether you want someone to sign up for an email list or buy a product, everything about the design should lead a consumer to take action. That means you need to make your site easy for consumers to navigate, feature your call to action and contain compelling assets, such as buttons and photos, that pull it all together.