Web product design is essential to the overall success of your website or web app. For most people, the design of your website will form the basis of their first impression of your business, brand, and products. Therefore, web design is important to make a good impression on users, and it will represent your business online 24/7, so you need to make sure that you take it seriously and employ skilled product designers.
Modern web product design capabilities have allowed businesses and UX designers to create stunning, immersive designs. However, just because you can add a lot of graphics and animations to your website does not mean that this constitutes the best visual design. This post will cover the guidelines and best practices your business should follow for great web design results.
Web Product Design: Guidelines and Best Practices
Web design is a creative process. However, you can’t let creativity get in the way of sensible, clean, and effective product design. Don’t forget that your website is meant to serve the goals and objectives of your business. If you keep your goals and objectives in mind during the design process, you will come away with a web design that looks great and meets your company’s needs.
Professional web designers spend years learning and mastering their design skills. You won’t be an expert after reading this article, but you will learn the basics of web product design. Whether you are building a new website or improving an existing product, keep the following web design principles in mind:
- Visual hierarchy
- Clear CTAs
Your website or web app is an extension of and representation of your brand. Keep all branding consistent across customer touch points and your website. In web design, you should ensure that you use the same color schemes, fonts, logos, etc. Brand consistency goes beyond visual elements too. You must ensure that you use consistent messaging and brand voice across your website.
You don’t have to make every page look the same. However, you should use consistent designs for each page type on your website. For example, product pages, landing pages, blog posts, and other similar pages should all follow the same layout. Creating a consistent layout structure is a solid web design principle that visually informs users what type of information they can expect to find on the page before they even begin reading the content.
The appearance of your website is vital. However, don’t make the mistake of doing too much. People are unlikely to come to your website to see how slick and immersive your web design is. Users come to your website to find a piece of information or complete an action. Your web design should not distract from a user’s end goal. It is okay to add design elements that serve a functional purpose.
However, if you cannot determine the functional purpose of a design element, it is best to remove it as it will only overcomplicate the User Interface and experience. Regarding usability and User Experience, simplicity is a great thing. Don’t shy away from simple web design just because you think more should be going on. If all your functionality is covered, there is no need to add unnecessary design elements for style.
Design your website so that users naturally gravitate towards the most important information and content first. Modern UX design thinking puts a large emphasis on visual hierarchy. The goal of your website is to lead users to complete a certain task or find a certain piece of information. When you incorporate visual hierarchy in web design, you naturally lead users to the most important places on your website.
Web designers can adjust the color, size, or position of certain elements to naturally attract users to them first. For example, product designers use large text for important information and headers. A natural visual hierarchy will help your brand communicate the most important information to users first.
An intuitive User Interface relies upon a navigable website. In an ideal world, when a user lands on your website, they don’t have to think about where to click. The goal of your web design should be to reduce navigational friction. Users should have no problems moving from point A to B.
You can improve the navigability of your website by keeping the navigation in the header and footer of your website, adding URL breadcrumbs to every page so users remember the path they took, adding a search feature to your website, and keeping your most important content no more than two or three clicks off the homepage. Once again, simplicity is your friend. Overly crowded navigation menus complicate the User Experience and make navigation difficult.
Your CTAs (call to action) design elements need to be clear and motivate users to convert. There are a few things to remember to create clear CTAs on your website. One, your users should clearly understand what is being offered. For example, your messaging should clarify what value your business offers potential customers. Two, address potential objections immediately. For example, if you offer a subscription service, make it clear that users can cancel their subscription anytime. Finally, CTAs should use bold, colorful design elements that remain consistent with your brand assets.
Effective CTA design elements will spur users to action and produce strong results for your business.
Mobile responsive web design is critical for modern users. The majority of web users access websites through their mobile devices. If you want to truly provide a great User Experience, you have to prioritize responsive web design.
Your website should look great and function properly on the wide range of different mobile devices that people will use. There are several responsive web design tools that web designers can use to create a website that automatically resizes for the user based on the screen they are using.
Most design tips mention mobile responsiveness but fail to account for the different browsers a user might be using. In addition to testing your website across all of the popular mobile devices in use, you must also test your website across the different available browsers. For example, your website might look great on an iPhone 12 mini browsing with Google Chrome but look bad on Google Chrome for iPad.
Accessibility is an important part of web design. Accessible web design seeks to make websites usable for people with disabilities or limitations that affect their browsing experience. Your business does not want to alienate potential customers. Accessibility applies to every aspect of your website, from color schemes and navigation to page structure and fonts.
If your web designers are unfamiliar with accessible web design, there are helpful accessibility guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium and the Web Accessibility Initiative.
Web design is a critical part of any digital strategy. Hopefully, this post has given you some good tips and guidelines to consider when designing your next website. If you want to learn more about web product design best practices, reach out to an experienced app development partner.