Web Design: Top Dos and Don’ts to Improve Your Site Experience

Do you believe in love at first site? 

The people considering clicking on your website do!  Creating an engaging and user-friendly website is essential for attracting and retaining web traffic.

Did you know that 94% of first impressions are related to your site’s design?!

This article covers the key elements of successful web design and provides actionable advice on how to level up your digital presence.

We’ll cover everything from navigation and speed optimization techniques to mobile-friendly practices and embracing the emerging trends of web design dos and dont’s.

Ready to transform your website – and brand? Let’s go!

Table Of Contents:

Dos and Don’ts of Website Design

A well-designed website is essential for attracting potential customers and achieving success. However, it’s important to consider a few web design dos and don’ts to ensure an effective online presence. Paying attention to web design can help you make a positive impression and encourage visitors to engage with your business. Here are some of the most crucial web design dos and don’ts:

The Dos of Web Design

Effective web design is crucial for a business’s online visibility and sales. A perfectly designed website attracts and retains visitors, increases web traffic, and enhances sales. Here are some essential web design guidelines:

  • Easy-to-Use Navigation: Ensure easy navigation throughout your website with clear menus, labels, search bars, etc., making it easier for users to find what they need quickly.
  • Responsive Design: With more than half of all web traffic from mobile devices nowadays, ensure your website has responsive layouts to look good on any device size or screen resolution.
  • User-Centered Experience (UX Design): UX should be at the forefront when designing websites because if users can’t use or understand how things work on their first visit – chances are they won’t come back again.
  • A Consistent Color Scheme: Your color scheme should reflect your brand identity while being visually appealing without causing eye strain or confusion for visitors.
  • High-Quality Visual Elements: Add visual elements like images, videos, animations, and infographics. By providing context alongside the information presented on-screen, this technique helps to break up text-heavy pages and keeps readers engaged.
  • Optimize Page Speed: Site speed is an important factor affecting user experience, and ensuring pages load quickly is essential. This can be done by compressing images, caching content, reducing redirects, minifying code, and leveraging browser caching.
  • Include Call to Action (CTA) Buttons: CTAs are essential to guide visitors from one action to the next and should be strategically positioned on pages throughout your website. These can range from buttons or links prompting them to click, submit their information, or shop now.
  • Ensure Readability: Good readability makes content easily digestible without overwhelming users. To accomplish this, use shorter, more concise paragraphs and sentences, appropriate fonts and sizes, and a good contrast between text color and background. 
  • Stay on Brand: Every element of your website should be cohesive to create a unified brand experience for the user. This includes font styles, colors, images and language used, and more.

The Don’t’s of Web Design

When designing a website, it’s crucial to avoid common design mistakes to make it user-friendly and effective. Improving the overall experience for your visitors can increase the likelihood of converting them into customers. Here are some essential things to keep in mind to achieve this goal:

  • Poor Navigation: Too many pages with poor navigation can make finding the information visitors see difficult. It’s important to ensure that your menu and page links are arranged logically, easily comprehended, and have clear and descriptive labels.
  • Text-Heavy Content: Excessive text on a page can intimidate site visitors and be difficult to read. Break up long blocks of text with visuals and headlines to make it easier for readers to scan the content quickly. 
  • Insufficient Calls-to-Action: CTAs should be prominent, eye-catching, and relevant to encourage visitors to take action. Place CTAs at the end of page content where readers can easily see them.
  • Avoid Cluttered or Busy Layouts: An overcrowded page can confuse potential customers about where they should go next; keep things simple but informative using whitespace to give your site a clean and organized look.
  • Avoid Slow Loading Times: Speed is essential in web design. A slow-loading website can lead visitors to lose interest and leave before they even see what you offer.
  • Inaccessible Content: Ensure your content is accessible to people with disabilities by following web accessibility standards. Leverage tools such as alt text and descriptive headings or transcripts available where necessary to aid users with impaired vision.
  • Pop-Up Overkill: Too many pop-ups can overwhelm visitors and distract them from the content they seek. Minimize the use of these and avoid intrusive ones such as automatic audio or video. Consider using a cookie that prevents visitors from seeing the same pop-up multiple times.
  • Low-Quality Images: Low-quality images can deter visitors and lead to a lack of trust in your brand. Use high-resolution images that are properly compressed to load on all devices quickly. You should also avoid overusing stock images visitors may have seen on other websites. Instead, consider product shots or team photos throughout your site to bring a personal and more trusted touch. 
web design dos donts

Optimize Your Website Design with these 5 Tips

Enhancing your website’s design is crucial for attracting and engaging visitors. With these 5 design tips, you can optimize your website’s layout, visuals, and user experience to create a compelling online presence. Let’s dive in and discover how to take your website design to the next level.

1. Implement an Easy-to-Use Navigation in Your Website Design

User-friendly navigation is crucial for web design success. It improves the experience, reduces user bounce rates, and increases the likelihood of conversions. The easier it is for visitors to navigate your website, the more likely they are to have a positive experience with your brand. 

By implementing a well-thought-out navigation and menu system, you can streamline the user journey and improve engagement on your website.

Here are a few tips to consider when creating user-friendly navigation:

  • Use Clear and Familiar Words: Your menu items should have straightforward, standard labels that visitors can easily understand or are generally familiar with. Avoid using complex jargon or fancy terms that might confuse users. 
  • Organize Content Logically: Logically categorize your content to help users locate information effortlessly. Group related topics or products together under relevant headings. This way, visitors can quickly navigate through different sections and find what they need without getting lost.
  • Test and Optimize: Regularly test your website’s navigation and make improvements based on user feedback. Conduct usability tests to identify pain points or areas where visitors may struggle to find what they’re looking for. Collecting data on user behavior allows you to make informed decisions and optimize your navigation structure accordingly.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can simplify the user experience and make the content of your website more accessible to the user to find the information they need. Here are a few statistics to support the importance of it:

  • According to a study by Kissmetrics, roughly 47% of your visitors expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds, with 40% leaving if the process takes longer than three seconds – meaning the more clicks it takes for a visitor to find what they need, the higher the chances of frustration and abandonment.
  • Another study by Forrester Research found that 50% of potential sales are lost when visitors can’t find the information they need quickly.
tips improve your ux

2. Improve Your Website’s Loading Speed

It’s no secret among marketers, a slow-loading website impacts your bottom line. According to a recent statistic from Forbes, a website that loads slowly costs $2.6 billion U.S. dollars in sales each year. This underscores the importance of ensuring a website is optimized for speed and performance to prevent lost revenue.

Here are a few ways to improve the overall performance of your website’s speed:

  • Avoid Excessive Animations: While animations can add visual appeal, too many can significantly slow down page loads. Opt for subtle and essential animations that enhance the user experience without compromising speed. Keep things simple and prioritize performance over excessive eye candy.
  • Reduce HTTP Requests: Each element on your webpage, such as CSS files, JavaScript files, and images, requires a separate HTTP request to load. Minimize these requests by combining CSS and JavaScript files into fewer optimized files. Additionally, consider using sprites, which combine multiple images into a single file, reducing the number of requests needed to load icons or small images.
  • Prioritize Above-the-Fold Content: Above-the-fold refers to the portion of the webpage that is visible without scrolling. Prioritize the loading of essential content in this area, such as headlines, key images, and primary calls to action. This ensures that users see important information right away, even if the rest of the page is still loading. 
  • Compress Images: Images often take up a lot of space, so compressing them can help speed up page load times. Multiple online tools, such as Imagify or Smushit, make it easy to optimize images with minimal loss in quality. 
  • Utilize Tools Designed to Speed Up Your Site: Tools such as WP Rocket and Autoptimize can help you turbocharge your site. Tools like WP Rocket are packed with features to help leverage your browser’s caching, and speed up your website. 

Remember, the goal is to strike a balance between speed optimizations and visual appeal/functionality. While fast-loading pages are crucial, you also want to maintain an engaging user experience. Test and monitor your website’s performance to ensure that speed enhancements do not negatively impact your site’s overall design and functionality.

3. Keep Your Layout Structure Consistent and Simple

Consistency is crucial for web design. It creates a user-friendly experience by making the website feel familiar and intuitive, enabling easy navigation and engagement with content.

Here are some tips on keeping things consistent across your site:

  • Maintain a uniform color scheme throughout all pages – don’t go crazy with colors.
  • Incorporate visual elements (e.g., icons) that provides continuity in look & feel across your website.
  • Select one primary font style and stick with it – no more than two additional complementary fonts should be used.
  • Keep the design simpler, clean, concise and free from clutter.

No need to reinvent the wheel every time; just focus on providing a user experience that keeps them coming back for more. Remind yourself that when it comes to crafting a website, moderation is key.

4. Maintain A Mobile-Friendly Website

Today, it’s essential to embrace mobile-friendly design practices. Mobile technology exceeds the sales of traditional devices, so it’s important to have a website that adapts to it. Let’s dive into some actionable steps:

Rewrite Content for Smaller Screens

Create digestible content that is short yet informative enough on smaller screens without sacrificing readability. Avoid overwhelming visitors visually by ensuring font sizes adjust automatically based on screen resolution settings provided by device manufacturers. Responsive web design techniques can help you achieve this goal effortlessly.

  • Add clear and concise calls-to-action (CTAs) designed specifically for touchscreens – think larger buttons and easy-to-tap links.
  • Avoid using Flash, as it’s not supported on many mobile devices. Opt for HTML5 instead when creating animations or interactive elements.

Automatic Font Size Adjustments

To ensure your text remains legible across various devices, implement automatic font size adjustments using CSS media queries or a responsive typography library like FlowType.JS.

Remember, a mobile-friendly site design is no longer optional; it’s necessary to capture and retain web traffic in today’s fast-paced digital world.

5. Embrace Emerging Web Design Trends

To stay ahead in the game, it’s important to embrace the emerging trends of web design that can elevate your website and boost user engagement. By incorporating these trends, you can create a modern and visually appealing online presence that captivates your audience. Let’s explore some of the emerging web design trends that are gaining momentum for websites and apps:

Dark Mode

Dark mode has become increasingly popular in recent years. It offers a sleek and stylish alternative to the traditional light-colored design. Dark backgrounds with contrasting elements provide a visually striking aesthetic, reduce eye strain, and enhance readability in low-light environments. While many apps have embraced this option, we may continue to see this more commonly used on websites as well. Consider implementing dark mode as an option on your website to cater to users’ preferences.

Micro-Interactions

Micro-interactions are subtle, animated elements that respond to user actions, such as button clicks or form submissions. These small animations can add a little flare to the user experience and make interactions more engaging. Whether it’s a subtle hover effect or a feedback animation, micro-interactions can enhance the overall usability and make your website feel more interactive.

Minimalistic Design

With clean lines, ample white space, and a focus on essential elements, minimalistic design creates a visually pleasing, clutter-free experience. By removing unnecessary distractions and simplifying your website’s interface, you can guide users’ attention to the most important content and calls to action.

Asymmetric Layouts

Breaking away from traditional grid-based layouts, asymmetric designs offer a unique and dynamic visual appeal. These layouts feature irregular or non-uniform arrangements of elements, creating a sense of creativity and individuality. Asymmetric designs can make your website stand out and leave a lasting impression on users.

Custom Illustrations

Custom illustrations provide a distinctive and memorable visual identity for your website. They can be tailored to represent your brand’s personality and values. By incorporating custom illustrations throughout your site, you can add a touch of creativity and uniqueness that sets you apart from competitors.

AI Chatbots

By incorporating AI chatbots into your website, you can provide immediate support and guidance to your customers. Following chatbot integration best practices ensures a seamless user experience while saving costs on hiring additional staff. With chatbots, you can deliver prompt assistance around the clock, increasing customer satisfaction and improving operational efficiency. It’s a win-win situation for your business and your customers.

Finding Balance Between Innovation and Usability

The key is not getting carried away by fancy new features; always prioritize proper, easy-to-use design elements over gimmicks.

  • Create harmony: Blend modern techniques with classic usability principles to maintain an optimal balance between innovation and functionality.
  • User-centric approach: Focus on providing value through enhanced user experience rather than just showcasing cutting-edge technology. Remember, happy users equal increased web traffic.
  • Maintain consistency: Ensure that any new feature seamlessly integrates with existing visual elements and color schemes to maintain a cohesive site design.

A harmonious combination can create an attractive, user-friendly website that encourages return visits.

Avoid These 3 Common Web Design Pitfalls

As a small to mid-sized business owner looking to enhance your online presence, it’s crucial to have a website that’s both visually appealing and user-friendly website. However, there are some common web design pitfalls that you should avoid to ensure your website is effective in driving web traffic and engaging visitors.

1. 404 Page Not Found Errors

Encountering a 404 error page can be an extremely frustrating experience for users. To avoid this, it is advisable to create customized error pages that assist users in getting back on track or offer alternative content recommendations.

2. Advertisements That Hinder UX Design

While advertisements are essential for revenue, it’s important to strategically place them without compromising user experience (UX). Avoid pop-ups and auto-playing videos with sound, as they can be intrusive and hinder the user’s experience on your site.

3. Cluttered Layouts & Inconsistent Designs

When it comes to building a top-notch website, steer clear of cluttered layouts and inconsistent designs. To make your site look professional and user-friendly, keep things consistent throughout. This means sticking to a cohesive layout, using the same color scheme, and maintaining a consistent style for visual elements. By doing so, you’ll create a polished and cohesive website that visitors will love to explore. Here are a few tips to get you started:

The Power of White Space: Less is More.

Using white space strategically in web design is a game-changer. It makes your content easier to read and directs attention to the important stuff. By giving your elements some breathing room, you create a clean, organized layout that keeps visitors engaged and focused on what matters most.

Choose Readable Fonts & Colors Wisely

When choosing typefaces and colors for your website, prioritizing legibility is crucial to ensure accessibility for all users. Opt for fonts that are easy to read, with clear distinctions between characters. Similarly, select color schemes that provide sufficient contrast between text and background, making it easier for visually impaired individuals to navigate and comprehend your content.

Key Takeaway: 

Prioritizing practicality, UX, and simplicity when designing your website is key to keeping visitors engaged and returning for more.

Web Design Dos and Donts: Get it Right with JS-Interactive

Creating a successful web design requires attention to detail to layout structure, visual appeal & usability aspects. By following these practices, you can improve search engine optimization and ensure customers remain engaged longer.  which can impact your bottom line and help achieve your business goals.

Of course, if you’re not a web design expert, you don’t have to go it alone. Hiring a professional web designer can help you create a beautiful website that is optimized for user experience and search engine performance. The team at JS-Interactive specializes in web design services that produce real results

For more information on how to optimize your website’s design, contact us today!

Web Design Dos and Donts FAQs 

Still have a few questions? Here are a few frequently asked questions we get from our clients:

What Not to Do When Designing a Website?

Avoid cluttered layouts, inconsistent menu structures, and excessive use of ads. Ensure your site is mobile-friendly with a responsive design and optimized for speed. Steer clear of broken links, 404 errors, and confusing navigation. Stick to simple fonts and colors that enhance readability.

What Are the Common Mistakes in Website Design?

Common mistakes include poor navigational structure, slow loading times due to unoptimized images or scripts, overly complex designs that hinder usability, lack of responsiveness on different devices or screen sizes, overuse of advertisements disrupting user experience (UX), and broken links leading to frustration.

What Are the Golden Rules of Web Designing?

Emphasize simplicity in the layout and visuals. Maintain uniformity across all pages. Use straightforward language and terminology to facilitate easy understanding. Develop an accessible interface that works seamlessly on various devices. Optimize loading times through efficient techniques. Prioritize user-centric design principles at all stages of development. Keep up-to-date with current trends and technologies.

How Important Is Site Navigation in Web Design?

Site navigation is crucial in web design as it determines how easily users can find what they are looking for on your website. A well-designed navigation system enhances the user experience, encourages visitors to stay longer on your site, and ultimately increases web traffic.

Justin

Justin Staples

For 15 years, Justin has guided businesses on a transformative journey through strategic marketing and design to craft their unique online identity.

Get Marketing Insights to your Inbox

Boost visibility, outshine your competitors and attract more customers

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.