Best Practices in Web Design

Best practices in web design and development change quickly today, so fast that at times it is hard to determine what best practice is and what a current web design trend is. The most effective user experience, one that results in quality call to action and contact, combines both stable best practices with current design trends. We’ve compiled a few trends that we use, and we feel are either now or are on their way to becoming best practices, and are not outdated the minute you launch. Our main goal is to use design best practices and provide the user with a great experience and these tactics lend themselves to achieving that objective.

Mobile First

By now you’ve heard us discuss the importance of being mobile friendly. With over two thirds of the nation owning smart phones, if you’re website is not mobile friendly, you’re basically invisible to your customers. In fact, even Google has changed the algorithm of how it serves sites on smartphones so that ‘mobile first indexing’ applies. What this means is that Google now prioritizes responsive designed websites. They are indexed ahead of sites that are built separately from their desktop sites and sites that are not mobile friendly. Mobile first indexing gives mobile visitors a list of the best sites that will work most effectively, and be highly credible with content, while they surf from their smartphones.

AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages is another technique that you need to deploy for your responsive sites for mobile browsing. Focus on the speed of download, image sizes and page rendering so that the visitor can see your site from the low-bandwidth cellular connected smartphone quickly. No one wants to wait for the page to load any more, they will just go somewhere else…and Google will re-index low performing pages so that they are not at the top of the list.

Marketing Relevance takes these tactics even one step further in our mobile friendly website design. We have been designing mobile first for almost 3 years already. This ensures our client’s websites are guaranteed to work on mobile devices and desktops. They will be successfully indexed in the search engines so that our clients can be found online. There is absolutely no need for, nor should you have, two separate sites for desktop and mobile. One site that cleanly and seamlessly works on both devices is the key. No wonder our websites outperform the industry average with 2-4 times the lead conversion.

Interactive Elements

Using a clean website design doesn’t mean you aren’t trying to draw the user in. The web allows for so much more than just printed words and pictures. Yes, the page provides necessary information, but it should do so in the most interesting and engaging way possible. There are creative ways to engage users that we consider best practice when it comes to user engagement.

Augmented Reality

It might seem like a dream but Augmented Reality is…well, a reality. Smartphones are already tinkering with this technology and soon it will be coming to a website near you. The possibilities are endless with being able to look at a real setting and place specific objects in it or view images in 3D. It truly is an interactive experience and one that we will see more of in the future. Think about the cool new technology that already allows you to put a house on a lot, or see the view from the roof of a 30 story building that has yet to be built, or leaving a ‘note’ for a friend that, when your friend goes to that location, they can see what you left for them. Whether a review on a restaurant, a note or graffiti meant to entice some kind of action, augmented reality is coming to your marketing program soon.

Renderings

Performance is key when using a website. If users are struggling they will leave; pronto. You want your pages to load and run smoothly for a seamless UX. That’s where rendering comes in. Showing your prospects what they will get, or giving them the ‘feeling’ they will have when they experience your product is more possible today than it has ever been. A true and real rendering of your product where and how the buyer will experience it has never been more effective.

3D Visuals

Even though web design lives in two dimensions, it isn’t stopping talented web designers from stretching their imaginations to create images that look and feel like they jump off the page. One specific idea that can easily be incorporated into an effective 3D design include includes adding a realistic feel to elements that users will want to touch. These types of enhanced graphics have an entertainment value, keeping the user on your site longer and improving engagement results.

Video

With YouTube being the second largest search engine behind Google, there should be no doubt that incorporating videos into your website is not only the trendy thing to do, but also the right thing…even long term. Videos are hosted on YouTube and embedded into your site.  This way you benefit from the interactive element that catches the user’s attention on your site AND the SEO component of increased search results from more than one platform.

Call to Action

Your website is the first place someone searching for your product or service is introduced to your company. As the initial contact, it’s extremely important to make sure that users get what they want when they want it; in the easiest way possible. Your site needs to be intuitive so users don’t have to think about what to do next. But what if they do have questions, or want to reach out? You need to make sure that you have obvious and multiple CTAs (Call to Action) on your site. It is best practice to have more than one form of CTA as well. These touch points can be as simple as clicking on your phone number or filling out a form (the most common thoughts that come to mind when you hear CTA). However, there are other ways to invite and entice users to reach out and connect. These may include live chat/chat bots, social sharing, event promotion, and more. We will look at CTAs more in depth in a future blog, but the point of effective CTAs is to get the user to contact you so you can capture the lead and remarket to them in the future. This then puts them into your sales cycle.

Marketing Relevance designs and develops websites to help our clients achieve success in the digital world. We can help you with a redesign of your current site or build you a new site from scratch. Our experts are continuously updating themselves with trends and best practices in web design and development so you are assured of receiving the best site for your needs. Contact us today for a consultation. Call 847-259-7312 or visit our website.