For your business to grow and to effectively cater to your audience, they need to be able to easily find and communicate with you online. That’s why it’s so important to invest in quality web development. However, web development is made up of a variety of different elements, from the overall design and build to SEO and coding, sometimes making it difficult to see the bigger picture. However, almost everything can fall under three key elements which lead to effective web development and design. By using these elements to guide the different aspects of web development, you can ensure your website facilitates meaningful connections with your target audience.
1. Web Design With a Purpose
When you hear web development, you probably fist think of web design. After all, your site’s appearance significantly influences visitors. However, your web design should do more than just look good. When done right, web design can do a lot of heavy lifting for your site.
- Guide Visitors- Visitors typically look at a site in an F pattern, starting in the upper left-hand corner and moving across the right and down. However, their attention doesn’t often last to the bottom right of your site. This means, the upper left-hand corner gets the most attention while the bottom right gets the least. Organizing the information on your site with this in mind helps you guide visitors to high priority information.
- Highlight Priority Info- Speaking of high priority information, depending on your marketing goals, you can easily highlight what’s most important to your business. Trying to generate more leads? A well-placed contact form can help. Driving sales? You can highlight some of your top selling products or sales right on the home page.
- Cultivate a Relationship- You can’t talk to your audience all the time, but your website can. Your site’s appearance can go a long way to cultivating a relationship with visitors. Everything from the way your site makes a visitor feel to what the images and content communicate makes an impression on them and lays the foundation for what will hopefully be a long-term relationship!
2. Effortless User Interface
Whether your site is simple or has a robust ecommerce, excellent user interface (UI) is essential. UI determines the way that software works for the customer and how they interact. Within your website, user interface may include icons or graphics, along with tables, animated elements, and buttons. Think of the way you interact with Microsoft Word or Facebook. To give the user a great experience, UI should be:
- Clear- Users should understand how to interact with your site. It should be intuitive with clarification when necessary. For example, if the user hovers over a button and isn’t sure what it does, a small text box will appear with an explanation. Remember not to fall into the trap of over explaining!
- Familiar- One way to ensure your UI is clear is to make it familiar. Use icons and graphics that mimic things visitors are familiar with, such has a shopping cart for their inventory or a chat box to talk with an online representative. This helps visitors jump right into using your site with little to no learning curve.
- Responsive- Online users have little patience for slow sites. If your UI isn’t quick, visitors will go elsewhere. When visitors leave, or “bounce” quickly from your site, it not only loses you sales but hurts your SEO. Poor coding can contribute to a slow site, so make sure your code is clean.
3. Positive User Experience
When done correctly, web design and UI create a positive user experience, or “UX.” (Which is great for SEO) User experience is exactly what it sounds like, the way that visitors feel when interacting with a website. For example, does the customer find the website cluttered or clean? Are they able to easily navigate, and do they attach an emotion to the external aspects of the site? A positive user experience means visitors are more likely to stay on your site longer and return later! Here are a few tips for ensuring a positive user experience.
- Don’t Expect Users to Remember- If there’s something particularly important you want users to see and use, such as a special offer, contact info, or promo code, make it easy for them to use it once they see it. When on a site, visitors are using their working memory, also known as short-term. Nothing is more frustrating than having to write down a promo code on a site so you can use it later. Instead, allow the promo code to automatically apply to their cart once they click on it!
- Don’t Overwhelm Them- Your site has a lot to offer, but there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing. If users feel overwhelmed on your site, they won’t find the information most important to them or they’ll leave. Instead, break things up so visitors can easily digest information. Also, visitors can get sensory overload which contributes to a poor user experience.
- Be Personable- Remember, your site is a representative of your business and brand. Don’t be afraid to be personable and address your target audience directly using “you” language. For example, “You’re tired of products that make big promises but don’t deliver. You’re ready for something different. We’re here to help.” This helps to form a relationship, make users feel understood, and contributes to a great user experience.
Web development is made up of many tiny parts that, when assembled correctly, come together to make an amazing site for you and your target audience. It may seem complicated, but by using these three key elements a guide, you can ensure your site helps you achieve your goals.
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The professionals at MLT Group partner with you to understand you, your business, and your goals, so we can create a website that meets your needs. We handle the nitty gritty, using industry best practices and overcome obstacles creative solutions.