The prime purpose of effective web design is to make every visitor a potential buyer. There are several aspects to create compelling web design but essentially it must provide the visitor with a happy user experience. Here are 8 cardinal rules which are critical to success:
1. Know your market
Study your market to design a website that will meet its needs. Your site must mirror the values of your market. If you are targeting medical professionals then the site must be businesslike and matter of fact. But if youre in the teenage apparel business the site could be more relaxed and informal. Your market must drive your website design.
2. Keep it credible
Customers must have confidence to deal with you. The way to achieve this and establish credibility is through a privacy statement. Make sure that every page, especially those asking for personal information, has a conspicuous link to this privacy statement. Ensure that your website contains contact details with an email address.
3. Keep your objectives clear
Your website should be firmly focused on your goal, whether its a product or a service that you are selling. If your business is multi-faceted, dedicate each to it’s own page instead of placing all on a single page where the message becomes confused and its effect diluted.
4. Simple navigation is the key
Theres nothing that will turn a visitor away faster than a site that is confusing to explore. Design the site so its easy to navigate with smooth and simple navigation aids to give your visitors a comfortable experience. Provide powerful catalog and search features to easily locate what they are looking for.
5. Consistency pays
Your site must be consistent in design, look and feel. Its upsetting to customers every time they move to another page to feel theyre on a new site. Keep a consistent theme and color scheme throughout.
6. Make your website interactive
Keep your site as interactive as possible with feedback and email forms inviting questions from customers relevant to the product or service of interest. Personalize your site with analytical tools which enable cross-selling and up-selling. For instance when a customer buys a dishwasher, offer a box of detergent with it.
7. Content sells
Good content drives a sale. Make sure your copy conveys the right message you want to get across. Is your copy persuasive and compelling? Does it grab a visitors attention? Does it encourage potential customers and guide them through the sales process? Use others as a sounding board to see if your content works as you want it to.
8. Its all about speed
At todays pace of life people have neither time nor patience. An effective website has between 10 and 30 seconds to grab a customers attention. Ensure a swift download by minimizing load time. Avoid flashy presentations unless absolutely essential. Keep your graphics small, and compress them where you can. Speed is everything. The quicker your site is off the blocks the more successful it becomes.
These are not the only things to watch for in an effective web design. But if you follow these 8 rules it will go a long way toward an effective website that will mold a prospective customer from a casual visitor.