You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you CAN judge a website by its design - and according to research, people do. Google has conducted surveys that have revealed that it actually only takes 50 milliseconds for a user to formulate an opinion about a given website based on how it looks. That split-second decision is, of course, the determining factor in whether a visitor stays on your page or navigates away. That means web design must be a top priority for small to mid-size businesses who hope to grow their brand online.
So, how can you make sure that the colors, spacing, symmetry, volume of text, fonts, image placement… and everything else… appeal to your consumer audience? The following tips will make sure that your web design is your greatest asset - not your greatest liability.
Keep It Simple
Google recently revealed that, while the 50 millisecond rule is the most accurate reflection of how long it takes users to make judgements, some users can even make decisions in as few as 17 milliseconds. These incredibly fast opinions are formed based on the perceived aesthetic value of your website, and the findings are clear: the more complex and “cluttered” your site appears, the more consumers will hate it, whereas the cleaner, simpler, and more familiar the site appears, the more users will love it.
Consider Eye Tracking Research
Further research has revealed that it takes about 2.6 milliseconds for a user’s eye to land on the “sweet spot” of your website; that is, the area(s) that’s most likely to influence their first impression. Knowing the patterns that a user’s eye typically follows can help you enjoy a higher degree of influence over the customer’s decision-making. Typically, users will first focus on your logo, before moving to the main navigation menu, the search box, the main image on your page, the main text, and then the bottom of the site. Make sure that these spots look immaculate in order to keep your readers interested and focused.
Seek to Inspire
Studies have shown that consumers who make an emotional connection to a website or are inspired by a page are the most likely to form positive opinions about the site, thus staying longer and increasing the odds of a sale. The use of images and statements that appeal to a reader’s senses will inspire them to move forward with their goals and dreams.
Be an Equal-Opportunity Website
It wasn’t too long ago that people only used computers to access websites. This just isn’t the case anymore. With an ever-growing number of adults relying on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices to access the Internet, businesses absolutely must respond in turn. It doesn’t matter how great your web design is if people can’t access your website, regardless of what type of device they’re utilizing. Making sure that your web design is responsible will ensure that whether your page’s visitors have stumbled upon your website from their PC or wearable technology, they’ll be able to easily view and navigate the entire site. This will keep more people on your page longer, decreasing bounce rates while increasing the likelihood that your message will be received and that you’ll see the results you desire (SALES!).
So, how do you think your web design stacks up? It’s always a good idea to get a second (or third… or fourth) pair of eyes to take a look at your current design. Solicit the opinions of friends, family, and colleagues to get a better idea of what’s working - and what isn’t - for your site. And don’t forget to seek out a professional opinion.
Madison Taylor Marketing is happy to evaluate your web design and help you take your site to the next level. Give us a call to learn more.