On average, a visitor to your website decides in less than a second whether they’re going to leave or stick around to check things out. That doesn’t give you much time to make a good impression, so you want to make sure that your visuals are top-notch. Even the term “visuals” can be misleading though. As you’ll find outlined below, a webpage’s design consists not only in what it looks like but how it works functionally. In fact, this should be your number one concern — how to make your website as easy and inviting to navigate and use as possible. Employ visual cues wisely to help users better understand functionalities and ultimately have better engagement and an improved overall experience.
Visuals should serve a purpose
First things first, make sure everything on your website serves a purpose. There’s nothing wrong with being aware of current design trends, but you don’t want to allow them to dictate your whole approach. Clearly you want to provide something that looks fresh and intriguing, but unless your site’s visual appeal is amalgamated with its usability, the design doesn’t do much in uplifting your page’s performance. Truly effective interactive design goes beyond artistic trends and looks to find ways of bringing together innovation and intuition to elicit more responses. Make sure you select plugins carefully and don’t overdo it. For example, if you make and sell your own products on WordPress, a WooCommerce inventory plugin is essential to improve your business operations. But if you fall into the trap of adding too many flashy elements, like annoying pop-ups or spinning wheels, you’ll basically end up inviting your visitors to leave your website right away. Keep it simple and you’ll end up selling more.
Use conventions to your advantage
On that note, don’t shy away from established conventions of design. Standardized design patterns, or ‘conventions,’ have garnered that title because they work. Especially if you’re looking to appeal to a larger audience, you want to have everything in place to be able to quickly orient visitors, even if it’s their first time landing on your site. The temptation to be overly clever will always be there but try to put the emphasis on clarity. Use ‘About’ not ‘The Brains Behind the Operation,’ or some variation. Give people cues they know and feel comfortable with.
Create effective visual hierarchies
Like conventions, visual hierarchies exist to help visitors navigate and understand what is going on on your website. A fast and powerful way to provide users with some context for your site or quickly locate any subset information they are after; visual hierarchies increase the likelihood that they will actually proceed to access your services.
Break up your page
Breaking your page into clearly defined areas is critical. If a visitor can’t immediately discern different sections, they are likely to move on. Help them scan for groupings of information they are interested in without being overwhelmed with visual stimuli.
Clearly mention clickables
You want people to click them, right? So let them be the star of the show. Clickables should always be made obvious without any fuss, as they constitute the most important factor in business generation. Here you want to focus on intuition, using visual cues to help highlight exactly how visitors can take the action you want them to.