Over the years design has changed drastically. Even now we see how websites have transferred from realistic design onto flat design. However, most business owners don’t think about which color or type of design is now trendy, they focus on what design will attract their customers.
Satisfying customers can be a challenge because they’re individuals who don’t think alike. And whether we like it or not, 93% of our customers judgement of a website during the first seconds relies on visual appearance alone. Whereas about 42% of those users make a decision to stay on a website due to design alone. KISSmetrics made a great infographic that explaines customer behavior during shopping. That’s why this post is dedicated to good website design, a brief introduction to why color, simplicity and intuitive design is important in attracting customers.
Straight to the point information
Many websites lose customers or potential customers because of information overload. Obviously you want your customers to know as much as possible about your company, your team, your product, and all the policies you have. However, sometimes it’s just better to simply state the key points that will attract a customer and link up other information in case someone will feel the urge to study the subject further. Widetail has made a great and simple website that combines bold headings (Which is a bonus for them, 2014 is the year of bold!), office pictures that make the customers feel safer (Why? because they feel that they’re getting to know people, not just the product behind them), and finally minimalistic information that is clearly stated. Take a look:
A simple yet informative page is what allows customers to know right away what is happening. Your company logo and a menu bar that helps customers get around without feeling lost is very important. Having the menu bar on top of the page is important, Widetail has made a page that does just that.
What does that mean? It means that it is fundamental that you don’t spam your customers with what you offer. Marketing is important and it is pretty clear that when you do offer trials or have a sale you should put that up front for customers to see, however there is a delicate and inviting way of doing that and the not so inviting way. Colors and images are important here, you don’t want to scare off your customers and you don’t want pop-ups or very flashy images to spam them. Give them the trial they want, in a subtle way like Positionly:
You look at that beautiful landing page and think to yourself “Wow! Simple, not too flashy, it doesn’t scream at me, it speaks to me! I want to try this!” – and that’s the way to go. This fairly monotone page helps you see what they offer (Once again, bold title and a short tiny description – 2014 trends in a nutshell!), your menu bar is at the top of the page and it has tabs that let your customer know right away where he is going. It is simple, it is intuitive, it is very inviting.
Colors and pictures that invite
Colors stimulate our senses (If you fancy knowing what colors are most popular in design check out Pantone), and pictures help us make final decisions. Choosing the right colors is not about using one that is your favorite but one that your customers feel most at ease with. You have to think about your target audience, you wouldn’t use a hot pink layout if you want to sell car parts, and you certainly wouldn’t use colors just because they complement each other like black and pink and lay your red logo on top with all the contrast your Photoshop can find. Just how you shouldn’t use images that are very intrusive.
What colors do I choose?
Study your customers and what you offer them. Are you offering lots of sales? Make a simple and light color site and add red buttons to invite them to buy (Red makes people quick to react). Maybe you want to sell in Germany, think about the culture and what colors are inviting to them, in this case red will be the last color you should think of. Blue makes people think and is soothing and calming, that’s why most serious businesses and healthcare services choose that color – it makes you settle down.
Another case is when you have a specific color that coincides with your business (e.g. your logo). Prowly has used simple design and used their logo’s colors as buttons and overlay and it suits their business well:
You look at that website and you instantly remember that color; not only that, you instantly match that color with Prowly. It does not overtake the layout and it does not invade your rods and cons, it is placed gently in specific places in the layout. This calculated and minimalist manner makes you see the business ‘in action’.
Picture this, picture that
As you may have already noticed by looking at the other websites, pictures have become a sort of a new fashion. But, what you may have also noticed is that they’re either huge or banner like – no matter what the size, they’re just the backdrops. Images should either have an overlay over them or some sort of transparency to them. Irbis Studio has made a great use of this on their welcome page:
It does not get any simpler than this welcome page. However, it makes you want to stay and see what hides behind the simplicity. To your right you see small icons that take you to other parts of the page, hovering over them will show a bubble that will tell you where you are going to be taken to next. The image doesn’t draw attention from any part of the page but it does add flare to it. Prowly and Positionly also used pictures on their website, they too were indirectly the central part of the layout but in a way that invites you in and creates a subtle backdrop.
Taking all this website design stuff in
UXPin has used pretty much all of the above to make their website the best it can possibly be. Interactive images (check out their website to see it move), flat design, intuitive and logical menu, non-intrusive information and colors that don’t distract but invite you in.
No matter what direction you do go in, it is vital that you test and learn what works best. Your website should always be arranged in a logical manner, think about whether pop-ups are a good idea (Maybe decide on small ones and not in the center of your page), and remember that trustworthiness comes with aesthetics.