Did you know that 75 percent of consumers judge a business based on its website design?
Nobody can confidently say what the perfect website looks like. However, as the years have gone by, countless design trends have developed that demonstrate what a great website should look like.
Ultimately, the best way to keep your visitors engaged and impressed is to provide a flawless experience from the moment they find your Home page. With the right design elements that utilize modern techniques, you’ll be able to deliver such an experience and keep your visitors coming back for more.
Today, let’s spend some time discussing the most clever modern tips and tricks you can follow in your next web design project!
Table of Contents
1. Choose Appealing and Responsive Hero Images
Hero images have more or less become the norm throughout modern website design – and for good reason. They serve to immediately create a certain mood or atmosphere that attracts and engages visitors while centering their focus on your most important message. When web designers choose the right hero image, they can instantly achieve a goal that designers of the past only wished they could have accomplished.
First and foremost, you should make sure your hero image hasn’t been used by countless other designers purchasing from the same stock image website. You also want to avoid making it look like one big advertisement – a Nielsen Norman Group study found that website visitors avoid looking at objects on a page that even resemble an ad. Next, ensure that the text or other content you overlay on top of the hero image is tied directly to the overall intention of your website. In doing so, you’ll quickly convey to website visitors that you care about originality and the purpose of your brand.
2. Take Advantage of Call-to-Action Buttons
Anyone who has worked on a handful of graphic design, web design, or copywriting projects fully understands the utility of a call-to-action. Without one, visitors and readers may not know the next steps to engage with a particular brand or purchase a product they need. That’s why the majority of modern web design requires a clear call to action be placed multiple times throughout a web page – in both its content and its graphics. Marketing experts estimate that 90 percent of people who look at your website will also read and engage with your call to action.
The best way to create a modern call-to-action button is to ensure its placement cannot be overlooked. In other words, it should be fully visible without distractions – anyone scrolling past it should have their eyes inexorably drawn to it wherever it rests on the page. You can also add an arrow icon to your call-to-action, a strategy that saw a 26 percent increase in clicks for Helzberg Diamonds. That way, you’ll be far more likely to promote engagement and convert visitors to leads.
3. Utilize Innovative Typography
For your website to feel like it truly embraces and fully represents its brand, make sure you stick to a particular font or typography across its pages. Since web designers have had access to countless fonts in recent years, it is critical you find one that you want to associate with your brand and use it as much as possible. Depending on the type of company your site represents or the themes and subjects you explore, your typography can be playful and fun, or serious and uncomplicated.
However, you should focus on keeping the typography use as consistent as possible. This means across each webpage, the bulk of your text content should have the same size and spacing in similar patterns. For readers, this kind of consistency creates an uninterrupted reading and engagement experience – even if they only notice it subconsciously.
Another important note here is that the font you choose must be easily read across every device that accesses your website, including PCs, tablets, and smartphones. And you should never go too small with your font choice – the number one complaint about web users when it comes to reading online is small font sizes.
4. Experiment with Flat Design
In the past, graphic and web designers stuck to something called skeuomorphism. Every function in an app or website was tied to a real-world object – for instance, a camera app might have had a realistic-looking camera lens as its icon, or an envelope may have represented the “Email Us” button on a webpage. This meant that every image used for these functions required a range of details, including shadows, reflections, and other elements that were meant to beautifully mimic their counterparts in reality.
These days, skeuomorphic design has fallen dramatically in popularity and has been quickly replaced by flat design. In flat design, logos and graphics that represent a real-world object are heavily simplified and tend toward two dimensions.
The camera app icon no longer looks like a real camera lens, but instead looks like a simple silhouette a user can easily identify. While these can be less artistic overall, their clean and straightforward design is more affordable for app and business owners to design and more appealing for visitors and customers alike. Beauty startup Poshly saw a 20 percent increase in user engagement after redesigning its site to incorporate more minimalist elements of flat design.
5. Stay Responsive
According to a study from 2020, the majority of global Internet traffic came from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. This means that no matter how visually striking or compelling your website may be. If users can’t access it in the same way across every device, it may be doomed to fail. After all, Google has recently begun a campaign of penalizing websites that fail on mobile-friendliness.
When you set out to design a stunning website full of fascinating and unique elements, you should always test them to ensure they are responsive across any device that may find it. You may be disappointed at times to find that certain design elements create issues when viewed on mobile devices. Especially if you’re forced to remove them altogether. But the peace of mind that comes with knowing your website simply works – no matter who views it – is unmatched.
6. Master Vertical Navigation
Another major aspect of the mobile-friendly design is the method by which your visitors actually navigate across the many pages of your website. If visitors can’t find the path from your Home page to your Services and About pages, they’re likely to abandon your site altogether. And since so many of your visitors will find your site on their mobile devices, you’ll need to incorporate both landscape and portrait mode flexibility.
Long gone are the days of drop-down menus – in fact, recent usability studies have shown that they can lead to frustration in users and increase the likelihood of checkout abandonments. This is why vertical navigation menus have become so popular in recent years as a major web design trend. While websites in the past may have wanted large and flashy icons for navigation. Modern sites opt for simple vertical menus that easily provide visitors with a clear path to their preferred destinations. By incorporating these web design tips and tricks, you’ll be able to better direct traffic to the most important pages of your site and keep them engaged from the moment they arrive.