Feature: 29 Professional Web Design Experts Share Tips

The following article featured Vanessa Colosio Diaz of Pipeline Pepper and 28 other experts. See below for the article or on Dublin SEO

Web Design Tips 2017 – 29 Professional Web Design Experts share Top 3 Tips

Looking for the best Web Design Tips 2017? We reached out to the Web Design Community and got the Top 3 Tips from 29 Professional Web Design Experts. Check it out:

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Chris Bintliff, Marketing Strategist, Not Really Rocket Science, 

http://notreallyrocketscience.com

My first tip is to think content first, not placement/layout. This is my principal issue with platforms like Square Space, Wix, or other fill-in-the-bucket services; they encourage you to add a photo here, a video there, and text there without considering if those things are actually the right or necessary things to do. Which leads me to

Tip 2 – I tell my clients “your website is not for you – it’s for your customer.” Think about your buyer’s or customer’s journey in why they’re on your website and what they’re looking for. Your visitor is on a mission, and they’re looking to get something specific out of their web experience. Having great content might encourage them to stick around, but first respect why they showed up. Pricing? Information? Simply a phone number? Make it stupid easy. Sometimes we think our company history and a page about our board of directors is essential content when, from the customer’s perspective, those things don’t help them in considering business with you.

Tip 3 is, in that spirit, to be as natural, organic, and authentic as possible. How we speak, listen, read and write are not the same, and we tend to write with a formality or complexity that can get in the way of building a relationship. Read content aloud, simplify, and make things sound human. This is much better for nurturing a relationship and it’s good search engine optimization as well.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Matt Edstrom | Head of Marketing
BioClarity
https://www.bioclarity.com/

Think Beyond Aesthetics –

1. Usability: Be sure that the user interface is simple and easy to navigate. The easier you make it for the user to get where they want to go, the more likely they will have a good experience on your site.

2. Keep SEO in Mind: A site is useless if it can’t be found. Be sure that your site is optimized and search engine friendly.

3. Make Site Speed a Priority: Everyone hates a slow loading site. Be sure to your site’s load speed is quick, so it doesn’t keep the user waiting. A high-speed load time is a strong driver of a great user experience for your visitors.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Chris Gray, Founder, Digital Gray

http://www.diggray.com

1. For every page on a website ask yourself one question: What am I asking people to do here? Sure you’re giving information, maybe even inundating your visitors with images, video, and copy, but at the end of a visit what would be the highest and best outcome? If it’s a phone call, an email address, requesting more information, setting up an appointment, or making a direct purchase of a product, each of these lends itself to different design choices. At the end of the day a good website is bait in the water for the exact fish you are trying to catch.

2. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. 60% or more of your website visitors are going to be viewing your website on a mobile device screen that is less than 6” large. You can throw a ton of money at cutting-edge design but most of your site visitors just want clean copy and to find the information they are after as quickly as possible.

3. User testing is critical. Every company that has a website should invest time into user testing. For even the most simple website processes: using your website to find directions to your place of business, placing an order, finding hours of operation, browsing products, and other simple actions there should be someone on your team that is constantly testing to make sure simple actions are fast and flawless. The average consumer will give you a few seconds to find the information they are seeking before they move along to the next website.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Jennifer M. Poole, J.D., Director of Marketing, Nadrich & Cohen, LLP
https://www.personalinjurylawcal.com/nadrich-and-cohen-legal-team/

1. Pay attention to page speed. Make sure that you are optimizing your site
by compressing images, minifying javascript, etc; Many sites look pretty,
but fail to load quickly. Make sure to optimize page load speed from the
start. A page that loads fast can improve ranking in SERPs and boost your
conversion rate.

2. Web designers know that a website should be responsive. However, it’s
not enough to simply choose a responsive template. Throughout the design
process, a designer should continually review how the site renders on
mobile, tablet and desktop. A page that looks great on a desktop may look
disorganized on mobile.

Each time a designer adds an element to a template, he or she should review
the site on a mobile device, tablet, and desktop. Due to mobile devices
vertical scroll presentation, an added element will frequently have a
different template location on mobile as compared to desktop. Therefore, an
element may need to be resized or moved altogether so that it is seamlessly
integrated into the template across all devices.

3. Check all on-page links to ensure that they are properly functioning.
Make sure that all phone numbers are click-to-call. After all, you’ve
worked hard to design a great website, make sure that visitors are able to
easily access all resources that your site has to offer.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Anthony Brooks, Co-Founder, Black Jackal Media
Http://blackjackalmedia.com

Tip 1: Keep It Simple

A well designed site should immediately express to the visitor what you do
and be easy to navigate.

Tip 2: Eliminate Clutter

The worst thing you could do is fill the back end with unnecessary plugins
or function that clog up your workflow and server storage.

Tip 3: Have Fun

Make it exciting for yourself, even if you’ve done 100+ websites, make
yourself little challenges like getting the framework done in a record time
or figuring out shortcuts that get the work done in less time.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Daniel Davidson, Founder, By Dan Design Co. 
https://bydan.us

Far too often a website starts off on the wrong foot. Before you get your
hands dirty with the look-and-feel, you need to prepare your foundation.

First, you need to clearly define your goals for the website. Getting more
traffic or sales isn’t good enough. You need to set goals that are
measurable. For example, if your goal is to get more traffic you would need
to define how much more traffic, from what channels, over what time period.

Second, you need to understand who you’re actually building your website
for. It’s not for your business, it’s for the end user, the customer. Why
are they online? What are they trying to accomplish? How can you help them
solve their dilemma? Build for the customer.

Third, you need to define the user-flow and site structure. How does a new
site visitor go from the awareness stage to a conversion stage? It doesn’t
just magically happen. Your website needs to have a progressive
Call-To-Action strategy and content offering to graduate prospects to leads
to paying customers.

When you have measurable goals, a firm understanding of your customers, and
a detailed CTA plan, you can turn your website
into a powerful marketing and sales tool.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Brad M. Shaw President and CEO
Dallas Web Design Inc. 
https://dallaswebsitedesign.com

1. Include a call to action above the fold on the front page. Funnel the customer with a CTA clearly front and center.

2. A website design should focus on your customer and their needs. We always keep the customer in mind when doing design work. Are our customer’s moms, lawyers, or tech savvy?

3. Keep the navigation simple, especially on mobile. Nobody wants to navigate thru a mega menu of 125 links. KISS, Keep it simple stupid.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Donald E. Petersen
https://tcpa.mobi/tcpa-lawyer 

Here’s what I believe I’ve discovered in the
process of designing a niche law firm site that I recently launched.

While designing a micro site designed to attract consumer who are receiving
unwanted robocalls on their cell phones, I noticed that the search volumes
for almost all of the targeted keywords are miniscule and this constraint
is further restricted by U.S.A. attorney licensing laws which limit my
practice to Florida. So, I had to plan the marketing strategy and site
design so that they are cohesive.

Many consumers are confused by the four main areas of the governing law
(the TCPA) so I provided extensive educational articles in hopes of gaining
clients by helping them identify legal problem and explore the solutions.
To make the process easier for the consumers, each substantive area is easy
to identify and access.

Besides investing in exceptional quality content, I recommend providing
interactive maps, graphs, videos, and charts to more clearly explain
complex legal issues such as these interactive maps assisting consumers
report do not call violations using Simple Maps.

Because the search volumes will be quite low, the next step will be to use
social media, appropriate forum comments, and outreach to authors for sites
that actually have relevant traffic regardless of the perceived value of
the link (follow vs. no-follow). Hopefully, providing exceptional content
in an area where little is written will earn some traffic and conversions.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Nick Saporito Graphic Designer

LogosByNick.com

Tips When Designing a Website: When designing a new website, one area that is often overlooked is making sure the site has a valid SSL certificate and its address uses HTTPS instead of HTTP. Consumers are increasingly being trained to not interact or do business with sites that do not encrypt the data being transmitted, and for good reason. Without proper encryption, third parties can access the data being sent and received. I noticed a spike in sales on my own site once I made the switch to HTTPS earlier this year.

Another tip when designing a new website is to base the site’s design on the Golden Ratio. The Golden Ratio is a design principle which used a ratio of 1.618 and helps to make design more naturally appealing to the human eye. It has been used in art, design and architecture throughout history.

Another tip for designing a new website is to have a clear and concise call-to-action that stands out from the rest of the page. Why do you want people to come to your website? What action do you want them to take once they’re on your site? Your site’s design should be built around facilitating that action through a valuable and memorable experience that leads your viewer to click, call, buy, or fill out a submit form. I like to make the call-to-action stand out by using a color that contrasts well with the rest of the page.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Travis Bennet, Managing Director, Studio Digita

http://studiodigita.com

My top 3 tips are as follows:

– Map out the page heirarchy beforehand and ensure there is a good user
flow from landing to purchase.
– Ensure there is a clear call-to-action that’s above the fold on each
page of your website.
– Don’t overdo it. The key to good design is often less is more, so
focus on whitespace and pleasing aesthetics.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Jason Lavis, Managing Director, Out of the Box Innovations Ltd. 

https://ootbinnovations.com

1) Decide what you want a website visitor to do. With today’s short
attention spans, the old fashioned websites with everything on the homepage
are likely to get a bounce. If you want telephone enquiries, make your
telephone number stand out. If you want people to opt in, then a
combination of a large opt in form, and a pop-up or two should be the
priority.

2) Spend plenty of extra time going over the proposed design with your
client. There’s nothing worse than finding out that they had something
completely different in mind. This can almost double development time.

3) Always look for off the shelf options for themes, plugins and other
features. There’s nothing heroic about starting something from scratch, and
working out the bugs, when there is some open source script that has had
weeks put into it already.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Vanessa Diaz, Owner, Pipeline Pepper

www.pipelinepepper.com

1) I am clear (in writing) on what pages we are creating and set the
expectation. As the process continues, there are times a client wants to
add more pages which will mean more work. Since it is out of the scope it
will be an extra charge.

2) If you are working with a program like Squarespace a way to great way to
create a more custom look with minimal code is to use Canva for graphics,
images, buttons, arrows or a change in text. (www.canva.com)

3) Not all stock photos are created equal. Cool and modern stock photos are
your friend and really help tell the story you were hired to tell.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Slavik Boyechko, Blogger,

geardads.com

1. All CMS platforms, themes, plugins, and publishing tools have a learning
curve. So even the simplest design adjustments can take forever to execute
when you’re still in the learning phase of a new tool.

2. Finding help on Fiverr (or other quick job sites) can feel like an
incredibly cheap solution to your website design roadblocks, but unless
you’re willing to give a $5 hire complete administrator access to your
website (you shouldn’t), then you need to create a clone of your site with
a working database, domain, and host.

3. And while it feels a lot simpler and quicker to just hire a professional
to design your site from beginning to end, there’s nothing quite like
learning the ins and outs of website design, with all the learning curves
and stumbles along the way.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Amna Rizvi, Editor
GadgTecs.com

1. Keep in mind your target market. For e.g. Is it young people? Then you
can make a flashy site otherwise keep it simple
2. Always make sure your site loads quickly! This is the fast age. People
won’t wait 10 seconds for your site to load
3. Responsive! Can’t stress this enough. Not only for people, its also
necessary for better SEO!

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Ryan Hertel, Owner/Creative Director
Socialocca

1. *Keep it mobile. *It’s almost 2018, and mobile has taken over.. Even
those more complex subscription based sites that would be seemingly easier
to navigate on a desktop are STILL losing ground to “mobile views” on the
analytics charts. Keeping it mobile can mean to keep it simple. Many have
said “simplicity is key”, and it seems that now more than ever is the time
to heed that advice.

2. *Smush those images, please! *Piggy-backing off the idea of keeping
your site mobile-user friendly, it’s become imperative to edit any images
down to the appropriate size. Nothing’s worse then searching for that
direct URL and waiting 23 seconds for the slider to load. Don’t upset your
audience with a site that can’t load on a weak wi-fi or data signal
connection. They won’t blame their internet provider, they’re going to
blame you!

3. *Give the user what they’re looking for. *We’re at the point where
information is so readily available that users become frustrated quickly if
they don’t find what they’re searching for almost immediately. The
“one-page” site has become a popular design choice because of this. This
style gives users a much better chance to find what they’re looking for
without having to page hop all over the site. Again, no one wants to click
around on all those tiny links when viewing on mobile like that. Keep it
clean, concise, and easy for the user to find what they’re searching for.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Adam Pearce, Director, Blend Commerce,

www.blendcommerce.com

1. Ease of navigation – Not having clear ‘signposts’ to website visitors is
always a factor in high exit rates for stores. Think about the most basic
motives your site visitors will have and use plain and direct language to
help address their needs.

2. Trust Factors – Trust is absolutely essential, especially on ecommerce
stores. From a basic level, displaying accepted credit card icons can help,
but also consider using icons to illustrate your returns policy, delivery
promise or other factors that can give confidence to your visitors to take
the action you wish them too.

3. Social Proof – Its human nature that we feel more comfortable about
purchasing a product or service if we know others have done the same. From
basic reviews from social media, to full blown video case studies, use
social proof on your home page to boost the confidence of your visitors.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Hilary McGuckin MIDM, Marketing & Communications
Etain Limited

1. Live and breathe UX.

It’s vital that your web development team understand your audience and aren’t just working on a fancy design to win awards. If your website isn’t intuitive, tick your user’s boxes and make information discovery a delight then they simply won’t stay.

When Etain Ltd embarked on an ambitious project with Fáilte Ireland on the development of the Ireland’s Ancient East website, we made sure that User Experience workshops were as inclusive for their project team as possible. Having the Fáilte team heavily involved in the user journey design, as well as the content tree and site structure meant that the website was built on a foundation of genuine persona understanding, and not just an attractive layout.

2. Do your research!

Before you embark on the actual design you should know what works and what doesn’t. This will vary according to industry, so what works for your neighbour might not be right for you. Most important is having a firm grasp on trends, and what’s outdated.

As Kentico Gold web developers, at Etain Ltd we keep an eye on web design elements that are user led and still in demand, like parallax scrolling and hamburger menus, as well as what’s happening in the world of search engine algorithms such as the panic associated with ‘Mobilegeddon’ in 2015. Making sure your developers implement what you’ve learned this way will not only enhance experiences for people and for SEO, but prevent your website from prematurely aging.

3. Test. Test and Test again.

 

We can’t stress this enough. Whether you’re building a basic blog or an enterprise level web portal, testing every iteration is vital before pushing anything live.
Check every single internal link, button, menu item, gallery carousel and contact form operates exactly as it should. Small glitches here and there add up and all contribute to a poor user experience, and we all know that means high bounce rates and low conversions. On top of that, as Google’s relationship with UX has developed in to one so closely related to the ranking signals achieved by SEO, all elements, widgets and custom functionalities now operate as signals that contribute towards rankings, so you want to make sure they are sending the right signals!

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Gregory Golinski, web designer and SEO,

YourParkingSpace.co.uk

-Choose your color scheme carefully. Colors have a meaning and can
influence people’s perception of your brand in many different ways.
A blue logo conveys a feeling of trust and calmness, while a red one
symbolises passion and excitement. Ask yourself which colors would be the
best fit for your website,
and don’t forget that the colors you pick should also combine well.

-Add social media buttons to your website so that your visitors can
interact with your brand on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. It’s also a
great way to gain new followers. And don’t forget to answer their queries
and comments on social media channels.

-Create a blog page. A blog is absolutely critical nowadays if you want
your website to rank well on search engines. The more text, the better, as
each keyword you use will increase your website’s visibility on Google and
Bing. A blog page will also give your website more authority in your field
of work.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Job Brown, eCommerce Manager.

Roman Blinds Direct

Think like your users – Approach your designs as if it’s the first time
you’ve ever seen a website. Strip your mind of any preconceptions and
knowledge you’ve built up over the years. Think critically of your work.
Does it make sense, is it intuitive to your users – or does it just make
sense to you?

Test your designs – You’ll have made a lot of changes to your design while
thinking like your users but, no matter how empathetic to their aims, it’s
simply not possible to make your design perfect without other people’s
views. Get a mix of people and watch how they interact with your design,
ask them about their expectations and using this information to improve.

Don’t be afraid to iterate – It feels great when you finally sign-off a
design and can sit back and enjoy it. But sometimes, you need to go back to
it. Just because you’ve said it’s done, doesn’t mean that you can’t improve
it in the future. Things change, people change, make sure that you’re
confident enough to let your designs change.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Anastasia Vasilieva, Web Designer

Animatron

1. Focus on Content and Typography

Design role today has shifted away from making beautiful pictures to
presenting content in the most efficient way. If you’re in doubt then use
clean and minimalistic design approaches.

Provide relevant illustrations for your website, preferably original and
authentic. Pay attention to laconic and inspiring copy. Support it with the
modern trend of big web typography: big headlines, bold or light style to
your taste, body text big enough to be readable.
2. Use Animation

Animation can make your website remarkable in many ways. You may use slight
content animations as your web page loads, prepare gifs or short videos
illustrating the processes you’re talking about, and even include animated characters
if it’s appropriate for your style.

Animate blocks of content in a way that follows laws of physics. Try not to
overwhelm your designs with special effects: let the movements be simple
and smooth.

3. Prepare Mobile-Friendly Design

Mobile drives 56% of all traffic, according to Similarweb. It means there
is a big chance your clients will open your website on a mobile device.
Just be prepared to that: provide a responsive design or an optimized
mobile version to impress your customers at the first sight.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Dani Owens, Owner.

Pigzilla

– *SEO – *To be honest, I would recommend that when developing a new
site, you should always bring in an SEO to work with the developer.
Developers are great and build amazing things, but after launch, if you
can’t get people to find the website then it’s most likely going to be
useless. I see developers make SEO mistakes often. Not to discredit their
technical minds, but SEO is a completely different discipline than web
development.
– *CTA* – Choose the main conversion you want users to complete. This
could be a phone call, contact form or purchase. Make this the one and only
CTA on the home page and drive users to it. You could add another CTA is
desired but the more CTAs you add, the more likely you are to distract your
users from converting.
– *Content / Messaging* – On the home page or your sales page, describe
the challenge your users might be facing (talk about them) and tell them
what the solution is (you). Explain why. Show proof if you have it such as
analytics data, case studies, etc.
– *Code* – Search engines have a hard time crawling and indexing
JavaScript properly. Try to make all pages that you want indexed by search
engines to be in HTML and CSS. If search engines can’t index your content
then people will never find it!!!
– https://goralewicz.com/blog/javascript-seo-experiment/
– https://moz.com/blog/search-engines-ready-for-javascript-crawling
– *Speed* – Site speed is a ranking factor but it will also send people
away from your website. Do not add tons of unnecessary scripts and images
to your web pages. If you have images, resize them first, compress them and
then upload them to your site. Images are one of the biggest loading hogs.
You can also minify files, add caching, etc.

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/mobile-page-speed-benchmarks/194511/#readfull

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Dmitri Tymos, Freelance Web Designer.

www.learnzilla.com

1. Utilize the brightness levels on your background images. Visual aesthetics and readability are key: darken the background slightly if your text is white, or lighten the background if your text is black to make it much easier to read. Some designers create an additional colored overlay to make the image fit the site theme.

2. Make the class names descriptive. At one point someone else might have to make changes to the site, especially if you’re building a site for a client, so make classes and ID’s to be as descriptive as possible so it’s easier to identify them.

3. White space: use lots, and lots of white space. The secret behind some of the best and most recognized sites is their effective use of white space. Problem with poor web design is that content is always clogged, there is too much of it, and it doesn’t grab the attention. With great spacing and reduced content, your site will look cleaner, easier to read, and will get the point across.

4. Find a good color scheme and stick to it. Colors play a big role in web design. A site that’s not color-consistent won’t look nearly as good as a professional site. Check out https://coolors.co/– their tool lets you use the colors you decided on already and matches up potential contrasting colors to complete a theme, or you can create a whole theme altogether!

5. Get inspired! It’s absolutely critical to find inspiration when creating a new site. Inspiration is fuel for design. www.behance.net has many amazing web themes and Photoshop designs you can check out that are often free to use.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Michael Flint

http://www.metropoliscreative.com

1) Messaging
Take a step back and do a Brand Discovery. This includes understanding your brand, your target audiences, and your goals. What makes you different? Incorporate all of that into updated messaging, with emphasis on your larger goals and audiences. Make sure your messaging speaks directly to your audience, with the purpose of converting towards specific goals.

2) Responsive and Mobile
How well does your site break down for smaller screens — or larger ones? Is it truly optimized, or does it just get smaller? You can remove excess content on smaller screens and push CTAs up higher. Menus don’t have to be as robust as on the desktop version of the sites. And for certain businesses, key information needs to be front and center. For example, restaurants need to offer hours and directions above the fold on a mobile screen.

3) SEO
This seems like an obvious one, but let’s talk about how it impacts a website design. You need room for keyword-rich and relevant copy, especially the home page. It helps to have your keywords be very prominent on a page, so find a compromise with messaging and keywords. Consider breaking up long pages into separate pages if they are all focused on different topics, and add a conversion form to these naturally search-optimized pages. For document-rich sites, consider gathering everything into a resource center, tagged by categories. This is a great conversion tool that also helps with SEO by drastically increasing the number of content-rich pages on your site.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Lauren Scheib, Design Director

Warschawski

1. Always put the brand first – Photography, artwork and typography should come together to reflect the brand’s values and make a memorable, emotional connection to the user.

2. Consider the audience – how we approach usability depends on the intended audience. Certain trends might work for some users but not others. I always want a brand’s target audience to have a positive experience navigating the site, and will base choices on elements like menus and content placement based on that. Trends like animation and full screen video should never be done for their own sake, but to enhance the experience and reinforce the brand.

3. Keep designs clean and mobile friendly – Good use of white space with imagery allows your audience to absorb information easily and comfortably, while mobile-friendly designs based on a grid make for easy transitions to various screen sizes.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Brianna Brailey, Design + Development Lead
GNGF Marketing for Law Firms

*1. Design For Your Audience*
Whenever my team begins a new site design project, we start by interviewing
our clients about their target markets. We get pretty detailed about this,
covering everything from basic demographic information such as age and
occupation to where they shop and what cars they drive. Sketching out a
rough identity of a person who we will target in marketing efforts heavily
influences the design choices we make down the line.

It is so important to keep the preferences and expectations of this user
top-of-mind throughout the entire design process. This is one of the
greatest challenges a designer faces in their work, dismissing one’s own
preferences in favor of the ultimate user. But in the end, it is so worth
it.

The site hildasibrian.com is a good example of catering to an identified
audience. They are a personal injury law firm in Houston, a very
competitive market. They have gained an edge in their area by targeting the
Spanish-speaking demographic almost exclusively.

When it came to the site design, we made sure the site was very easy to use
on a mobile device since most of their clientele don’t use desktop
computers at all. We also designed the site to be 100% bilingual—something
no one else in their market had even attempted.

*2. Prioritize Conversion*
This seems so elementary, but I can’t tell you how many sites I see that
seem to forget the point of a website…which is for the user to take some
sort of action.

For GNGF’s clients, the conversion goal is a user contacting the law firm
either by phone or online form. For other sites, it could be making a
purchase or accessing multiple pages of content. Regardless of your
conversion goal, the goal of the design is to make it easy for the user to
convert, period.

Style is important and communicating the brand is too. But those aspects of
the design should never get in the way of conversion. Using enormous images
and limited type might look really great, but is it getting the user the
information they want? Is it helping your client to capture customers
online?

A great example of a site that marries style and conversion optimization is
crouselawgroup.com. The form is front and center, but they are still
utilizing many elements to create an interesting and distinguishing design.
Conversion for the mobile user was also heavily considered. The site
features a sticky navigation with click-to-call and click-to-email buttons
so that someone can convert right from their phone.

*3. Consider All Devices*
Even though we use smartphones a million times a day, somehow mobile
usability still escapes some website designs.

Mobile and desktop users have different goals when visiting a website.
Through our research, we’ve found that mobile users spend less time on
pages and are more action-oriented. Desktop users may spend more time
reading content and clicking through several pages before taking an action.
We take this into consideration by designing the mobile and desktop
experiences at the same time, rather than designing one and scaling up or
down for the screen size.

A site with a great mobile experience is levylawoffices.com. This firm has
a higher than average amount of mobile traffic, and by considering the
mobile user in the site design, has seen their mobile conversion rates
increase dramatically. Things like click-to-call buttons, icons, and short
sections of content cater to the get information quick mindset of a
mobile user.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Ciara Carroll, User Experience Designer

Gambling.com Group

1. Get the planning right and it will be an island breeze – The start is when you should try to get to know the users of your website – user research is really important. You may feel like you don’t know where to assemble this information but finding competitors of your business and by looking at similar businesses will give you a great insight into who you may be designing for (or in other terms, a UXD Competitive Analysis). Writing out the brand personality or finding out the brand mission for the business will also give you an idea for tone of voice of the company and business market and will provide a good art direction in which to go in. Write down a brand narrative if it helps. Leaning on what has been created already by previous designers for the brand as a crutch can lead you into making the right decisions and preserving the work that has gone into an existing brand already – even if there isn’t a website presence – you can find radio ad copy, marketing articles, YouTube videos, social networks – all of which provide valuable brand positioning information. Set aside time to write out users personas.

2. Don’t jump without looking – Content is king – Once you know your users and you have a stack of research done for the who and why, move swiftly onto getting the ‘information architecture’ of what you’ll be prototyping. This means speaking to the business/content/marketing/ppc team. Talk to them and find out what they think are the most important aspects of the site – how much content you could expect and why. SEO and UX design are two sides of the same coin really – search engine algorithms have evolved based on user experience, marketers have learned to use SEO and UX design together to drive conversions on their website, especially with googles new mobile indexing, so the role designers need to play to help the SEO strategists is more important than ever. (i.e.: smaller screens – all hail – mobile first design) Getting your head around google analytics will save your life and you can always justify decisions based on data. And for the life of you if you can check with developers on how it’s being built – what frameworks and what the expectations of deliverables of developers are – this will save you so much time and possibly revisions. Count it as part of your planning phase and you’ll never go wrong.

3. Speed will trump your delightful elements every time – This may be a simpler tip, but it shouldn’t be forgotten. For example, you may have a list of amazing user experience ideas for elements that you know will delight and provide a great experience to the users on landing on your website – the trick is – if your delightful elements weigh down the site so that it runs like an old pack donkey up a hill then those delightful elements become redundant as the user will have no patience for your website – if they can get there at all – Imagine 40 year old Mary in Gloucestershire who still uses a blackberry and she just wants to have a pop off her fave slot game while waiting for the bus home – she has no time for your loading icon or interactive video banner – she’s going to give up or go elsewhere – no matter how sleek it may come across. Always watch out for things that require javascript or JQuery or any elements that may add unnecessary weight to your site and slow down the speed (even large imagery can do some damage), It’s a tight rope to walk especially with the trending inclusion of the need for AMP compatible websites but if you consider it at every turn it’s much easier long term.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Jerry Nihen, CEO and Founder of Jay Nine, Inc.

www.jaynineinc.com

1. Focus on your target market. It’s easy to get lost in our own egos when we’re designing a website for our business, but the important part of a business website is that it gets the consumers/customers the information they need, quickly. Ultra-fancy designs, giving the visitors too many traffic points, delaying launch because you’re chasing the next shiny object—this kind of stuff ruins website projects.

2. Think about what you want visitors to do. Are your visitors going to make a purchase? Are they going to submit a contact form? Both? You need to iron out the different purchase paths you want from your customers, and make sure they are clear, concise, and included in the website.

3. If you fail to plan, plan to fail. Too many people start by getting a home page “look” and then just going to town on the design. Before anyone writes a line of code or draws a square in Photoshop—you need to have a “blueprint” of everything you’re going to build (for the same reason you do so before starting work on a building).

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

*Jennifer Hoffman*  Digital Marketing Manager, N2Q Consulting

 www.notothequo.com

1. *Responsive Design/ Optimization*: Responsive design is taking into
consideration and developing according to a user’s behavior and environment
based on screen size, platform and orientation. For example, designing and
removing elements on desktop vs. mobile to help the user reach the
designated point.

2. *Understanding and practicing A/B Testing:* A/B Testing consists of two
variations of a promotional item such as landing page. The results of the
test will help define what items work within a design and what isn’t
generating conversions.

3. *Minimal/ Simplified Navigation:* Minimal navigation is creating
hierarchical structure at it’s simplest form. To define a site’s
hierarchical structure, you need to understand the set groups of people who
will be using your site and then organize the top sections within the
navigation.

 

Top 3 Web Design Tips 2017 by Professional Web Design Expert:

Randy Mitchelson, APR, Vice President

iPartnerMedia

1. *Think mobile first. 
A website design should be automatically mobile responsive and result in a mobile
layout that places the most important key messages and call-to-action
(including click to call phone number) *above the fold* and have a
thumb-friendly data form and submission button.

2. *Monitor load speed.* 
Google has publicly denounced websites that take too long to load on mobile devices and slow
site speed now affects search rankings. To help businesses understand the
facts behind their website speed, Google launched a free tool to enter a
website address and it calculates load speed ad provides a grade. This tool
is at https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com

Things that affect load speed include the size of images and video and also
the quality of the hosting server as well extraneous websiite plugins.

3. *Stay secure.* 
Website security should never be part of the compromise when choosing your hosting
and maintenance provider. Any site can easily become the next focus of
mischievous or malicious activity. Website owners must have an ongoing
website security and maintenance plan that includes constantly updating the
website core, plugins, and any other third party integrations running on
the website.The best thing a website owner can do is to make sure that
their webpage is hosting by a safe and secure server that is vigilantly
maintained and quick to respond.

 

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