Your brand is unique.
Yes, it’s true. In the words of Barney the Dinosaur: “There isn’t another in the whole wide world who can do the things you do.”
We promise that’s the last time we’ll ever quote Barney. But the point stands: Your brand has its own unique selling points that draw your customers in and compel them to start down the long road toward conversion. Your website design is how you show off these assets.
But with users forming opinions about your site within 50 milliseconds of visiting, you don’t have time to waste. Your website needs to be usable, concise, and stylish to win the attention of your viewers.
A structured visual hierarchy involves laying out site elements in ways that imply importance based on the natural contrast of each element. When done well, a visual hierarchy can provide readers with a wealth of information before they dig into your website.
For a quick example, consider Big Cartel, a subscription based retail service. The company’s headline and value proposition is placed front and center, with ancillary details provided in small subheadings as you scroll down. Even a five-second glance at this homepage will tell you everything you need to know about the vendor, and it exemplifies the type of instant recognition your own site needs.
Naturally, efficient navigation is essential. This means you need to make it as simple and easy for users to make their way around your site as you can. Creativity is great, but navigation isn’t the place to get weird.
For an example of a page that nails this concept, check out the site for the L.A. Times. As you’d hope for a news-oriented page that relies on its users clicking through multiple pages and spending a while on-site, its navigation is straightforward. Nielson Norman has a breakdown of why frustrating navigational elements (like drop-down menus) can annoy your audience, making a good case for why your brand might want to take a page out of the L.A. Times’ playbook.
Powered by Visuals
We all know that visuals are in right now, putting to rest the idea that webpages need to be heavy clunkers filled with text and tabs. Visuals are a proven way to grab viewer attention and keep them engaged – as long as they’re used correctly.
Check out Inside Abbey Road and you’ll see what we mean. Viewers are treated to a virtual tour through the iconic studio in a first-person POV that makes them feel like they’re actually there. Rather than provide a laundry list of past accomplishments on its homepage, the studio provides a visual experience that users can’t find anywhere else.
One of the hottest web design trends these days is that of minimalism: Saying more with less. It’s a concept that appears chic and seems to embody the idea that if your brand has style, you’ll show it through your web design.
Look no further than Anonymous Hamburger Society to see this type of minimalism brought to life. This recipe-based site features almost no visual elements aside from images of the recipes it’s hosting. Each high quality image is contrasted against the black background for maximum pop. It’s an edgy approach to information that sticks in viewer minds long after they’ve left the site.
A clear brand identity is essential in web design, and you don’t have long to make your case. If you want to see more visitors, better engagement, and more conversions across the board, find your niche and figure out how to create an unforgettable digital experience for your users.