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Visitors form an opinion about the website in just about fifty milliseconds. Brands that are looking to retain their competitive edge in the challenging marketplace will need to prioritize their web design to offer an enriched user experience.

Here are the top four principles of great web design that drives traffic, boosts conversion and builds trust:

Top four web design principles

Ease of navigation

Website navigation continues to be the key element that enriches the user experience. Not surprisingly, 94 percent of survey respondents stated easy navigation to be the most important website feature. Ease of navigation enables visitors to find the information they are seeking much faster. An easy-to-navigate website not only has a clear menu structure but allows seamless and quick navigation between pages. The best practices when it comes to ensuring ease of navigation include:

  • Keeping the navigation bar simple with minimal options
  • Minimizing options in the drop-down menu
  • Avoiding jargon and following user’s language or real-world conventions for naming the menu options.
  • Avoiding non-standard styles and providing too many clicks within the site.
  • Avoiding generic labels

While generic labels such as ‘products’ ‘who we are’ or ‘services’ are typically used in websites, research shows people don’t’ really know what these generic labels contain. For most consumers, labels such as “Products,” “Services” “Solutions,” and “Resources,” sound interchangeable. Vague navigation labels translate to missed opportunities to create clarity and awareness around the brand and its offerings. If consumers cannot get what they want on a site, they will look for it at a competitor’s site.

Responsive design 

Responsive design refers to a website design that is aligned with all types of devices, including laptops, desktops, smartphones and other display devices, regardless of aspect ratios. (Aspect ratio refers to the ratio of width and height of the display device). With billions of mobile users across the world, creating mobile-friendly versions of websites is of paramount importance. A study showed that 70 percent of consumers will revisit a website if its design is optimized for mobile. A key web design principle is to ensure the site works not only for specific mobile brands but for every type of smartphone and device available in the market. The salient elements of a responsive web design are:

  • Optimized images, text size and content
  • Easy to click buttons on smaller screens
  • A Mobile-first approach to design
  • Thumb friendly CTA (call to action) button
  • Hamburger menus

Stunning and consistent visual elements 

The visual aspects of a website include imagery, typography and color. Given that visitors spend just a few seconds on the main page of a website, you should use consistent color combinations to create an appealing atmosphere. Ensure the typography or fonts are legible and avoid using too many colors or fonts within the site.

Fast loading

A Google study showed bounce rate went up by 123 percent when the time taken for pages to load increased from one to ten seconds. Compressing JavaScript, HTML, CSS while optimizing image sizes are some ways to boost loading speed.