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The World Wide Web is home to a staggering 1 billion plus websites. Imagine the level of competition that your website faces in your business domain. With numerous websites to visit, skippers (hurried visitors) might not find your website at all or even if they do, they might choose moving to some other site straightaway.
It’s imperative that you are able to grab visitors’ attention as soon as they land up on your website. For this to happen, your website should be captivating.
How do you build a website that captivates and convinces your audience to spend more time going through its information?
Here are a few important tips to keep in mind for creating a jaw-dropper of a website.
Good Design is Paramount
The first thing that greets a visitor when they open your site is its design. This design is made up of shapes, which can be geometric, organic or abstract. A few words on each of them before we move ahead:
Geometric Shapes: Basic shapes like squares, circles, triangles and rectangles give better user experience. Tavo is a website which has a captivating geometric design and typography.
Organic Shapes: They are opposite to geometric shapes; more of natural shapes like clouds, raindrop leaves etc. The kind you find in your natural environment.
(Image credit: http://www.cult-f.net/)
Look at the header in the above website; it has organic design elements like birds, clouds and flowers that are interlaced with pink-colored square patterns.
Abstract Shapes: They really don’t exist and are a figment of imagination. Glyph typography or even icons are fine examples of abstract shapes.
Interlacing a contrasting shape in overall design layout will catch the attention of impatient visitors as they scan your website; and a striking color will make it more noticeable. Put the most important content there.
(Image credit: http://www.orangelabel.com/)
Look at the three yellow colored elements, boxed against a contrasting background. The content in the boxes stands out from the surrounding design elements –it is highly visible and readable.
You can use geometric, abstract and organic shapes in tandem to create great visuals that attract attention. Increase visual interest in your content by skillfully mixing up different shapes as shown below:
It would be a good idea to use a geometric frame as an outline to showcase organic shape as depicted in the above image. The rectangular outline shows collections of organic shapes including the sun, which together give the impression of a human skull.
One important thing – Do not forget your mobile users. Make your web design responsive so that the fun continues from the desktop to mobile and vice versa.
Embed Interactive Features
Your website must contain interactive user features. They have loads of engagement potential which provides better user experience and keep visitors on your site longer, increasing chances of getting more subscribers, leads, or sales. If you design them well, you’ll have a winning website on your hands. Websites missing such dynamic elements can actually repel your visitors, so always keep the possibility of using interactive elements in mind when designing your website.
So, how can you make your design interactive?
Use animation to captivate visitors, but refrain from using very flashy elements or numerous sliding panels. Look at Twitter’s “Fail Whale” animation and you will understand how animation can catch visitor attention.
Add dynamic sliders that slide content, images or videos on the screen. Catch the attention with fancy drop down effects. Make the web page clutter-free with collapsible side bars (left or right) so that the right content appears when needed.
Add a video. It can be about your product, your client speak (testimonial), a premises tour or an introduction – anything that communicates in person to your customers. This level of personalization is needed to create an emotional connection and a video is one of the ideal mediums for this purpose.
This has been so nicely done on rewatchable.com.
A word of advice with regard to visual content – upload big, realistic pictures where needed because they impress and convince.
Add Trusted Touch points
Customer feedback in the form of video testimonials, polls, customer logos, customer review badges, media mentions (brand citations), etc., are critical design elements of your website. If you are ignoring them, you are making a big mistake.
- Let video testimonials speak for you
Happy clients are your best brand ambassadors. Give them prominence on your website. Get a few authentic client-speak videos and embed them where every visitor can see them. If you are embedding comments (text only) then pair them with friendly-looking pictures of respective customers along with their name, position, organization and location so that everything appears authentic.
- Embed customer logos
Since, customer content is one of the most sought after information on your site to measure the levels of quality of your product or services, it is in the best interest of your business to use customer logos on your website.
See how Basecamp has used customer logos (many of them are the world’s leading brands) effectively on its website.
So wise up and use them as creatively as Basecamp has.
Social Media Engagement should Get Prominence
You simply cannot ignore social media in your website design. Show all the good things your customers have been saying about your products/services in the form of Tweets or Facebook likes or LinkedIn shares.
OREO has been able to implement a great social experience on its home page. The social media share numbers will definitely impress all new website visitors!
Navigation should Complement Design
Look at the tree frog website and see the circular navigation buttons right on top of the website. Their color resembles the color of the frog, their brand ambassador. The navigation is easy and nicely fits the overall website layout.
(Image credit: http://alexarts.ru/en/index.html)
Alexa Arts is another great example of geometric shapes put to good use in the navigation.
Customer Reviews Badge and Media Citations
If you have good third party reviews do not ignore them; rather, try to integrate these badges into your website design. Place them strategically and see the jump in number of prospects who will come inquiring about your business.
Get that badge on your website; it is your conversion funnel.
Typography must Honor Content and Design
Do not overload text; just balance it with the design. Instead, use minimal text for maximum impact on users.
Well-crafted, crispy but short messages, in which every word tells a story, are needed to create an emotional connection. But if the correct typography isn’t used, it will not create the kind of impact you want. So make sure you have the right typography for your content.
Look at the above image. Here, typography honors content and design. Everything seems so perfect.
Text, graphics, video, animation, layout, user experience are all subsets of design. So, if you really want to captivate your visitors and turn them into buyers, you need to sincerely invest your time, effort and resources into honing your website design to perfection.
Michael Georgiou is a dynamic business professional and entrepreneurial guru associated with Imaginovation – Web Design Company in Raleigh who has proven his success in creative strategy, online branding, project management, and communication projects in both the public and private sectors.