Website owners and eCommerce designers often underestimate the effect that a simple design can have on sales. In fact, an elegantly designed website might be as important–if not more–in demand than a physical storefront because customers don’t get the chance to see the company and the employees with their own eyes.
When designing a website, it has to be more than just a few words on a page. Every aspect of the site from the choice of the font, to the selection of the colors needs to be tailored with buying customers in mind. This article will help to provide you with web design tricks and suggestions on how to turn your boring old website into a buying environment that sells itself.
Audio and Sounds
Never add any videos to your site that are set that are set to automatically start playing once someone opens the site. That goes the same for sound bytes or background music. If you want to add these features, create an option with a clearly labeled settings panel so that customers can turn the sound on and off at will.
Many people browse on the go using their cell phones, and having strange music blasting out of their cellphone just because they decided to stop by your site can be embarrassing and annoying.
Navigation Bars and Links
Place your navigation bars prominently along the top of the page so that they are easy to find. You can also put settings or secondary navigation options along the sidebar if you want to provide the option to filter through additional data.
Also remember not to get too crazy with the number of links that you use on the page or inside your navigation bars. Too many blue links can make your site look credibility, and too many navigation bar options can make your site too complex.
Create responsive content that changes sizes to accommodate the use of portable devices like phones and tablets. When someone wants to browse through your site on the go, it can be a challenge to try and read a website on a screen just a fraction of the size of any laptop or desktop computer.
Responsive text should be complemented by the careful placement of buttons and tabs. If you have an option to buy a product or learn more about a service, make it stand out while remaining in accordance with your style of font and the alignment of the font.
If you are going to have something popup like a subscription form or an advertisement, make it easy to close of the content. Don’t use deceptive practices hiding the close button or letting the ad taking up the entire screen. This is just going to annoy customers and convince them to leave your site.
Minimize the number of steps that it takes to get from point A to point B on your site. If someone wants to buy something right away without reading to the sales pitch, give them that option. Any checkout screen should be as simple and should tunnel customers through a buying process so that the complexities of the site don’t give them extra reason to change their mind.
Once customers have reached the checkout, any links you have with additional information or promotional codes should be set to open in a new tab.
Choose one common theme that you are going to use continuously throughout the entire site. That should include a color, a font style, a font size, and any patterns that you decide to add. To make colors work well together, choose two colors on the color wheel that are either:
- Complementary – Across from each other
- Analogous – Next to each other
- Triadic – Make a perfect triangle on the wheel at three points
- Square – make a perfect square at four points on the wheel
If you use any one of these formulas, it should result in a color scheme that goes well together and that doesn’t draw attention to any one feature.
Linda Benson is a Senior Designer for Wheel Media, a website design company based out of Sacramento, California. She works with Adobe Illustrator and InDesign to provide small businesses and nonprofits with visual design that gets results. When she’s not working her magic on the computer she has a camera in her hand, ready to capture all the beauty in the world.