The world of web design can be both a fantastic but tricky place to be, especially if you’re new to it. There are so many “rules” as to what determines a “good” web design and what determines a “bad” web design. Unfortunately, there are also many contradictions out there too which makes things even more confusing. That’s why we’ve decided to lay down the web design law once and for all. Here are some of the most common web design truths along with their corresponding lies.
1. You’ll see results overnight!
This is the worst lie you can be told in the web design world. Just because you have a brand new shiny website, it doesn’t mean that your whole target audience will flock to it overnight. Unfortunately, there is no way to make a website successful overnight. If there was, trust us when we say we’d all be doing it and all of our websites would be huge successes. The main point that you have to remember here is that people need to be able to find your website before you can start seeing any success. This means utilising digital marketing strategies via SEO, content marketing and social media marketing. This will all help raise brand awareness and reach potential customers all over the internet.
2. Put everything important above the fold.
We’ve spoken about this one before. For some reason people, including some web design professionals, don’t recommend putting any CTA’s (call-to-actions) below the fold because they think that users hate scrolling down a web page. Well, let us enlighten you. It’s actually not about where your CTA is placed. It’s about how it is designed. If you don’t believe us you can check out this study or this experiment. Have you checked those out yet? Then you’ll see that the position isn’t even a factor when it comes to CTA click-through and conversion rates. So, truthfully, you don’t have to worry about the fold at all when it comes to creating a “good” web design.
3. Web designs are all about looks.
Designing a website is most definitely not all about how it looks. You could have the most beautiful website in the world but if the functionality is broken or nobody can find it then what’s the point? Your website has to communicate to your target audience whilst helping them achieve what they need to. It also, of course, has to help you achieve your business objectives. To do this your web design has to be created with the key purpose in mind not around how you want your website to look. Don’t get us wrong, your website should still be something you love to look at. It’s just not the most important thing.
4. Any new web design will solve your conversion rate problems.
Like the first point we made in this post, getting a new web design is not going to automatically improve your website’s performance without any work from you or your business. Improving conversion rates doesn’t rely solely on the web design. Additionally like CTAs, it’s about all of the different elements that make up your web design. For instance, is it easy to navigate through your website? Is the content and copy clear and coherent? Is your website relevant to how it appears in search results and online advertisements? Does your website uphold a substantial amount of trust and legitimacy? All of these aspects will affect your conversion rate so it’s important to keep all of these questions in mind when designing your website.
5. All white space is wasted space.
It’s no secret that we love white space. Heck, we include web designs that are extremely minimalist and have masses of white space in our favourite website posts every month! White space can actually provide your web design with breathing room and help keep it free of clutter. It also speeds up user interaction because it provides your audience with less choice and highlights CTAs. By using white space like this you can actually guide users through a journey and even encourage them to take a conversion path, meaning an easier journey for your customers and a better outcome for your business.
6. My friend Thomas has Photoshop. He can design a website for you!
We don’t know your friend Thomas but we’re sure he’s a nice chap. However just because Thomas has access to Photoshop or has dabbled in it, it doesn’t make him a web designer. There is more to designing a website than knowing how to use the tools is takes to create one. You must know the ins, outs, ups and downs of how, why, what and when. True web designers not only have to be creative but they have to be problem solvers too. As we’ve said above it’s not just about making things look pretty. Web designs need to be functional, clear and drive your business objectives.
Although these web design truths vs lies are great starting points for learning about design, always remember that these are all just guidelines. When designing any website always keep your main goals and purpose in mind. This is the base for any successful web design process. Always design around the key purpose and the rest will follow.