As we move further into the digital age, having a well-thought-out website strategy is essential for any business that wants to succeed. Your website is often the first point of contact between you and your potential customers, so making a good impression is essential. However, as technology is constantly changing, it can take a lot of work to keep up with the latest trends and stay on top of your competition in the web design game. For today, experts from our web design company in Chicago have prepared a list of the website dos and don’ts you might find helpful for achieving a successful online presence for your business in 2023. Hopefully, web design recommendations from this article will help you make better design decisions, win more website visitors’ hearts, and position your brand as an industry leader in the following years.
Table of contents
- How important is Web Design in 2023?
- Basic Dos and Don’ts of Effective Website Design
How important is Web Design in 2023?
A website is a digital storefront that allows customers to learn more about your products or services 24/7. Today, customers expect businesses to have an online presence, and those that don’t are at a significant disadvantage. Investing time and effort into designing a high-quality website or hiring professional web design services usually proves beneficial, as it leads to increased sales and visibility in search engines. On the other hand, a poor web design can make potential customers click away before they even have a chance to see what you have to offer.
In 2023, following web design trends will be more critical than ever for small businesses and large corporations. In fact, many companies are finding that their website is the most important part of their marketing strategy. It is a powerful way to reach new customers and improve the quality of relationships with them. You can also use it to keep existing customers informed about your products and services and ensure they remain loyal to your brand. What many business owners need to realize, however, is that the landscape of web design is constantly changing. What worked last year may not work this year, and what works this year may be outdated by next year. And as simply using the latest web design software for your projects is not enough, what can you do to ensure that your web design project will be successful? Let’s find out what our web design experts think…
Basic Dos and Don’ts of Effective Website Design
To build a successful website, you have to understand how different design decisions impact the user experience, the website’s performance in search engines, and similar. This delicate decision-making process starts just after you gather a web design team. You’ll immediately have to create an ideal buyer’s persona, choose between different e-Commerce platforms, put up a web design style guide everyone can follow, find a unique domain name, and much more. A deep insight into the different website dos and don’ts can help you avoid common mistakes that diminish the quality of results but also help you highlight web design elements that your website visitors are likely to find most important.
Website Dos and Don’ts for Navigation
Navigation is one of the most important aspects of user experience web design, so it should be given careful thought and attention. Creating an effective navigation system for your website visitors is essential if you want them to stay on your site, find what they’re looking for, and come back again. Let’s take a look at some of the most important web design recommendations our experts have when it comes to designing navigation.
Web Design Dos for Navigation
- Use simple words in your navigation menus
- Change the colors of links a user has already visited
- Make it possible for website visitors to get to any page within three clicks
- Ensure the proper contrast between text and navigation buttons
Making navigation as simple and intuitive as possible is crucial for enhancing the user experience on your website and preventing high bounce rates. That’s why you must create clear navigation labels, adequately adjust contrast, ensure visitors can quickly reach desired pages, and more. Various WordPress ADA compliance plugins can help you increase your website design’s accessibility and make navigation smoother.
Web Design Don’ts for Navigation
- Don’t overcrowd your primary navigation by pacing more than seven links
- Avoid horizontal scrolling purely for the sake of uniqueness
- Don’t make scrolling unpredictable for users
A common mistake in web design is trying to fit too many links and options into the navigation bar. That not only looks bad, but it can also be confusing and off-putting for users. Instead, keep your navigation clean and simple so users can easily find what they’re looking for. It is also essential to give website visitors full control over scrolling, so avoid something commonly known as “scroll hijacking.”
Website Dos and Don’ts for designing better Website Layout
The website layout is a crucial aspect of web design for several reasons. Well-designed website layout creates a visual hierarchy that guides your visitors’ eyes to the most important information on the page. It can also help you improve user experience by making it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for. And it can also increase conversion rates on your website by making it more visually appealing. On the other hand, a poorly designed website layout can frustrate your visitors and cause lost business opportunities. So which website dos and don’ts should you give close attention to when designing a layout?
Web Design Dos for better Website Layout
- Follow specific standards within the web design industry
- Use design elements familiar to your website visitors
- Keep it user-friendly
- Use a grid layout to build a visual hierarchy and convey information more easily
- Highlight the most important design elements
- Create a web design style guide before you start working on a web design project
- Keep natural scanning patterns in mind
You need to make sure that your website visitors will fully understand the meaning of each web design element and won’t get confused upon landing on one of your pages. Avoid positioning common elements in screen spots where people aren’t used to seeing them for the sake of being unique. The website layout should be designed in a user-friendly fashion, so focus on your target audience’s needs and wants. Make it easy for people to notice CTAs, navigational elements, and similar.
Web Design Don’ts for Website Layout
- Avoid creating a too complex website layout
- Avoid walls of text on your pages
- Don’t emphasize creativity
- Don’t use a completely new website layout
Simplicity is the goal you should strive for when designing a website layout. Even the most popular brands follow specific standards people get used to, so we strongly advise against too much experimentation in this field. Of course, you shouldn’t completely copy others either – finding the right balance between creativity and familiarity is the key to powerful website layout design.
Website Dos and Don’ts when using White Space
If you’ve ever looked at a website and thought it looked cluttered, you were probably right. One of the most important aspects of web design is white space. White space is the area of a website that is left blank, without any text or images. It may seem like a wasted opportunity, but white space is actually essential to good user experience web design. However, you need to be careful when using white space, as finding the right balance is essential here. Here are our web design recommendations for using white space:
Web Design Dos for White Space
- Use the white space between different sections on the same page
- Make design elements distinctive by using white space
- Ensure there is enough white space around your CTAs
Using white space can help you highlight the most critical elements on your page while achieving an elegant look. It is also a powerful way to naturally guide your website visitors’ eyes through the page and improve the readability of your content by grouping related design elements together. Also, keep in mind that users are more likely to notice an object if there is a lot of white space around it. That’s why many famous brands use white space in their web design to increase conversion rates and make their products irresistible to observers.
Web Design Don’ts for White Space
- Don’t confuse micro and macro white space
- Avoid making your pages look too empty
- Don’t forget to adjust the white space for mobile device
While using white space can help you improve the visual aspect of your website, it is vital to use it with taste to avoid creating pages that look too empty. And as achieving a fantastic look and feel of your website on mobile devices is equally important, before the launch date, make sure to check how white space is impacting your layout on smaller screens.
Website Dos and Don’ts for Typography
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and visually appealing when displayed. It’s an integral part of web design, and it can significantly impact the overall look and feel of your site. Investing time into learning typography for UX will prove beneficial once you start working on the web design project for your business. But to help you get started, we’ve created a list of dos and don’ts you can use as a reminder when choosing typography for your website.
Web Design Dos for Typography
- Set a larger font size for headlines
- Make sure you’re using adequate letter spacing and line-heights
- Set the limit for characters per line between 40 and 80
As each element of your website should have enough breathing room to be easily identifiable and clickable, the same goes for letter spacing in your content. Adequate letter spacing ensures that readers can quickly identify each word and follow along with your argument. A good rule of thumb is to use 1.5 times the point size of your font for letter spacing. Also, your headlines should be large enough to be easily visible but not so large that they obscure the rest of the page. When adjusting line lengths, keep in mind that if there are too many characters in each line, it could become difficult for visitors’ eyes to track from the end of one line to the beginning of the next. That’s why you should limit characters per line to 80.
Web Design Dont’s for Typography
- Don’t use more than three typefaces and font sizes
- Don’t use fonts that don’t fit your brand style
- Avoid fonts that are hard to read
- Avoid all-caps text
Too many fonts can lead to a difficult reading experience for users and ultimately cause them to leave your site. Using three fonts is the optimal number for most websites and should be maintained unless there are specific reasons to use more. However, you must always ensure that each font fits your brand style before using it. And as all-caps texts can be challenging to read, we recommend avoiding them. All in all, typography shouldn’t be overlooked when designing a website, as it can either make or break the overall look and feel of your web design.
Website Dos and Don’ts for Speed Optimization
Having slow-loading pages can ruin the user experience for your website visitors and lead to increased bounce rates. But your problems won’t end with fewer conversions and a loss of credibility – website speed can also affect your search engine ranking. To secure a fantastic experience for your potential customers, you need to become aware of the specific website dos and don’ts when it comes to speed optimization during the design process.
Web Design Dos when Optimizing Page Speed
- Minify code
- Optimize images
- Implement loading indicator
- Take advantage of browser caching
Writing clean code is necessary if you want to build a solid foundation for high website speed. Also, you should avoid serving website visitors with blank pages during the loading process, so consider designing a loading indicator to let them know everything will be okay.
Web Design Dont’s when Optimizing Page Speed
- Don’t use drag-n-drop platforms for building your website
- Don’t install unnecessary plugins
- Avoid using unnecessary pop-ups that can slow down your pages
Business owners make a common mistake when trying to build a successful online presence for their brand: opting for a DIY web design approach and creating templated websites. Such websites can hardly compete with websites designed by professional web design firms when it comes to speed. That’s why we advise you to avoid drag-n-drop platforms and build your website from scratch. Also, keep in mind that installing too many plugins can lead to slow-loading pages, too – so stick to only the ones that are essential for your needs.
Website Dos and Don’ts when implementing Images
Images are an essential part of website design for several reasons. They can help to add visual interest to a page, break up the text, and convey information more effectively than words alone. When used correctly, images can also help to improve the overall user experience on a website.
However, it’s important to use images wisely. Let’s see which web design recommendations our experts have when implementing images on your website.
Web Design Dos when it comes to using Images
- Optimize image file sizes
- Resize images to enhance the visual aspect of your page
- Combine images with text
- Make sure all images on the page are of the same style
- Write image alt texts to help search engines understand their context (it will also benefit your website visitors in case your pages don’t fully load)
Images are a powerful tool for winning website visitors’ hearts, enhancing your brand image, and supporting your website marketing efforts. However, as they are one of the heaviest resource-consuming elements in web design, images can slow down your website unless you take specific actions to optimize their file sizes properly. You also need to write image alt text for each image you include on your website to help search engines understand their context. That will also prove beneficial for users if your pages don’t fully load.
Web Design Don’ts when it comes to using Images
- Avoid using images that don’t correspond with your brand values
- Don’t use too many generic stock photos just for decorative purposes
- Don’t use an image unless you have a license or rights for it
- Don’t include low-quality images on your website
Too many images can make your site look cluttered and can be overwhelming for visitors. The key is to use images that are relevant and add to the overall design of your site. And to not endanger your brand’s trustworthiness and credibility, you need to make sure each image on your website is of high quality and owned by you.
Website Dos and Don’ts for Mobile-Friendly Design
In today’s digital world, it’s more important than ever to have a mobile-friendly website. More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to access the internet, and if your website isn’t designed for these devices, you could be missing out on potential customers. Whether you opt for adaptive or responsive web design, you need to be aware of common mistakes inexperienced designers make when trying to build a mobile-friendly website. Here are our web design recommendations you can follow:
Web Design Dos for Mobile-friendliness
- Make essential information easy to find on smaller screens
- Change the size of interactive design elements to make it easier for users to tap on them
- Consider taking the mobile-first approach
- Optimize your layout for portrait orientation too
- Simplify menus – use the hamburger menu instead of the navigation bar
As mobile devices have smaller screens, it is crucial to make all the vital information easy to notice, adjust element sizes to avoid misclicks that can frustrate users, and simplify navigation. By following the tips above, you can secure a great user experience, which leads to increased conversion rates and more quality relationships with your customers.
Web Design Don’ts for Mobile-friendliness
- Don’t forget to properly format text for enhanced readability on mobile screens
- Avoid placing long forms for users to fill
- Don’t settle for web design that doesn’t provide an equally amazing user experience on both desktop and mobile devices
When designing a mobile version of your website, it is crucial to adjust design element sizes and format content for better readability. Also, keep in mind that filling out long forms on mobile devices can be a frustrating experience. In case you must include such forms on your website, we recommend implementing an auto-suggest feature to make the process smoother for visitors.
Website Dos and Don’ts for achieving Better Rankings in Search Engines
Many business owners think of search engine optimization as an afterthought. They build a website and then think about how to get people to find it. However, SEO should be a consideration from the very beginning of the web design process. Our SEO agency in Chicago advises you to pay close attention to these website dos and don’ts when building a digital landscape for your business.
Web Design Dos for Search Engine Optimization
- Choose an SEO-friendly domain name
- Check if there are broken links on your website
- Optimize image file sizes to achieve better website speed
- Make your URLs SEO-friendly
- Include only high-quality content
- Aim for high website speed
As there are many different factors, Google takes into account when ranking websites on search engine results pages – the best course of action for you is to consult with SEO experts during the website creation process. Your website needs to be designed in a way that is both visually appealing and easy to navigate. If your website is difficult to use or doesn’t look good, people will likely click away and look for another business with a better website.
Web Design Don’ts for Search Engine Optimization
- Don’t create an unclear site structure
- Don’t plagiarize other website’s content
- Don’t forget about your target audience’s needs
- Don’t forget about the website’s security
While designing a website, it is also important to take specific actions to ensure it will be easy to crawl by search engine bots while providing an amazing user experience for your target audience. Also, you shouldn’t take the content on your website lightly – as content quality is especially important for ranking your website high on Google in 2023. By plagiarizing other people’s content, you put your whole online presence in danger, as it will almost certainly lead to SEO penalties that are hard to recover from.
Get in touch
If you find designing a high-performing website for your business difficult, it is best to hire professional web design services. In that case, an experienced web design team from our digital marketing agency can help. Feel free to get in touch and introduce us to your business so we can power up your web design project and guide you through your digital journey by creating a detailed strategy based on your goals.