In 2019, responsive web design is more important than ever, and you don’t need to be a professional web designer to implement good design practices. At the foundation of smart web design is developing a hierarchy of functional features that support one critical component of a website: user experience. Your website might technically “work” or even showcase a sleek, impressive design, but that doesn’t mean your website will get positive results.'At the foundation of smart web design is developing a hierarchy of functional features that support one critical component of a website: user experience.' - Alice Minium Click To Tweet
Smart web design is predicated on a few beliefs that inform every decision in the design process:
- A user’s time is valuable.
- Your user is visiting the website to accomplish a goal.
- The process of accomplishing that goal should be easy and intuitive.
- Your website should adapt to the needs of your user; the user should not be expected to adapt to the limitations of your website.
For your website to be worthwhile amidst the vast swath of options users have at their disposal the information, layout, and structure of your website should always be: clear, accessible, necessary, intentional, and authentic. A smart website will also be inherently valuable and trustworthy, helping the user achieve their goals with straightforward language, logic, and navigation.
Here are nine surprising statistics on common mistakes, and exactly what you need to do to fix them.
- 53% of mobile users and 40% of desktop users will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load
- For every additional second of page loading time, online sales drop 27%.
- Slow-loading websites cost retailers $2.6 billion in lost sales each year.
Takeaway #1: Website Speed Matters
How to Fix Slow Website Speed
These free micro-tools allow you to enter your website’s URL and test its average page speed, assigning it a score. GTMetrix and Pingdom also provide you with a list of suggested tweaks you can make to your website to improve your page load time.
Compress images and large files.
Make sure your images aren’t larger than they need to be. Larger images take longer to load, which slows down your website. If you use WordPress, you can also use plugins (like WP.dev.mu Smush Pro) to automatically compress your image files for faster load time. You can also download the Rapid Image Optimization Tool (RIOT) to your desktop and compress files before you upload them. This helps your loading time too. With no massive files slowing you down, your website will be able to load quickly across different wifi connections and across lower bandwidth devices.
Enable Code Compression
Minify Your Code
- HTML: HTMLMinifier
- CSS: CSS Nano or csso
- WordPress: Auto Optimize, WP Rocket, or W3 Total Cache
Get Reliable Hosting
One big factor of website speed is determined by the quality of your hosting. If your hosting is bottom-tier, the improvements you can make to your website speed are limited. If you’ve made modifications but your website is still lagging, it might be worth your while to look into better hosting options. In most cases, a higher price equals higher quality servers which run faster.
- 85% of adults think that a company’s mobile website should be as good or better than their desktop website.
- Mobile device usage now accounts for 2 of every 3 minutes spent online.
- Almost 50% of e-commerce transactions come from mobile devices.
Takeaway #2: Responsive Design Matters
In 2019, 47.2% of global internet traffic originates from mobile devices. This means mobile-responsiveness isn’t a website feature, it’s a website requirement. And responsive features are just the start, you’ll want mobile smart features as well.
Tips for Making Your Website Mobile-Responsive
You can test your website’s mobile-friendliness via the Google Search Console’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. In addition to responding to screen size, you’ll also want to ensure your site shows useful “mobile smart” features like click to call or click for directions in prominent places on the mobile version of your website.
If your website is not built with responsive design, rebuilding your website is probably the easiest and most obvious option. If you can’t afford to do this- while not ideal- you can use mobile website creation tools. Try a mobile website conversion tool that creates a separate version of your website for mobile devices. Ex: Google Optimize, MobilifyIt, & Duda.
If you use WordPress and don’t have a mobile responsive website, there are still some things you can do. Try tweaking your website’s theme and layouts, or installing a theme that’s already optimized for mobile.
In the rich toolbox that is the internet, many tools and solution exist for making your site mobile friendly. Desktop usage is down and mobile device usage is up, and that shows no sign of changing soon. Make sure your website is ready to adapt to the times.
It takes 50 milliseconds for a user to decide if they like your website.
- 44% of visitors will leave a website if they can’t find the company’s contact info right away.
- 70% of small businesses don’t display a clear CTA (call-to-action) on their website homepage.
- It takes 2.6 seconds for a user’s eyes to land on the area of the website that will influence their opinion the most.
Takeaway #3: User Experience Matters
How to Design for User Experience
Remember your website needs to both provide genuine value to the consumer and serve as an effective sales tool. Include a Call-to-Action on your home page, and don’t forget: when your user visits your website, what action do you want them to take? Make it easy for them to take that action. Use big, bold information signals & make sure the most important text will draw the eye of your user. Make sure your layout and navigation are intuitive to the user’s thought process and needs.'Your website is your storefront, your brand ambassador, your referral agent, and your most indispensable resource in this increasingly digital world.' - Alice Minium Click To Tweet
At the end of the day, we can all design smarter. Your website is your storefront, your brand ambassador, your referral agent, and your most indispensable resource in this increasingly digital world. With just a few simple tweaks, you can heed the warning of these web design stats and enact these fixes to enhance your online marketing presence. When it comes to these simple tweaks, there’s no reason that designer can’t be you.