This article is about Website Design – Looks vs. Function. One of the biggest dilemmas that business owners as well as web designers face while finalizing a website design is to determine which feature scores more – aesthetic looks or function and usability.
Although the answer to this is tricky, it is important to note that website designs that include extra frills can be expensive, time consuming and often not worth the effort. Experts agree that the best website designs are those that have maximum conversions.
Thus, irrespective of whether websites look good or not, if they convert visitors into customers, the job is done!
There are several examples wherein the most beautiful website designs fail to convert visitors into customers. Such websites that do not generate any revenue can be a great burden for the business owners.
The ideal way out of this is to strike a balance between both. Web designers must especially pay attention and ensure that they do not go overboard with looks or aesthetic value. In fact, it is important to first determine the purpose of the website and then finalize the approach or strategy.
For .e.g. A website for an artist or a fashion designer can be more design-centric while an ecommerce website must be designed for better usability and functionality.
A few important tips:
1. If increasing sales (directly/indirectly) is the key, it is important that the website design ensures lead generation and conversions.
2. Make the right first impression. Your home page is often the entry point for visitors. Make sure that your home page makes a strong impact, gives all the required information and easy to navigate. It is important to provide a clear or direct path towards the inner pages along with specific ‘Call to Action’ that persuades visitors to explore further and eventually buy.
3. You website design must be such that visitors enjoy exploring your website. It is only when they like your website design and experience that they will convert into customers. A simple and easy user interface is extremely critical. Also, crisp and quality content, good images and a logical structure are some of the most essential components to consider.
4. Some other elements that are essential in making a great web design and a user friendly interface include:
- A clear navigation path.
- Clear categories. Providing clear categories for your products and services makes it easy for visitors to search for particular products and explore the website.
- Back links to the home page from every category page
- Breadcrumb navigation
- A well defined and streamlined checkout process. The success of an ecommerce website large depends on a systematic and logical website design.
- Promote your core products and services in strategic positions so that visitors can never miss them.
- Give a reason to come back: To increase returning customers and build your brand, visitors must get a strong reason to come back. This can be done through blogs, interesting videos and social media. All these are interactive elements and help in increasing brand recall.
These are some basic functional or usability features that help to make the website successful. Designers must keep these factors in mind while preparing a layout and finalizing the website design.