Even in 2021, it’s shocking how many websites are in poor condition. The events of 2020 forced many physical businesses into closure and many business owners to adopt an exclusively online operating model. Hundreds of thousands of business websites and social media pages cropped up in the past year, and while that’s a good first step to establishing your online presence, it won’t be enough to guarantee your business’ survival.
Web design has become so important to a business that it even has its service industry. Experts like Washington DC web design companies offer services from coding and site maintenance to graphic design and content creation to ensure businesses get websites that will land them the most customers. At this point, the online space is oversaturated (there are 1.5 billion active websites on the internet) and businesses are doing their absolute best to one-up each other to get users on their site and make a conversion. If you don’t invest adequately in your website, you’ll just fall into obscurity while your competitors take the lead.
How good design helps your business
For some business owners, especially amidst a pandemic and a dipping economy, their profits are already stretched thin. Understandably, they might be hesitant to add to their operating costs, but here are some statistics and researcher observations that may provide a convincing argument:
- 38% of people will stop browsing a site if it’s content or layout is unattractive
- 47% of people will abandon a site if it loads longer than 3 seconds
- 48% of people gain a negative perception of a business if their site isn’t mobile-friendly
- 88% of people are unlikely to return after poor user experience on a site
- People are more likely to consume long-form content if the site is well designed
Given these, it’s clear that site design will give you a good return on investment as it will give you more site visitors, which could lead to more conversions, which translate directly to revenue.
What constitutes good design?
Now that you know how important site design is, reputable Washington DC web design companies share the various ways they increase consumer engagement through simple changes to their clients’ websites.
- Increasing loading speed
It’s important to remember that site design doesn’t just refer to aesthetics, but also the functionality. A website’s loading speed is a critical part of consumer engagement because we live in a time where people want instant gratification. Internet speed and accessibility are at an all-time high, and with that comes a general decrease in user patience. If your website doesn’t load fast, they’ll just move on to your competitors, simple as that.
- Improving site layout
Having a site layout that’s straightforward, neat, and logical is important to keep users’ attention and to create an intuitive and pleasant browsing experience. Having things in logical order helps users flow from one webpage to another with minimal issues. An example of an illogical layout is when you have your recommended articles and article comments displayed before the actual article itself. A user could be confused since you’re giving them information out of order. They need to read the article first before they can engage with the comments. If your site has layout issues it could cause the user to become confused or frustrated. Another example of poor layout is when images aren’t aligned properly or when you don’t utilize site margins. Small things such as these decrease user experience and will contribute to low conversion rates.
- Implementing responsive design
As of 2016, mobile devices have surpassed desktop as the device users use the most to access websites. Given this, it’s clear that any site that doesn’t accommodate mobile devices is severely outdated. Responsive design helps ensure that websites retain an attractive layout and good functionality across various screen sizes and resolutions. By having a mobile-friendly site, you can accommodate mobile users more readily.
Part of implementing responsive design is eliminating or revising site features that may not translate well on mobile, like wide banners, poorly spaced links, and small text.
- Improving site accessibility
Site accessibility refers to how compliant you are with the American Disabilities Act. PWDs should also enjoy a smooth and browsing experience on your website, and you should take all the necessary action to ensure that. Over 61 million people in the United States live with a disability, and if your site isn’t accessible, you’re alienating a large audience who may potentially become paying customers. There are many ways sites can improve their PWD accessibility, and here are some of them:
- Using captions or alt-text. Some people with visual impairments use assistive technology to browse websites, however, these technologies are limited to scanning only the text elements in a site. Meaning, if there are images or videos, they would have no idea. To offset this, include captions under each media describing the content, or use alt-text.
- Including closed captions or transcripts for videos or podcasts. People who have hearing impairments will find subtitles and transcripts useful. Having these in multiple languages also expands your reach to international clients.
- Providing options for text recoloring or resizing. Even if you think the color combination you used on your site is legible, not everyone sees colors the same way. Give users the option to toggle colors to find the combination that suits them best.
- Using headers and adequate spacing between text. Some people may encounter difficulty reading long-form articles when the lines are spaced too closely or when there is no header to break up the blocks of text. Use headers and spacing to give users a more digestible and easy-to-read article.
Consumers are receptive to brands who do their best to give them a good user experience, and by doing all you can to optimize your website and its contents, you’re more likely to forge brand loyalty. If you’re still experiencing a high bounce rate and low dwell time, consider availing of the services of a reputable Washington DC web design company that has all the services you need to improve consumer engagement and create a website that represents your brand well.