Web Design is ever changing. Remember old html sites, that maybe had an image or two and were mostly all text? Think how far we’ve come from there, and think how far we will continue to go; and that all these changes have been made over the same web system that first came along in the late 60s. Recently, one major factor in the change of web design has been UX or user experience, where design and layout decisions are based on how you think the optimal way a user will interact with your site is. UX is a topic thought across every level of technology, but has more defined reach on your website.
One of the first things to consider when building a website is what is the goal of the website. Am I trying to drive more calls to a phone number, am I capturing emails, am I sending someone off-site to sign up for something, am I trying to give information on a topic, or any combination of those, or almost any other goal someone could have online. Once you have your goals, you need to think how am i going to get a user of my website to do the thing that I want them to be doing. How am i going to get them to call me, for example? Getting calls is one of the easier ones, it oftens involves plastering your phone number across the website, if you sell something, often having an obvious location of your prices helps too, so that people know what to expect when they call. But using a website to drive phone traffic, unless you are a brick a mortar business that requires a phone call to complete your service, is fairly outdated.
For Businesses that are trying to have a specific flow on their site, to complete on site actions UX is more important than ever. Think about how a new users gets from the first page they visit on your site, to your target page, be it a sign-up, a contact form, or a purchase. Where are the links that they have to click that bring them there, what do these links say, how many links do they have to click to get there? The more links a user has to click or the more they have to read through and navigate the more likely you are to lose them. Thinking about the flow of traffic on your site is vital to conversions. Giving users a quick and easy signup can help, but they also must be impressed by what they see on the pages before the signup.
There is no golden rule of UX, just a lot of testing with different designs and flows, but there are some generalities can be made.. Keep your site simple and clean. That does not mean don’t have a lot of high quality content, because the is an SEO must, but figure out the best way to parse that information out. Keep the most relevant information to a user in the flow that gets them to become your customer, and have other information easily accessible but not crowding the user. Also make sure that you keep the number of pages, and links that a user has to click to a minimum so that you don’t lose them.