Modern web design is about simplicity, effectiveness and a stellar user experience. Websites that aren’t easy to navigate, that take too long to load or that simply don’t have what it takes to capture the attention of a somewhat jaded and extremely desensitized audience are not at all likely to convert their visitors.
Here are the 7 core elements you should be implementing on your website, to boost both its rankability and its overall UX scores.
Modern web design is simple and uncluttered and utilizes plenty of white space. This helps create a more spacious feeling and makes digesting information easier. When you bundle a lot of different elements together in a small amount of space, the page can start to feel claustrophobic.
White space does not of course need to be white. You can use any color (even black).
Aim to ensure the space is used logically across different screen orientations and sizes. Don’t stick to one layout that works well on a horizontal desktop.
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Take a look at the UnscrambleX Words with Friends page. On desktop, there’s a lot of white space on the left and right side.
On mobile, the white space is concentrated between headings, making it easier to read the copy.
In order for pages to be more easily digestible, they should consist of more than just text. Images are the most straightforward and simplest element you can add to prevent visitors from being scared off by the sheer wall of text they need to climb.
Images can also help you add an extra layer of emotion to your page, so don’t underestimate them. When talking about products, they can help visualization, but when talking about concepts or procedures, they can communicate value and effect on a subconscious level.
Take a look at this page on presets for Lightroom. The images show you what the expected effect will be, and you can easily make an informed choice.
Without them, the page would be extremely bland and uninteresting, not to mention practically useless.
Another way to boost the interest factor of your pages is to add a video to them. It can be a how-to video, it can be a demo, it can be a video testimonial, depending on the content and purpose of the page.
Bear in mind that video comes with a catch. It needs to load seamlessly, and it should never slow the page down. If it impedes user experience, makes it hard to navigate the page or is too distracting, you are better off without it.
Technogym has several videos on their homepage, including one in the hero. They load super fact though, and they are much more likely to boost engagement than impede UX. As they are autoplayed, they can be a bit distracting, but since they are silent, they are still very friendly.
Modern web design also demands that you add a bit of color to your pages. You don’t need to make them completely colorful, but ideally, you don’t want just the black and white, unless that is the vibe you are absolutely set on.
The color should match the tone of your business, and give your visitors an idea of what you are like. Blue is usually the most popular choice, since it signals calm and professionalism. Purple is also often seen, especially in the SaaS and digital spaces.
Mailchimp have for example gone with hues of yellow. They used to have much more color on their homepage but have since probably realized that the more muted elements work better. Their new website looks smooth and sleek, but definitely neither dull nor boring.
Speaking of popping, another important element that needs to stand out on your pages is the CTA. As it influences conversions most directly, it needs to be prominent and very clear. Visitors need to know exactly what will happen when they click through.
If you have several different actions, make sure each of them comes with its own CTA. That way you’ll show visitors that they can make different choices, and that it’s not all just about buying the product or booking a call.
Unbounce has several different CTAs, all of which will take you down different conversion paths. You can start a free trial or choose one of the different features of their solutions and get started with what you need the most.
Modern website visitors are a tad spoiled and want to be served everything all at once. They don’t want to waste time looking for products or links, they don’t want to click more than they absolutely need to, and they want everything to be wrapped up for them.
The more of their time you can save with your design, the more likely they are to come back.
Make sure to make your navigation simple and to use terms they will understand. If you know what most people come looking for, add links to those pages to your homepage and cut down on search times.
Lydia Millen is a social media influencer who has nailed this element of website design. She knows what her audience wants: to shop her own clothing collection, watch her videos, and buy what she has recently been wearing and using. She has made all of this easily accessible.
Ultimately, to nail modern web design, your main goal is to keep your pages simple. Don’t write too much, don’t bombard your users with choices and superfluous information. Rather aim to hook them early on, and then carefully guide them down a carefully mapped out conversion funnel.
Take a look at Tortuga Backpacks. Their tagline is simple and direct. They show you a small selection of their products on the homepage, but their menu is large enough to tell you what else they stock. They highlight their USPs and feature customer reviews, and that’s it.
Their main page is uncluttered and minimalistic, but extremely effective. You won’t get lost for a second and will understand exactly what you can expect from the brand.
With these web design tips, your digital home will have a much better chance of attracting and retaining the kind of audience you are looking for. Don’t forget that you should always consider what they actually want and need from you before you start making any substantial design changes.