Website SOS: 6 Proven Design Fixes for Your Brand’s Homepage

 

You always hear how things are constantly changing on the web. People are adapting to it, and it’s adapting to people. But there are some hard-and-fast truths about modern web design that, because it’s been experimented with for so long, are still super effective. There is tons of room to play around with the look and feel of your website but infusing your own brand’s flavor should be added only after the strong foundation of essential design elements has been put in place. For example, links presented in bright blue are the universal sign of a link, and user testing reveals how people seek out links on a page as they scroll. If you can optimize your site with a handful of simple design improvements proven to improve sales or engagement, why wait? The following design suggestions offer the 6 best ways to improve your website experience and make customers happier (and likely buy more things):

So too for where you put your logo. The top left corner is your chance at a glowing first impression. It’s where our eyes – thanks to the left-to-right English reading pattern and years of growing accustomed to website structure – are trained to go first.

Questions to ask yourself

  • Is my logo in the top left corner, or otherwise obviously placed? Is my eye immediately drawn to it?
  • Is my website easy to navigate, with universal/recognizable cues?
  • Does my own brand’s personality come through within those confines?

Tools to use

  • Pre-built templates from hosting platforms can help you stick to the structure of a functional website so you can focus on putting your brand’s personality into it. Check out WordPress, Webflow, and Squarespace to get you started.

I don’t know if curiosity killed the cat, but it did help designers. Humans have a natural tendency to follow the gaze of others, so if there are images with people on your website, be sure that they’re looking at something valuable. The power of suggestion has become an important tool in web design – “that guy knows there’s something over there that’s worth seeing”. It’s a read-between-the-lines design tactic that guides the reader around your page without explicitly saying where to go.

Questions to ask yourself

  • Where does my eye currently go after the logo? What is the next element I want to be noticed?
  • Are there images of people on my website? Where are they looking?

Tools to use

  • To learn more about the directional cues of your own website, make use of services like HotJar, and CrazyEgg. They present visitors’ cursor movement in a ‘heat map’, showing you the journey people take on your website.

We’ve learned a lot from our users since Hubba was launched. We’ve noticed that people view products and, ultimately, connect with vendors who have more images on their profiles. If you want to drive sales on your site’s shopping cart, don’t leave anything to your client’s imagination.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What are the most attractive elements of my product? (Stainless steel, bright color, interesting details, etc.)
  • What would I want to know about the functionality of my product if I were a shopper?
  • How can I convey the quality of my product through images?

Tools to use

Think it was Coco Chanel that said “once you’ve dressed, and before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” You can apply this to your web design also. There’s a big difference between decorating and designing. Design is intentional – each element on the page should serve a purpose.

Take a second to do a little run-through of your website.

Questions to ask yourself

  • If you had to pick one thing you want your audience to understand from your website, what would it be?
  • Is there anything that could distract your customer from that purpose?
  • What ‘thing’ could you take off, à la Coco’s advice?

Tools to use

  • There are a lot of cool websites out there that do a great job of making information front-and-center. Take a look and collect inspiration on platforms like Behance, Dribbble and Pinterest. Or on websites like Awwards and OnePageLove.

While it’s a common myth that people don’t like to scroll (your thumb gets a real workout with Instagram and Facebook feeds), one of the best things you can do for your website is to keep your call to action ‘above the fold’. Above the fold is a weird design term that really just means ‘immediately visible’. The ‘fold’ is where your page gets cut off by the browser window, so ‘above the fold’ is everything you see when you land on a web page, before you start scrolling.

The call to action on your website is the one thing you want to get a customer to do. The button you want people to press. If you’re a product company, you likely want them to buy your stuff, so your call to action would be ‘shop’ or something along those lines.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What one action do I most want my customers to complete?
  • Is my main call to action above the fold?
  • How can I make my call to action more clear?

Tools to use

Being attractive to your shoppers is a lot different than appealing to retailers. When you’re looking to get picked up by retail stores, they require a lot more robust data than your customers. Things like MSRP, UPC, Country of Origin – all of that sweet retail jazz. It can really muddy up your Shopping Cart’s design and take away from the features that make you look good to your customers (beautiful images, a description, cost, buy button).

Find somewhere to keep your product information ‘under the hood’. Some people keep giant Excel spreadsheets, others use hefty CMS software. Hubba’s platform is built to help you keep all of your product information not only organized, but visible to a growing network of retailers and industry influencers hunting for the latest trendsetters and unique brands. And it’s pretty.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What information do my shoppers need to make an informed decision?
  • Where should all the extra information be housed?
Amy Van Es

Amy Van Es

Amy is our Multimedia Specialist at Hubba. With a background in design; journalism experience; and a mounting obsession with new media theory, Amy thrives on impactful narratives, clean layouts, and lattes.

Tweet her @Amy_VanEs
Amy Van Es

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