What makes people love a website? And, what makes them keep coming back to that website? According to experts on website design, a website is not usually static which can be deployed and then abandoned, or left unattended. As a matter of fact, new information, new users with unique needs and new opportunities for additional products and services are introduced to the Worldwide Web every day (or even every minute). Thus, websites need to use a process of continuous innovation to improve, or expand their website’s usability and consistency. Here are a couple of awesome ways for designers to build truly innovative websites.
What Exactly is Innovation?
So, how does innovation lead to more responsive, and more consistent (as well as usable) websites? According to academics and web design experts, innovation refers to the process of continuously improving the quality and usability of a website to meet, as well as exceed, user expectations.
Innovation also involves finding create, or unique and inspiring ways to improve the various elements of the website, or to engage the website’s audience. Now, what are the key innovation practices when it comes to web design? For starters, it’s continuously and creatively working for improvement to meet user needs.
Second, it should be based on analysis, user testing, and focus groups, as well as in identifying new user needs. Third, innovation in website design means identifying new technologies which may help you meet user needs better.
Make the Site Responsive
These days, more people access the Internet via their mobile phones and gadgets, than through a desktop computer. In addition, the search engine giant Google has announced that they are now favouring mobile-friendly websites in the search engine results
Thus, the mobile Armageddon is literally upon us, and there is no better time than today to make sure that your website follows the rules, especially when it comes to the principles of responsive web design.
And though the main objective of a responsive website is to provide users with an optimal viewing and interaction experience, the responsiveness in design means much more than that. In fact, it means that the website should be quite easy to navigate, regardless of its screen size or resolution.
The images that the website is using must also be able to scale properly to accommodate various screen sizes, and any forms on the website should also be relatively easy to fill out, regardless of whether the site visitor users a desktop or mobile phone. The text must also be very easy to read, and should not require users to pinch and zoom just to read the content.
Another major perk of responsive web design is that they are also search engine optimization or SEO friendly. The reason for this is that responsive websites share the same URL, and they also share the same code across various devices, instead of having two different versions for mobile and desktop. This relatively makes it easy for the search engines like Google and the others to index them.
Reduce, or Totally Remove Clutter
Another key step towards achieving truly innovative website design would be to reduce, or totally remove all the clutter. Just because you can add a lot of stuff into your website (Like bells, whistles, screaming icons or cartoon characters etc.) this doesn’t mean that you should.
Remember that a cluttered, disorganized website with all those distracting elements not only looks amateurish, but it also makes it harder for site visitors to easily find all the information they require.
But, this doesn’t mean that you should strip your website bare or any design element. Instead, the web designer must be able to use white space creatively, to make all the content quite easy to read, as well as to make the website easier to navigate.
However, let me stress that white space is not necessarily a white background. In terms of design, a white space denotes any space on the website or page which doesn’t have any design elements that distract visitors as they’re trying to read, or understand, the site’s content.
And, for optimum results, the web designer needs to ensure that their text and calls to action are clearly visible against the background of your website, without all the unnecessary and confusing clutter like counters, ads, banners, sliders or anything that might cause the visitor to get distracted.
Have a Definite Call to Action
Many website owners or creators often make the mistake of including more than one call to action on their website. As a result, many visitors often get confused, and do not have a clue on what the website exactly has to offer them from the rest of the competition.
Thus, website design professionals stress that a website should have a single call to action, as this will guide the user through the site, and will lead them to where they want to go. This also explains why website owners need to define a unique value proposition, and effectively use it as their main call to action.
Utilize Interactive Elements
Another major aspect of effective website design is through the use of interactive elements, as these might help you easily and effectively tell the story of your brand, as well as make your website come to life.
For example, through the use of interactive drop-down menus, icons, animated text boxes or images, slideshows and even background o welcome videos, you can easily tell visitors what your website is all about, even in a few short sentences.
Offer Social Proof
Finally, whether you sell products or services on your website, there’s definitely no better way to increase your sales, as well as your site’s popularity, by showing that other people, or other customers like your product or service.
Offering social proof goes a long, long way towards convincing those who are new to your product or service that you indeed offer high-quality products, or truly competent services.