The 7 most important website design elements

The Internet is currently being used by a large percentage of the world's population, and is the channel with the greatest reach. For this reason, it's very important that your business has a professional presence with an effective website.

What is a website?

A website is a set of electronic documents available through a web browser and can contain: text, images, sound and/or video.

Your website is the first place where your customers look for more information about your business and your products/services, so its content must clearly communicate your value proposition. It's very important that it also has an effective and easy to use structure.

Still don't know if you should create a website for your business? Read our blog "5 Reasons why your business should have a website".

The most important website design elements that you should have

There are a lot of websites on the Internet. Each website has its style and objectives. A business website will not look the same as an online store or a government page. However, all of the best performing websites have something in common: they follow these 7 elements:

1. "Z" Pattern Design

The “Z” pattern uses the natural path that the human eye follows (left to right -> top to bottom). First, people scan a webpage from the top left corner to the top right corner, forming an imaginary horizontal line. The gaze then goes down to the lower left corner, creating an imaginary diagonal line. Finally, their eyes go to the lower right corner, forming a second horizontal line that forms the "Z".

It's recommended to design the first part of your website with this "Z" pattern. This design element will help you position the most valuable content in the sections of the page where people look most often.

People like to scan information and they don't read a lot of text. Use short, clear sentences and paragraphs in this section to capture people's attention. It's also a good idea to add your call to action buttons in this section to catch people's interest and get them to take the action you want.

2. Suitable colors for your business

A business color scheme is not chosen by chance, there's a psychological analysis behind every color choice on an effective website. Our brain understands colors faster than words, so it's recommended that you use this psychology to your advantage.

According to a study published by Shopify, each color has a specific meaning:

  • Yellow: Optimistic and cheerful. Used to captivate attention.
  • Red: Represents energy. Increases the heartbeat, creating a feeling of urgency. It’s often used for clearance and sale offers.
  • Blue: Creates a sense of trust and security. It’s commonly used in B2B (Business-To-Business) and banks.
  • Green: Associated with wealth. It’s the easiest color for the eyes to process and is commonly used to encourage relaxation.
  • Orange: Perceived as aggressive. Commonly used for subscription actions and to incentivize impulse purchases.
  • Pink: Romantic and feminine. It’s often used to sell products to women and girls.
  • Black: Associated with power. It’s commonly used to promote luxury products.
  • Purple: Calm and smooth. Often used in beauty or rejuvenation products.

Does your business have a brand identity and color palette? Use these colors correctly on your website to have a great impact on the image you transmit to your customers and encourage them to take the desired action.

3. Call to action buttons

The call to action (CTA) button, is an element that shows people the next logical step to take in the customer journey.

The purpose of this button is to encourage people to click. Therefore, your button should stand out from the rest of the elements of the website and it should be clear that the desired action is to click.

A call to action button asks the visitor to do something: spend more time on the website, provide their contact information, or make a purchase. Therefore, it's important to explain the benefits they will obtain when they click.

The most common examples of calls to action are "Buy now", "Request a quote", "Get my free eBook", "Schedule a meeting", among others. Be sure to customize the text on this button with the action you want people to take.

The places where you place your call to action buttons are very important to ensure that they are visible and people will click them. Below are some ideas on where to place your call to action buttons:

  1. Add your buttons in the most strategic points of your webpage.
  2. Make sure to add them to the top and center of the webpage (remember de Z pattern).
  3. Use a color that stands out (and is related to your business color palette).
  4. Repeat your button throughout the webpage, but avoid repeating it too many times in the same section.

4. Contact page

If your customers are not ready to take any of your calls to action, have any questions, or simply would like to contact you directly, you should provide them with an easy way to do it.

You can have a contact section within your main page. However, it's recommended to have an entire page dedicated to displaying all your contact methods. We recommend that you have the following elements in your contact page:

  • Contact Form
  • Business email
  • Business phone (office and/or corporate cell phone)
  • Address and map of your business physical location
  • Business hours

It's important to ensure that these elements are visible and mobile responsive. You can add links that execute the call to action. For example, add a link that opens a window from your customer's email to send a message to your business email.

5. Responsive web design

A responsive web design is the ability of your website to adapt to any screen size, making sure that all the elements of your page can be seen correctly, from a desktop screen to the smallest mobile device.

Creating a responsive website doesn't have to be so complicated. You can create your own responsive website with the help of different design tools available on the Internet.

To ensure that your website has a responsive design, make sure you follow these tips:

  • Watch your loading speed: Don't add any big or heavy elements, most people are not willing to wait a long time for your website to load.
  • Don't add effects: Special effects (such as gifs, music that plays automatically, a lot of pop-ups, etc.) can look very attractive on a desktop screen, but on a mobile device, it can affect the user experience and block important elements.
  • Use light images: Compress your images with the help of specialized software and upload all your buttons, logos, headers, graphics and illustrations in "PNG", "JPG" or "SVG" format.
  • Create readable text: A mobile device screen is way smaller than a desktop computer's screen. Avoid people from having to zoom in on their device and set your text size to a minimum of 16px.

6. Professional blog

Posting relevant and consistent content will work as the engine of your business website. Creating a blog for your website will not only increase traffic, but it will also help you share more information about your products and services.

Help build trust in your business and use your blog as a space to:

  • Answer the most frequently asked questions from customers in your industry.
  • Explain processes that can be complicated in a simpler way.
  • Make comparisons to help people make an informed purchase decision.

Want to learn more about the advantages of having a blog in your website? Read our article "Why does your business need to create a blog?"

7. Site map

A sitemap is the structure that organizes the content and flow of your website. Having your site map visible on your website will help your visitors access faster to the information they're looking for.

Remember that all the elements of your website must be easy to use and access for all your visitors. Use a navigation menu to make your site map more accesible to people. It's recommended that your navigation menu has no more than 7 main elements. If you have more elements, you can add them as secondary elements.

A good usability practice is to achieve that people find what they're looking for in no more than 3 clicks. For example: Home page-> Our products-> Product #1.

Your visitors won't always land on your home page first, so it's important that this navigation menu is visible on all the pages of your site. Place your navigation menu at the top and footer of every webpage.

Do you want to learn other elements your website should have? Download our free eBook “5 Things Your Website Should Include”.

A website helps inform and build trust with your customers.  If you follow these 7 design elements, you will be able convert more visitors into loyal customers.

Don't have an effective business website yet? At Capitaltec, we help you create a website that turns more visitors into customers. Learn more about our website design and development service.