Website design is one of the most important factors for success when launching a new site or brand. Of course, there are plenty of tips and tricks on how to build or design a website. Unfortunately, a lot of those tips and tricks are based on opinions of individuals and are subjective. Unlike the medical or legal fields, there is not a lot of science-based information about what makes a website design truly successful.

Web designer working on a new website design
photo credit: Pexels

Fortunately, there is some information out there that is backed by science. Put together by a Nashville web design agency, here are a few web design tips that are backed by research. You can use these tips to help improve your current site or inform your strategy for future projects.

Researched-Based Tips for Web Design

Web page loading speed

1. Site speed should be a priority

Research shows that site speed directly impacts user satisfaction, conversions, and revenue. Not only that, but search engines factor site speed and page loading speed into rankings. Make sure that your site speed is as fast as possible to avoid potential issues.

2. Above the fold

You may have heard the term “above the fold.” This refers to the content that a user will see first, such as on the front page of a newspaper. It also applies to websites. In 2018, research showed that internet users spent 57% of their time above the fold. That means, in the top portions of the websites they were viewing. That means that your most compelling content should appear toward the top of your page.

3. Offer less choices

There is a law called Hick’s Law, which states that the more choices someone has, the longer they will take to make a decision. There is research and studies that support this idea. How does that apply to your website? Well, if you give your customers less choices, they are more likely to make a choice, and make it quicker. Keep your menu concise, limit form fields, and focus each page on one goal.

Well-designed business website

4. Simple design wins

As most SEO agencies would attest, sometimes simple is best when it comes to getting the most out of your website. Google has completed at least one large-scale study, which showed that internet users do not like overly-complex visuals on websites. Users prefer a simple design that is easy to navigate and understand. You can reduce complexity on your site by limiting images and colors, using a standard layout, and making your sidebar clear and focused.

5. Avoid the carousel

Web designers love carousels. They allow you to showcase a variety of images that scroll automatically or with the touch of the mouse. Sadly, research shows that carousels are pretty pointless on most websites. Research from Notre Dame University shows that the first image on a carousel gets 90% of clicks. The remaining images get very few.

6. One-pager, please

Present your information in one long page, rather than having users click through slides, carousels, or multiple pages. Research shows that users prefer to scroll through longer content rather than clicking through shorter or broken down content. In one study, a single page with slides was lengthened by 20% so users did not have to click, and as a result, conversions increased by 30%.

Focusing on something

7. Where are you looking at?

Research shows that people tend to look in the same direction that people on a website are looking. If your website features a baby and talks about skincare, use an image of the baby looking toward the heading, rather than straight at the camera. Research shows that this is an effective way to visually cue your users.

8. List and bullet points

Lists and bullets are often recommended in order to break up content and help readers find information quickly and easily. However, research shows that most readers will remember list items at the beginning of the list and at the end. The mid-section of a list is often forgotten. With that in mind, make sure your important points are at the beginning or end of the list.