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Top 10 Best Website Design Practices for High-Growth Startups

In today's fast-paced digital world, having a well-designed website is crucial for the success of high-growth startups. A functional, modern, and optimized website can significantly impact how your audience perceives your brand and can be a key driver in accelerating your company's growth. This article outlines the top 10 best website design practices that can help your startup stand out in a competitive landscape.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing a reader-friendly font is essential for improving readability and user experience.

  • Sticking to a limited color scheme helps in creating a cohesive and visually appealing design.

  • High-quality photos can make your website look more professional and trustworthy.

  • Optimizing your website for mobile is crucial as more users access websites from their mobile devices.

  • A clear and compelling call to action (CTA) can significantly improve your conversion rates.

1. Choose a Reader-friendly Font

Choosing the right font is crucial for your website's readability and overall user experience. There are countless interesting and attractive fonts available, but the key is to pick one that is easy to read and aligns with your brand's look and feel. Typography Fundamentals play a significant role in this decision.

To find inspiration, explore resources like Canva Font Combinations, Fonts In Use, and Google Fonts. In your search for the best Google font for your website, consider Cabin. It's a friendly and versatile font that's perfect for any project.

2. Stick to a Limited Color Scheme

Color can alter people’s perception of your home page. A study from Loyola University in Maryland found color increases brand recognition by 80%. To maximize its effectiveness, stick to your brand colors and implement a consistent color scheme throughout your marketing materials and landing pages.

For example, Cadbury’s landing page is purple, which is reminiscent of the globally recognized product packaging of the British confectionary brand.

Color Theory in Design is crucial for creating a cohesive and engaging user experience. By limiting your color palette, you ensure that your website looks professional and is easy on the eyes. This approach also helps in highlighting important elements and guiding the user's attention effectively.

  • Choose 2-3 primary colors that represent your brand.

  • Use these colors consistently across all pages.

  • Avoid using too many contrasting colors, as it can be overwhelming.

3. Use High-quality Photos

People won’t be able to see, touch, and try the actual product online. To attract customers’ attention, upload high-quality product pictures. With the right images, you can make your products stand out and make viewers stop and stare.

High-quality photos are essential for creating a strong brand presence. They help convey the value and quality of your products or services. Avoid using stock photos that seem frivolous or irrelevant. Instead, use images that are meaningful and connected to your topic.

4. Optimize for Mobile

There are more than 7.1 billion mobile users across the world. Of this number, 50% of smartphone users are more likely to use a mobile site when browsing or shopping instead of downloading a mobile app. These numbers show that mobile optimization is crucial if you don’t want to lose out on a big number of customers. To get started, include large clickable buttons, responsive templates and scrollable content designed for consumers.

If potential customers land on your site but find it difficult to read or navigate on a mobile device, they may simply abandon you in favor of a competitor. Furthermore, a negative mobile user experience affects your website in search engine rankings, making it harder for users to find through a Google search – which brings us to our next point.

Mobile Responsiveness: In today's mobile-driven world, a site that runs well on mobile is a must-have. Your site should look and function just as well on a smartphone or tablet as it does on a desktop.

Simple Navigation: Don’t hide the goods from your potential customers! Instead, make it easy for users to find what they want.

5. Make Your Call to Action Stand Out

A stunning website will make people stop and stare, but don’t forget to integrate a call to action (CTA). A call to action prompts users to take the next step or action to complete their shopping experience. If you’re looking to sell a product or service, it’s one of the most important elements that will lead to website conversion.

Each page on your website should entice the reader to do something. In other words, you need to give them a call to action. These landing pages should encourage users to take a certain action, such as to call your company, sign up for a service, buy a product, download a whitepaper, or do something else that benefits your business goals. Give them a noticeable invitation to take the action: a button, a link, or clear verbiage. Keep it above the fold if possible so readers do not have to scroll before finding the call to action.

6. Use Plenty of White Space

Once you’ve placed all the necessary landing page elements, think about the white space (or blank space). Place empty spaces around the website elements so viewers have visual breaks when processing the information. Done right, you’ll be able to divert viewers’ attention to important elements. Plus, you’ll be able to avoid overcrowding and cluttering your landing pages.

Humans love white space. It helps brains better process information and decreases cognitive load. While it may be tempting to create complex designs with fancy animations, it’s ultimately best to keep design simple, easy to understand, and fast. Avoid colored backgrounds or cluttered text boxes. Keep text minimal and images clear.

In the early stages of design, consider creating low-fidelity mockups to boil your webpages or applications down to the most important design elements.

For example, Apple’s product photos are surrounded by white space, so viewers are naturally drawn to its iPhones.

7. Keep Your Site Navigation Easy

As you navigate through a website, evaluate whether you can easily find the information you need. Otherwise, visitors will end up leaving the page. A good tip is to integrate a simple navigation style on the website header.

Did You Know? People scan webpages from top to bottom and left to right, so put your navigation menu where most people expect to find it: at the top of the page. Use dropdown menus under each top-level category for clean and organized navigation.

Dan Veltri, co-founder and chief product officer of Weebly, advises limiting your top-level navigation menu to five clearly labeled tabs, with related pages organized under them. You should also offer a clear way to get back to the homepage no matter where your readers land. Very often, a Google search may take your reader to a page on your website other than the homepage.

A well-structured menu and intuitive navigation can help users find what they need and stay on your site longer.

  • Consistent Branding: Consistency is key. Ensure that your branding, including colors, fonts, and voice, is consistent across your website. This consistency builds trust and reinforces your brand identity.

  • SEO: Search engine optimization is crucial for visibility. Use relevant keywords, optimize meta tags, and create high-quality content.

8. Avoid Clutter

Hick’s law states that when users are bombarded with choices, it’ll take longer for them to make decisions. In web design, this means it may be difficult for visitors to make a decision such as subscribing to an email or buying a product. Having a simpler page makes it easy for visitors to make a choice.

As a designer, it helps to remember that less is more. While you may be tempted to use countless animations or imagery on the homepage, visual breaks in the form of whitespace can help in giving your customers some breathing room.

Much like Steve Jobs’ design philosophy, it is a good idea to keep your website or landing page design simple with minimal elements and plenty of negative space to help viewers focus on essential content.

In the early stages of design, consider creating low-fidelity mockups to boil your webpages or applications down to the most important design elements.

9. Include Compelling Headers

Headings persuade customers to perform a desired action. They also make it easy for people to skim your landing pages and find the information they need. Plan the placement of the headings to convey the products and services your business offers.

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