Web design is a creative process, and no two websites are exactly the same. There are, however, quite a few website design features that will fit nearly every business website, whether you’re located in Calgary or Kathmandu. Key items like images, videos, menus, and even pop ups work for many types of websites, but the trick is learning how to use these features correctly to benefit both your business and your customers.
We’ve created plenty of content for the Emphasize Design blog to help you do just that. I’m going to provide some background on four major web design features, along with links, to help you identify the best ways to put these tools to work for your Calgary business.
Images Add Context and Boost Engagement
Images are vivid, versatile, and easy to share, which earns them a place among the most popular, fundamental tools of web design. Images from outside sources will often have copyright protection, so the first step is simply making sure you’re using an image legally.
- For design purposes, remember that bigger isn’t always better. An image should complement the rest of the content on the page, rather than overshadow it.
- As an added bonus, keeping image file sizes manageable will help your website load more quickly, which increases engagement.
- Providing descriptive alt text for your images improves accessibility, and search engine visibility.
Producing Video Content that Wows
Video is another important tool to add to your content mix. It’s a great medium for introducing key staff members, demonstrating your latest products, and showing off the fun and unique side of your business. The key is to move beyond the generic “about us” video, and create something that will really resonate with your audience.
- Adding video content to product descriptions is the perfect way to give customers a dynamic impression of each product. You can also use video to educate customers on your industry, provide useful tips, and even to share testimonials from existing customers.
- Your video content can also provide a valuable boost to your search engine optimization. For maximum SEO benefits, keep videos under ten minutes, use descriptive keywords, and include video locations in your site map.
Accordion Menus to Make the Most of Available Space
No matter how engaging your content, it can only have an impact if people know where to find the information they seek. Accordions, which take up little space until the user clicks to reveal the content inside, allow you to provide detailed information without crowding the page.
- Accordions are excellent for presenting question and answer content, like on your frequently asked questions (FAQ) page.
- Accordion content works best when it’s short and sweet. If you can’t provide an answer with a few concise sentences, it may be time to create a separate page or blog post dedicated to the topic.
- The condensed nature of accordions means you can fit quite a few on a given page, but I’d recommend against it. Stick to one or two accordions on any one page, to keep from overwhelming the reader.
Pop Ups for Attention-Grabbing Moments
Readers of a certain age will remember a time before ad-blockers, when pop up ads were a constant part of digital life. Those days are (thankfully) long gone, and now pop ups serve a more useful, less intrusive purpose. Used correctly, pop ups can be a valuable web design tool for your Calgary business.
- Today, pop ups are mostly used to present a call to action (CTA), in some form.
- When the reader reaches the end of a blog post, for example, you might use a pop up to direct them to your email list sign up, with your valuable content fresh in their memory.
- Pop ups also allow you to present lead generation offers and discounts at the most opportune time while a visitor is considering a purchase, which is a great way to boost eCommerce conversion rates.
Web design is always evolving, but these are all tools that I believe will be around for the long haul. Now that you know a bit more about these web design fundamentals, you can also take inspiration from what your favorite websites do right. There’s no one way to build a great website, and that’s part of the enjoyment I find in creating them.
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