We’ve all visited boring websites with stale copy and neatly partitioned paragraphs. While there’s nothing wrong with a clean looking website, the truth is that safe pages are boring. If you really want to connect with visitors, you need to make things stand out. The good news is that there are visually pleasing ways to do this.
1. Make Good Use of Color
Color is extremely important in the grand scheme of web design. While you don’t need anyone to remind you that color schemes matter, a brief refresher on color theory is always helpful.
When engagement and interaction is the focus, red and orange always come in near the top. They both pop off the page and leave the viewer wanting more. As designer Luke Clum writes, “Red can actually have a physical effect on people, raising blood pressure and respiration rates.” Orange, on the other hand, targets impulse shoppers and moves them to action.
2. Break Up Text with Unique Elements
Nobody likes long pages filled with boring text. If you’re going to invest in long scrolling sites – which are extremely popular right now – you need to creatively break up text with unique elements.
A great example can be found on this page from Newport Landing, a whale watching company in Southern California. Notice how the page uses colorful buttons, bullet points, icons, images, and other features to visually break up the various sections. It’s both visually stimulating and informative.
3. Use Highly Relevant Visuals
A picture is worth a thousand words. This is an overused statement, but still rings true. By using the right visuals in web design, you can eliminate the need for some written copy. Images also attract visitors and create much more on-page engagement than paragraphs and text.
Here’s a great example from Feed, an intelligent property rights and payment platform. There isn’t a ton of text on the page, but the incredibly immersive background visuals tell the brand’s story almost immediately.
4. Create Content That’s Actionable
There’s certainly a place for textual content in web design. While visuals may be preferred, there’s no way to create an engaging website without written copy. With that being said, you have to focus on creating engaging copy.
As marketer Stoney deGeyter says, “Use your content to draw visitors in, engage with them and compel them to action.” Don’t just talk to visitors. Talk to visitors in a manner that commands action. Establish a voice and use active words that immerse readers in a brand experience. Make the content scannable and include persuasive calls to action that align with the on-page visuals.
5. Do the Unexpected
The moral of the story is to do the unexpected. Playing it safe may leave you with a website that’s simple, but will it really engage users? Is it creatively stimulating? The answer is no.
When you see a web design trend in the industry, ask yourself how you can change it up. Do something to make people say, “Wow! I wasn’t expecting that.” That’s the mark of compelling web design.
Engage Your Audience
Somewhere along the way, many of us have forgotten that web design is meant to be a creative expression. Instead, we’re merely copying what everyone else is doing simply because “industry experts” call these techniques “best practices.” Well, we’re here to remind you that it’s okay to tap into your creative roots every once in a while. Let these tips reignite your passion for web design and begin looking for ways to engage site visitors.