Check out this useful article so you can save hours you might have wasted searching for a web-design checklist for your projects. All this information has been hand-picked do give you everything you need to start creating the web pages you’ve been dreaming of.
It doesn’t matter if you’re part of a big design team or are building a website by yourself—you still need to know what the best practices are so you can understand what to do at every step of the process. For that, you should use a checklist.
Planning is important for any web design project. You can’t just expect everything to fall into place if you don’t plan each step meticulously. This will help with both the overall look and feel of the site, but also how visitors interact with it. This is super-important for things like generating leads and ultimately creating sales. That means turning your visitors into people who actually want to spend money on your site.
If your website isn’t making the sales you think it should, then it’s probably because you’ve made a mistake somewhere with the layout and page design.
Web-design best practice checklist
Make sure you pay attention to all of these points if you want to design the best site for your business:
1. Think from your audience’s perspective
You need to start doing this before you get to the nitty-gritty of actually coding and designing your pages. Always be aware of what your customers will be thinking, and what they’re looking for. Draw up personas and profiles of your audience. Work out what they want, what they’re concerned about, and how to help them.
As a web-designer, you won’t be able to create the best possible site design for your target audience if you don’t already know a lot about them. That means you need to do extensive planning and research about who they are and what they’re looking for. All of this should be done so you have the best idea about how to create the right user experience for them—one that ultimately generates sales or leads.
Work out who needs your products and/or services. Not every type of user prefers certain design aspects of websites. There isn’t really a right or wrong answer here, and it really depends on a lot of factors. One of them is age. Older users might not be as tech-savvy and will require a different user experience than a millennial who’s grown up using the web. Making mistakes here can actually affect your ability to make the sales you need.
2. Make sure your images are compressed
Having plenty of great images for your site is important—but you need to remember that these images can slow your page load times down a lot. This is important, because it could make people click away if your site loads slowly, losing potential sales and customers. This is especially important if people are browsing on mobile.
To speed up load times (and therefore sales), make sure you compress your images. Take care picking the right images for your site. Unique ones are important, as people won’t want to see the same old stuff. Using your own images rather than stock ones is an even better idea.
3. Make sure the site is compatible
Test your site on different browsers, computers and devices. Make sure it looks great on mobile and a number of other platforms. You don’t want to lose people who don’t have the right device for your website. Take care on things like fonts and layouts. Don’t be hesitant to use white space if that’s what looks right for your site. Run a few A/B tests with different design options to see which works best for you. Don’t assume you know the answer, test alternatives so you have the data to know for sure.
4. Take a lot of care with your calls to action
Calls to action, or CTAs, are important. That’s where you get someone to take action and either subscribe, sign-up, or buy something. That’s the main aim of your website. However, you don’t want to bombard people with calls to action all over the place. Make sure most of your copy is driving towards the CTA, but don’t oversell.
Make sure you keep your calls to action above the fold where possible. Sticky widgets and sidebars can help with this. Your CTAs should be clear and concise. People shouldn’t have to guess what you want them to do, they should know for sure. While pop-ups on entry are normally a no-no these days, one carefully placed exit pop-up with a time-limited offer could be enough to rescue a sale from someone who was already clicking away.
5. Keep consistent
Once you’ve come up with a theme, make sure that all your pages are designed with this in mind. Stick to your theme and stay consistent. People notice inconsistencies like this, so avoid them where possible.
6. Never forget your buyer personas
Remember those profiles and buyer personas you came up with at the start? They’re important, so don’t ignore them. Keep them in mind throughout the whole process. Even when your website changes as your business grows, don’t forget who you made it for in the first place.
Keep in mind what your customers need and what they’re looking for, so you know the best way to offer a solution to them. Keep them engaged wherever possible. Increasing the amount of time someone spends on your site is good, so offer them value to keep them hanging around.
If you’re having trouble knowing exactly how to serve your buyer personas, or even struggling to come up with them—you’ve got a couple of options. You can do some extensive market research, or you can outsource to a professional web design agency who really knows what they’re doing.
Hopefully, this checklist has got you heading in the right direction so that you can start making the right decisions when creating sites for your target audience.