9 Web Design Tips From the Experts

Mara Calvello
Mara Calvello  |  April 11, 2019

Revamping your website and not sure where to start?

You’re not alone.

There’s a lot that goes into website building, and its overall design can seem like a daunting step in the process. Especially when you consider that 48 percent of people cited that a website’s design is the number one factor in determining the credibility of a business.

How do you show the viewers of your website that you are a credible source within the market if your website is outdated? You give it a fresh and exciting redesign.

Getting started with your website redesign

We asked nine industry professionals and web designers to give advice on how to take a bland and boring website and turn it into something bold and eye-catching. Here’s what they said.

1. Have fun with images

“Upgrade your look with new - ideally unexpected - imagery. Many companies rely on old, rote stock imagery. That’s not to say you can’t use stock imagery but think creatively about it. I mean, how many photos of a group of men in suits shaking hands can one viewer take? Consider using what we call “symbolic imagery”; unexpected images that evoke the emotions and themes of your site, not just literal scenarios. By presenting an image we don’t automatically expect (example: a firecracker instead of a boardroom), you wake up the user and get them to not just see, but THINK about what you’re showing them.

Have FUN with your website. Especially if you sell a service, people are looking to your site to get a sense of you and if they want to work with you. Show them who you are and win business for reasons that go far beyond the simple fact of what you do. “

- Lilly Ghahremani, Founder of Lucky 13 Strategies

2. Get help from a professional

“Keeping your website up to date and aesthetically pleasing is crucial. If you don't have an eye for it, hire someone who does (even if it's just a one time gig). There are tons of websites to find web builders who can update your website quickly and affordably. If it’s a simple website, use an online website builder and do it yourself. “

- Alex Cohan, Founder and CEO of Offen LLC

3. Focus on User Experience

“Your business website should be engaging and interesting, while also professional and informative. So, it's important to focus on User Experience (UX). When creating a user centered design, start off by mapping it out from your homepage and breaking it down in a clear and intuitive way (for example, your About section shouldn't be under your Blog). We recommend you integrate interactive and engaging features whenever possible, such as a rotating banner on your homepage. “

- Niles Koenigsberg, Junior Digital Marketing Specialist at FIG Advertising and Marketing

4. Design for accessibility

"In a world that’s more digitally connected than ever before, it’s crucial to practice inclusive web design and ensure your site is accessible for the visually impaired, hearing impaired, or any other differently abled user. That can mean everything from validating that your color schemas can be seen by users with colorblindness (especially if it plays a central role in the usability of the site), to closed captioning your video content. If you’re interested in a guide, the 508 Compliance digital checklist is a good jumping off point—it’s likely your site isn’t legally mandated to follow it, but its a good tool nonetheless. You can always check in with a user experience design agency as well for further adjustments. Checking for accessibility would fall under a UX audit, which many of these agencies offer."

- Sean McGowan, Technical Writer at Codal

5. Experiment with color

“If you want to bring your website back to life, implement a new color, either temporarily or permanently. This can be a change that doesn’t take a lot of time but can make a big impact. You can add a background color on your navigation and use an all-white version of your logo. Also, consider implementing a color that fits well with your new banner color, which can be used for your buttons, dividers, bullets, and other points of emphasis. “

- Steve Page, VP of Digital Strategy at Giant Partners

6. Think outside the box

“The previous website we had here at ProForecast needed a serious refresh. It was filled with some awful graphs that didn't represent anything, had some gifs of scrolling graphs, and a few screenshots of our software. Additionally, the main branding of the website was a stock image of a man thinking in front of a blackboard with a logo on top.

In order to bring the website back to life, I updated clear calls to action, removed the strange abstract man, and instead of screenshots of our software, we now use mockups of software in use and in certain environments. Also, I updated the website to finally match our branding and updated all of the information. The process is still ongoing, so updates happen every day. But it’s safe to say it’s making a huge difference. “

- Justina Rimkeviciute, Marketing Director at ProForecast

7. Design for mobile

“My tip to make a website sleek and trendy is to build the site from a mobile-first viewpoint. Often a site will contain too many menu items, too much to look at, and other clunky unneeded accessories when built from a desktop viewpoint. When you simplify and look at the site to modify it as mobile-first, you'll be able to strip away the unnecessary desktop-only elements and make the site much sleeker and easier to use. “

- Stacy Caprio, Founder of Her.CEO

8. Start a blog

“A great tactic is to create a blog page for your website or focus on a previously existing one. People want content, not ads, and I bet your audience can smell an ad from a mile off. A new and improved blog is a proven source of traffic to your website and can engage new people with your community. Writing genuinely helpful and informative content in a unique style that is consistent with your brand will draw readers and improve your conversions and sales. A great technique we use is to not only post new content but update and remold existing content. Old content can still ring true; take the gems of wisdom and reshape it into a new article with a new date-of-publish.”

- Ryan Underwood, Digital Marketing Executive at YourParkingSpace

9. Keep it simple

“I think the new website design trends follow general content and usability rules. There's only so much information we can take in the few seconds we have to browse a website, so less is definitely more. Modern users don't have time to find out how the website works. A clean interface helps users to retain information and softens the barriers between the user and the content. A clean design is also essential because most browsing nowadays is made by mobile devices, and any element that makes the website heavy and slow can frustrate the user (and search engines). A clean, lighter design improves both usability and site speed, two critical elements in an increasingly faster Internet, where millions of websites are competing for our increasingly limited attention.”

- Alessio De Luca, Digital Transformation Manager at Florence Consulting Group

Roll up your sleeves and get started

There’s no better time to start on the redesign of your website than right now. Take these tips from business professionals and apply them to the look and feel of your site! Chances are you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what a redesign can do for your brand.


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Mara Calvello
Author

Mara Calvello

Mara is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at G2 Crowd. In her spare time, she's typically at the gym polishing off a run, reading a book from her overcrowded bookshelf, or right in the middle of a Netflix binge. Obsessions include the Chicago Cubs, Harry Potter, and all of the Italian food imaginable.