5 Barriers to Engaging Web Design
For all intents and purposes, design is probably the most important part of a website when it comes to getting users to convert, and what matters more than that, right?
Unfortunately, even on the most thoughtfully designed websites, there can be extraneous circumstances that make the whole site, or just specific pages, less engaging for users than they ought to be, which can ultimately hurt the site’s overall ability to convert. Certainly, the bleakest of realities for Web professionals is to realize that one or more pages on their websites just aren’t living up to consumers' stringent expectations.
There are a handful of possible reasons why your website’s design may be ineffective and not as engaging as you’d like it to be. To ensure that you don’t fall victim to one of these critical barriers to engaging and effective Web design, be aware of what these roadblocks are to begin with.
It may be harped on a lot, but that’s because it’s important – having a mobile-compatible website is beyond crucial to position your Web business as a smashing success (or even a moderate one). With more and more users accessing the Internet from a smartphone or tablet device every day, you’re missing out on a big potential block of customers if you’re not ready to cater to them. Whether it's through a mobile app, a mobile-designed website or a site with responsive design built into its very core, you have got to find a way to take your site mobile (or your clients') if you haven’t already.
Lack of Social Skills
These days, “engagement” as a generic metric is tied very closely to social media, which is how most Internet users find and spread information. Sites that don’t have social sharing signals and links to their various social media accounts (you do have various social media accounts, don’t you?) clearly displayed on every page are bound to be left behind when their visitors decide to go check Facebook. But by providing links to their own social networking profiles and making it easy for users to share their content and products with their friends, brands will foster more engagement with their visitors.
If you want your visitors to do something, just let them know. And the best way to do that is by using expertly crafted and well-placed call-to-action buttons or signals on your site that make it clear what users should be doing while they’re visiting. If your calls-to-action aren’t clearly defined, attractive and easy for users to find and act on, your website and conversions are going to suffer. So save yourself the heartache and just make it simple for visitors to do what you want them to do.
To be specific, it’s not just design that is essential to a site’s success, but how that design affects and aids a user’s ability to navigate the site. Bad navigation is a whole separate issue, really, but one of the best, and simplest, ways to overcome it is to clearly organize your content and other Web pages that sit in the header on your homepage and all of the other pages on your site. Make sure these categories are clearly labeled and will be easy for visitors to figure out – that way they can quickly and easily find what they’re looking for, especially since finding what they’re looking for means they’ll be more likely to convert in the long run.
One of the more underrated, but essential, aspects of an engaging and effective website is the contact form, where users voluntarily give you their information so that you can continue marketing to them and fostering brand loyalty. These are important for brands that are collecting leads, trying to sell products or that just want newsletter signups, and they can provide you with a plethora of awesome consumer data. Sites that lack these forms, or that have poorly designed forms that don’t engage users or ask for the right kind of information, are simply missing out on huge opportunities to grow their customer base. And if your site is in need of a form and you don’t know where to start, why not check out Foxyform.com?
Editor's Note: If registration forms are the gateway to conversions and ultimately profits, get yours in tip-top shape with one of these eight great jQuery plugins that improve the user experience. Click here.