Your website only has 50 milliseconds to make a good impression after it loads in a user’s browser. Beyond first impressions, a website must also provide an intuitive UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) to maintain visitor retention rates and boost conversions.
Whether you’re a web designer or a front-end developer, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest web design trends so that you can offer stellar services to your clients. What follows are some web design ideas you can use to upgrade your clients’ websites.
Tip: Are you a web designer or a web developer? This guide will help you figure out where you lie on the spectrum.
1. Draw inspiration from other websites
One of the best sources of website ideas is to simply look at other websites. Take note of layout choices, page transitions, color schemes, typography and other design elements. Bonus points if you look at your clients’ competitors for insights as to what works for their niche. Competitor analysis is a highly sought-after service that designers and front-end developers alike can offer their clients.
2. Mix timeless style choices with branded aesthetics
Whether you’re revamping an old website or designing a new one from scratch, graphical elements such as color schemes and typography play a major role in web design. Here are some trending design approaches you can use on your next web project:
As a general rule, you’ll want to use colors and typography that will resonate with your website’s target audience. The idea is to make the website an extension of your client’s brand.
3. Build a beautiful site with site builders and ecommerce platforms
You no longer have to know how to code to set up a nice looking custom website. Content management systems (CMS), site builders, and ecommerce platforms make setting up a company webpage or online store a relatively simple affair. But even if you are a developer, there’s still an argument to be made for standing on the shoulders of giants. Just a little CSS and HTML can go a long way when you build websites with a CMS.
4. Optimize for all screens with responsive design
Responsive design is the practice of designing a web page that can resize and reformat itself depending on the device a visitor is using to view it. Not only does this improve the UX for anyone viewing your website from a mobile device, but it can also improve your search rankings—sites that aren’t mobile-friendly started getting penalized by Google in 2015.
Responsive design is a must in 2019, but some websites do it better than others. This list of responsive web design examples highlighted by the InVision blog is a good source of inspiration.
5. Improve site performance
Over half of visitors will leave your site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. It doesn’t matter how great your site looks if users never get a chance to see it. What’s more, page speed is one of the signal’s Google’s ranking algorithm tracks.
Performance optimization usually falls under the domain of the web developer, but if you’re a designer with minimal coding skills, there are still a few things you can do on the front-end to speed up those load times. For example, simply compressing image files in Photoshop and sizing them for their intended use (e.g., thumbnails) can cut down on load times without sacrificing image quality.
Check out this handy list from the Moz blog for more tips on speeding up your web pages.
Web designers are lifelong scholars
A slick UI that delivers a smooth UX is the goal of every web designer. It takes a unique mix of creative and technical expertise to create a website that can deliver an ROI.
As technologies evolve, so too must the web designer. If you’re looking for more tips on how to grow as a designer, check out the Hiring Headquarters to gain insights into the skills that matter most to clients.