Jan 11, 2022
How easy is it to start up a startup? Not very. According to some sources, the failure rate for startups hovers somewhere around 90 percent — not a very encouraging way to start out, is it?
So, what makes the difference? Well, there are plenty of factors that play into whether or not a startup becomes a “continue,” including lack of funding, lack of audience, lack of resources, and so on. But the one I want to talk about today, and the one I want to help entrepreneurs address, is the issue of conversion.
The Conversion Conversation
Conversion is an important goal for a startup, regardless of the area or industry in which the business operates. Conversion is basically the process of turning a website visitor into a product or service consumer.
Your conversion rate — the percentage of your website visitors who actually take the action you want them to take — is influenced by a number of factors. How user-friendly your website is, the way you develop your user interface and overall user-experience, the visual appeal, the uniqueness of your site, how well it functions, and so on. Every aspect of how visitors interact with your site counts toward conversion, when done well.
Relating Conversion To Your Website Design
It’s easy to see how web design can influence conversion rate, either for the worse or for the better.
Even something as simple as the choice of colour, usually according to the psychology of colour, can either attract or repel your viewer.
Font choice makes a big difference, too. Fonts that are difficult to read will obviously make conversion a harder task than it needs to be. And if the font doesn’t show well against your background colour, that won’t help either.
Layout can cause a visitor to back out of your site without converting, if not handled well. We tend to be drawn to clean, simple layouts with plenty of space between elements. When presented with a jumbled layout that is difficult to follow or process, it not only makes it harder for the visitor to take the action you intend, but it may actually completely obscure what action they can take. The same goes for navigation. Designing a simple, easy to follow navigation system helps website viewers to find the information they need to follow through on steps.
Even comparatively small, individual visual choices can make a difference. Consider the inclusion of your well-designed business logo for instance. If you make your site readily identifiable on every page and keep branding consistent, it will cut down on potential confusion and help your customer base to build loyalty.
Each of these individual elements are very simple, but vital to good website design. And they aren’t difficult to execute.
Another element for web design can be harder to get a handle on — creativity.
The effectiveness and appeal of creative website design is subject to the opinion of the viewer, so it can be more challenging to pull off. If you’re looking to get away from a basic, traditional approach to web design, one of these ten creative web design approaches may be ideal for your site.
Neumorphism — a portmanteau of “New Skeuomorphism” — is a newer website design trend that got its start in the last few years, growing from the skeuomorphism trend and becoming a style in its own right.
Neumorphism is about creating a soft, fully-integrated user experience. Individual elements, like buttons and graphics, tend to be overlaid on the background in a traditional layout, with a clear delineation between layers. With a neuomorphic approach to website design, the layers are less clear, with elements embedded in the background. This whole-cloth approach to design is achieved by careful use of colour matching and use of shadow effects, making it appear that the elements of the design are emerging from and part of the background.
This design trend can be done very subtly, but it’s an effective way to create an immersive website design experience.
Speaking of immersive design, neuomorphism is just one way to achieve that goal. But immersive design as a creative approach to website design can be sought by several different methodologies.
Overall, immersive design is an effective and creative approach to web design because it puts the experience of the user first and foremost. Websites that are built according to immersive design principles can be transformative experiences; when done well, they give the viewer the sensation that they haven’t just looked at a website on a screen, but have actually gone to a new location or been immersed — hence the name — in a new experience.
For immersive design, every aspect of the design as a whole must fit into the bigger picture, and interactivity is a must.
Speaking of interactivity…
Make Everything Clickable
A fun way to invite more extensive engagement from your web visitors is to include subtle variations on interactivity. It’s common for websites to have clickable navigation, which basically serves as a series of signposts for where the visitor wants to go next. But with the “make everything clickable” approach, designers can incorporate more details and information while rendering the design more appealing to interact with.
Making everything clickable doesn’t mean that you have to have vital information hidden behind the clickable elements. Think about adding in fun facts, footnotes, and other items that enhance the overall experience of visiting the site. Designers can also include subtle animation that plays when items are clicked, which is an excellent way of keeping the attention of the user and encouraging them to engage further with the site.
Animation itself is a good tip for creative website design. Static sites can be very useful and make the point that they need to make, but gifs, video, and even small and simple embedded movement can really make a site somewhat special.
And it impacts what users do with the site, too. Statistics indicate that website visitors will spend 2.6x more time on a page that includes video than no video. That means more time to catch attention, to create engagement, and to encourage the visitor to convert.
Focus On Font
Font choice is one of the most important design decisions that a website designer must make, and is heavily influenced by everything from branding to the type of website required. But in terms of creative approaches to website design, focusing on a font-heavy layout can be both striking and effective.
This doesn’t mean that there needs to be tons and tons of type content, since that can get overwhelming and chase off a site visitor. But carefully select and scale fonts to make the written word itself the graphic focus of the site.
Visuals are often the core of website design, but with bold, attractive fonts, a font-focused design can catch the eye and drive conversion.
Colour Choices Matter
Colour is arguably the first and foremost design decision that can impact conversion. We use colours to help our visitors know how they should feel about the content on our site, and even more importantly, what they should do about it.
Just think about the colours that are commonly chosen for ‘Call To Action’ buttons (CTA). Most frequently, they are warm, saturated shades, like red or orange or yellow. The warmth and friendliness of that palette invites the visitor to take action.
That being said, there’s plenty of room for colour creativity and sticking to a trend for the sake of the trend itself won’t necessarily help to convert.
In putting together, a creative color palette, choose CTA colours that show well against the site as a whole.
Site-Wide Colour Gradients
While we’re on the subject of colours, remember that creativity doesn’t limit itself to one shade or tone — gradients are enjoying a comeback.
Gradients were popular in the past, giving this recurrent trend a classic appeal. I don’t know about anyone else, but they remind me of my first attempts at creating a website, using old-school tools like Angelfire. But gradients are also potentially very effective for driving conversion, since they can again be used to showcase CTAs, highlight navigation, and bring an overall nostalgic appeal to the site as a whole.
Gradients can even be used as signposts themselves, providing the appearance of visual movement and activity and pointing the way for the next step that you want your visitor to take.
And since we’re talking about nostalgia anyhow, let’s add vintage themes to the list.
Vintage in terms of website design doesn’t mean the same thing as it does in other areas. I already mentioned Angelfire sites from the old days — to begin with, web design was blatant, unsubtle, full of awkward layouts and odd graphic choices. We had a lot to say at the beginning of website design, but we weren’t sure yet how to say it.
Looking back on that era now, there’s a strange sort of poetry to those sites, and it may not be a surprise that design inspired by the early days of the internet is one of the most creative and effective ways to engage your site visitor. After all, nostalgia has a strong appeal.
One of the most notorious examples of this was the website for the movie Space Jam, which was put up in 1996 and left untouched, drawing the nostalgic fawning of 90s kids for years afterwards. Part of the appeal of this old-school-style design is the longing for simpler days — to take a step back in time almost makes up for the lack of visual attractiveness or higher functions.
Perfect Imperfection — The Handmade Look
Talking about simplicity, the hand-drawn look is also a creative and potentially very effective approach to web design.
Hand-made items and designs have had a resurgence in popularity in the last few years, and using this type of visual for website design has a built-in appeal, as well as a uniqueness that makes the site stand out. A site with the hand-drawn effect has little imperfections, oddities, and quirks that help to enhance the personality behind it. The more clear the personality of the site, the easier it is for visitors to form connections and, ultimately, to convert.
Ignore The Layout
Our tenth creative approach to web design is to take everything we know and throw it out the window. For the purpose of this approach, I’m mostly talking about the traditional idea of website layout.
Site layout tends to follow the same standards for each page. But ignoring the layout allows you to mix it up from page to page, or even within the same page, and build the visuals around the content, rather than fitting content to the layout.
This also allows for a focus on the parts of the page that will convert, drawing the eye to the CTA or showing the benefits of going from viewer to consumer.
Creativity And Conversion
When it comes to conversion, a creative and unique website can do more to sell a brand, a product or service than almost any other tool.
Website design is an amazing arena, as it allows for such scope for creativity. Just when we think we’ve got the rules all set in stone, we’re reminded that for website design, there are no rules.
The only guideline is to do what’s right for the website and for the visitor. In that Venn Diagram, the commonality is conversion.
Veronica Johnson likes reading, writing and exploring through her travels. With her freelance guest writing, she hopes to achieve both her passion and career in online content marketing. She writes on topics like business, advertising and digital marketing.