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9 MAY 2018

13 top web development tips

Here are Thirteen (see what we did there?) handy tips on how you can immediately boost your site and, with it, your online presence:

1. Make sure your website is responsive

We at Consultancy Thirteen always take a mobile first approach when designing sites for clients. So, if you've recently updated your website, you have probably created a responsive version of it — if you haven’t, it’s high time that you do. A responsive design will do wonders for your website regarding Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and help you position yourself higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

2. Keep the navigation short

Make it as simple as possible - You’ll want to have no more than five or six items in your menu (the point is to make it easy for people to move around your website), try to be as descriptive as possible in your labels, and even keep your navbar fixed. That way, your visitors will be able to stay longer than five seconds on your site.

3. Design in plenty of white space

What’s so special about white space, you might wonder? Well, first of all, it doesn’t have to be white—that’s just how designers refer to it. Secondly, it’s worth mentioning that research has shown that the use of white space in the left and right margins, and in between paragraphs, increases reader comprehension by almost 20%. Adding white space means more user interaction, the page looks better, and you can highlight your Calls to Action (CTAs) with more ease if you have enough white space to go around.

4. A picture is worth a thousand words

Let’s face it we all like visuals. Whether they’re photos, videos, GIFs, or drawings, they are more likely to draw our attention on a page than any piece of text, no matter how great it may be. According to research, users spend 10% more time looking at pictures of people on 'About Us' pages than they do reading content associated with those photos. This means that you should try to incorporate great visuals as much as you can on your website or invest in original photography using a professional photographer if the budget allows. And many websites offer free stock photos such as Pixabay.

5. The power of illustrations and graphics

What’s even better to add to your website than regular, old stock photos? Custom illustrations, of course! They can truly play an important part in keeping your visitors on your site and serve as a great piece of visual content. Original always beats stock - your brand and marketing team will thank you.

6. Consider use of iconography

Simple graphics or icons summarising key areas of interest are a great way to make the content simple for the visitor to digest or locate; not dissimlar to the way in whcih infographics work.  They are also a great way to punctuate areas of written content. There are many styles to choose from and work most effectivey when they're part of your brand language either originally created by an illustrator or bought from the many image libraries.

7. Moving pictures

82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter and just like all visuals, animations in the form of galleries and slideshows can be a fantastic addition to your website. What you need to keep in mind is that these are not the only animations that can be found on a site. There’s eight of them, including loading animation (which is there to annoy us all), hover, scrolling, background, and so on. A lot of work goes into creating animations that look good, but once they’re done the right way, your visitors and website will thank you for it.

8. The science of colour

The colour of something as small as a CTA button matters, as does the choice of color on your entire website. You’ll want to pick one dominant color for your whole site and brand, and then add complementary colors to complete the perfect scheme. The standard language for color communication (yes, that’s a thing!) is called Pantone, and everyone who’s at least a little bit in the business of marketing or design knows about it.

9. Can we talk about fonts

It's important to ask - what this font is saying to you? What kind of character does it have? Is it playful, serious, trendy, silly? Ask yourself what it’s illustrating and see if it lines up with your vision. Often a font that is simple and clean—one that’s not a distraction, but not void of character either. It has to be a complement to the brand it’s representing.

10. Improve page speed for lower bounce rate and longer sessions

One of the main reasons a lot of visitors won’t linger on your websites is if you’ve got even a two-second delay in your load time during a transaction, the chances are that your potential customers will abandon their shopping basket.  So, work on speeding up your websites before you do anything else—there are even tools out there that you can use to help you out

11. Keep the Call to Action (CTA) simple

Does having a CTA button on your page matter at all? Does making it a certain color change something in the way your users act on your website? Studies have shown that orange CTA buttons boost conversion rates by 32.5%, while red buttons boost rates by a whole 21%. Plus, if you want your CTAs to be game-changing, make sure to use actionable words in them such as: discover, start, learn, etc.

12. Don’t forget social media

There are 800 million monthly active users on Instagram and 100 million daily active users on Twitter, which is why it’s important for your website to offer social buttons to your visitors. There’s a chance that they will like what they see, share their thoughts on their profiles, and boost your presence even further. 

13. Learn from the best

Look to the most successful brands and their sites for inspiration and learning, especially your competitors. Why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from others success. Leading retailers such as John Lewis or renowned and respected brands such as Apple have spent time and money on UX.

We hope you enjoyed our tips - if you'd like to talk about how we can help you with your new site contact us today.