This is a guest post written by Warren Fowler. I didn’t receive any compensation for it. You can find out more about Warren in the ‘About the Author’ section at the end.
Most people consider looks to be the point of reference in all fields of life and work. Web design is no different in that respect.
According to the research, the first impression that a website creates is 94% design-related. This fact obviously proves that users appreciate a good-looking website.
However, I can’t help but wonder: Does beauty really means everything in web design? The answer is rather simple: No, it doesn’t!
As a matter of fact, even the most beautifully designed web page won’t make a difference for your business, unless you add a variety of other factors to the equation. Pretty looks won’t generate leads and conversions all alone.
For this reason, you have to think outside the box and stop playing with colors, carousels, and other basic user experience elements.
There is a lot more to discuss here, and you need to understand how professional web design really works.
This is particularly important if you are developing a site for international markets, such as China.
There are tons of features that make this market different from western practices, so you need to know how to approach it.
This post will explain to you 11 web design facts you’ve probably never thought about before.
1. Templates Aren’t Always the Best Solution
Templates are a convenient solution for businesses which don’t require uniqueness and higher levels of customization.
But if you think about it for a while, you’ll come to the conclusion that tailored design is exactly what a vast majority of companies need these days.
The market is getting increasingly competitive, and you cannot afford to launch a simple or generic website.
Stock templates will only make your job harder because they are difficult to customize.
When you try to rearrange the template structure, you often need to make big code changes that influence the whole site architecture. This way, you can ruin user experience and end up creating a final product that doesn’t allow simple and easy navigation.
2. Pay Attention to Coding
Talking about coding, we cannot overestimate the importance of this segment of web design.
It’s not only crucial in terms of site appearance, but it also plays a major role in search engine optimization.
Poorly written code lines can hide page-related information and impact the overall ranking of your website.
For instance, amateur coding can distort website content and make Google’s search engines confused. This is a huge problem because most people look for brands, companies, and products through search engines.
Therefore, you must pay attention to coding to be able to craft a flawless site.
3. Test on Different Browsers
Even if you create a great website, it doesn’t mean it has to function properly across multiple platforms.
This is another coding problem because you have to write lines that display the same result on Firefox, Chrome, Explorer, Safari, or any other web browser for that matter.
Jeremy Toles, a web design specialist at Best Essays, says it’s not a beginner-level trick:
On the contrary, only skilled and experienced designers can make sure that your website is 100% functional. These guys know the peculiarities of different programming languages, such as CSS or HTML, and they always test final products thoroughly.
4. Combine Design and Functionality
I already mentioned that website appearance is very important for the overall user experience, but it should work in combination with other features in order to become completely functional.
The best web designers are always goal-oriented, so they learn about the clients to understand their business objectives.
Doing so, designers can properly create and position web page elements.
In the case of a landing page, they will highlight calls to action. If it’s a blog post, they will take care of the structure and put headlines in front.
Nothing is random in web design, but you need to understand user behavior before adding different features to the website.
5. Page Speed Is Essential
Do you enjoy waiting for a website to load? Of course, you don’t, no one does!
Studies have shown that almost 50% of visitors are expecting your site to load in less than two seconds, while a one second delay means conversions and page views decrease by up to 11%.
But if you are not the expert, you better let professional web designers do the job for you instead. Speed kills, but only if you are not fast enough.
6. Make the Design Responsive
Website responsiveness has been a hot topic in the last few years.
You need to acknowledge the fact that people visit your website from all sorts of devices. However, smartphones take over the lead role, as 60% of users say they will not recommend a business that has a badly designed mobile site.
Back in 2015, Google also announced that mobile-friendliness has become one of the most influential metrics in search engine algorithms.
In such circumstances, you have to ensure high-quality browsing across all platforms and screen sizes.
7. Mobile Comes First
I mentioned this in the previous section, but I have to say it again – modern web design is all about mobile now.
This is very important for the Chinese market as well because almost half of the country’s population (a mere 700 million people) own a smartphone.
Therefore, you should always think about mobile responsiveness first when you design a website for the Chinese market.
8. Quality Images and Videos
A picture is worth a thousand words, while a video is worth a thousand pictures.
Why did I say that? I did it because the visual content has become an utterly dominant website feature, which means you should embrace the new style of content creation.
A good piece of visual content must be informative and/or entertaining, but that’s not all there is.
You also need to optimize content for online browsing, which means you have to fulfill technical requirements, such as size and format.
Only properly-formatted content can load quickly enough to satisfy the needs of an average user.
9. Content Structure
Web content is getting longer. A study revealed that the ideal blog post length is now around 1.6 thousand words, much more than a decade ago.
However, keep in mind that website visitors in China are direct and goal-driven. They want clear and concise information that can be easily digested.
Content structure plays a crucial role in that respect. Textual content has to be optimized in a way that ensures a quick scanning of an article.
You should highlight keywords and important conclusions, using a straightforward language and multiple subheadings.
Tricks like listicles and numbers always perform well, so don’t be afraid to use them often.
10. Choose Local Hosting
A hosting issue is not directly related to web design, but it’s absolutely essential if you want your site to function properly.
To put it simply, reliable hosting equals faster loading time.
The issue becomes even more important when we talk about China, a country with very strict legal requirements and serious censorship obstacles.
The government of China approves domestic hosting much faster than international providers, so you should look for a local company to take care of your website.
Such agencies can acquire necessary documents quickly because they already built the professional reputation in China, and know official procedures very well.
11. Mind the Chinese SEO
Did you know that Google does not operate in China?
Well, you do now, and you probably wonder how to optimize a website when the biggest search engine platform is absent.
The answer is Baidu, a Chinese version of Google.
Although it’s similar to Google, Baidu actually uses unique search engine algorithms. It means you have to find a web designer who understands the local market, knows your target audience, and follows Baidu’s SEO principles.
A website is supposed to be beautiful and attractive, but the looks are not the only thing you need to consider prior to developing your own site.
On the contrary, there are dozens of other features to think about in this field.
Keep these web design suggestions in mind, especially if you are developing a website for the international market, such as China. It could help you do a better job, making the clients thrilled about your work!
That’s a wrap
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