It’s important to make sure your website keeps up with the times. A dated, poorly functioning website could literally make or break your business, especially if you’re in the e-commerce space. Here are a few tips, trends, and must-haves for your website in the new year.
- Your site must be accessible to disabled visitors. This doesn’t just mean improving the experience for those with vision or hearing setbacks, you also need to accommodate users with challenges like dyslexia and colorblindness. The compliance level you should be striving for is WCAG 2.1 AA. It may take a Google search to track down details, but it will be worth it. Meeting the expectations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is key to user experience – and simply the right thing to do.
- Your website must load quickly in a browser. It’s not enough to have a fancy design and cool imagery on your website. In fact, it could be some of those high-resolution, non-optimized pictures on your homepage that are slowing things down. Google relegates slow-loading web pages to lower rankings. Pingdom.com should be your next stop if you’re serious about improving your website’s load time.
- Mobile. Mobile. Mobile. Many of the big-name CMS systems out there today like WordPress and Squarespace will render your site correctly in a mobile browser automatically. This is called Responsive Web Design. It’s critical. If your site visitors have to pinch and zoom to experience your site on their mobile device, you’ve lost them.
- Bigger, bolder design is in. Larger desktop screen sizes allow bigger typography and bolder colors to play a key role in capturing users’ attention. Fluid organic shapes are also a great design choice because they help entice the user to scroll down your web page.
- A little animation goes a long way. Having even the smallest design elements move around a bit on your site can be highly effective. A quick jiggle of a “Buy” button, for example, makes it obvious what you want the user to do next. Or if you have an e-commerce site, you could have an image of your product spin 360 degrees, so the user can get the full view.
Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest. The key is to always keep the vital components of good web usability in mind, while also modernizing your look and feel to keep things interesting.