2020s UI/UX & Web Design Overview (for Startups)
In this article, you will be provided with some valuable tips on web design that will give your website a more professional look and feel, therefore improving your user experience and setting it up for success. Also, we’re going to take a look at how your website can rank much higher on the search engine result pages. |
Startups and small businesses need to come up with both effective user flows and experiences (UX), and an attractive user interface (UI) in order to achieve quick growth and constant visits to their web page. This can be achieved through a high-quality web design plan, which may include, besides the actual design of the site's web pages, a strong concept and branding (a good 'story'), and of course, good navigation between the site's pages.
“ Web design refers to the design of websites that are displayed on the internet. It usually refers to the user experience aspects of website development rather than software development. “ 2
Whether you hire a team, an individual web/mobile design freelancer, or you do all the work by yourself, you ought to have enough knowledge in the domain to understand the basics of it and step in when the situation requires it.
In the next lines, we’ll explore a few essential aspects of web design, keeping in mind its two main ramifications: UX design and UI design. If you’re curious to see what it’s about, read on to find out more!
// Is Web Design Different for Startups?
The web development part is one of the most significant elements of your new business. If older businesses have earned the advantage of a loyal audience, some flaws of the overall elements on their web pages are more likely to be overlooked. However, in small businesses attempts to build websites, mistakes cost a lot. This is simply because your business hasn’t attracted a large audience yet, let alone attain its loyalty, and also because your financial, time and effort budget is limited.
This being said, you must make sure that the website development plan is well thought out, starting from the concept and the story of the site, the user interface design elements, the website builder you are using, the compatibility with all web browsers, and finishing with the visual elements, the coding language used, as well as the breakpoints for responsiveness.
Keep in mind that your user interface has to resonate with your target audience. You also need to make sure the website functions properly. If both visual appeal and functional elements are well implemented, you will be able to secure a steady flow of site visitors in a relatively short amount of time.
// Things You Should Know About Web Design
A. The Coding & Web Design Duet
To build a high-quality website for your startup, you have to make sure that you are using high-performance UI/UX design tools (Figma, Sketch, Adobe XD, or other software). We highly recommend using one of the following licensed and optimised design software in order to benefit from all the app’s functions and to avoid unexpected freezes or crashes.
Figma is a browser-based software, suited for all desktop operating systems Windows, MacOS, Linux, etc. It is also a collaborative tool and that’s why we like to use it;
Sketch is a MacOS dedicated desktop vector graphics editor;
Adobe XD is a design platform available for both Windows and MacOS.
In the beginning phase, we urge you to consult or hire a professional designer (or even a team of designers) who has the skills to build and guide you through your product’s roadmap in detail (design wise). After this step, you should have a more clear view of what the following design steps are in milestones and you should also get a sense of how your website should look.
Often continuing the collaboration with the designer, while letting him/her (the design team) work on the actual design (user flows, wireframes, hifi mockups, prototypes), can help you create the website you had in mind, or even surpass your expectations. Note that this choice is entirely yours.
From the coding and programming perspective, make sure that your website development needs have been taken care of. It's important that the right coding languages be used, and that your website have all the functional elements (like backend infrastructure - servers/mainframes/other data service systems and the digital interface - frontend) in place.
After all, nobody wants to visit a slow website. This is exactly why we highly recommend that the web development part be taken care of through a collaborative process with a certified programmer. Same as for the design process.
B. Basic elements of a website design
all the pages, navigation bar, menu and other links to pages work properly; they send the user where they should, as shown in the user flows;
they open and refresh quite quickly; this really means very quickly;
the images are not enormous (KB vs. MB) so they're quickly loaded;
the user knows exactly where they are on the website at all times (the user flow is intuitive and the UI indicates users their precise location);
easy menu/navigation bar access (through ux - good positioning, micro animation and ui - familiar icon, its size and colour);
2. Good UX
the site is user friendly and intuitive - it behaves as the user expects it should; when unpredictable situations occur, the design interface shows the user where/how/if it is necessary to intervene or it explicitly tells the user what happened;
the site is accessible (enabling easy access to all the site’s segments); this means navigation is well designed and deployed;
it comes across as trust-worthy;
while navigating it gives you a sense of satisfaction; pleasant user-website interaction;
3. Visual Design
all the elements on the site resemble and occupy a certain spot, as shown in the design hi-fi mockup created in a dedicated design tool; continuity of graphic elements;
all the graphic elements are sized in proportion to the other elements;
the website tells you its story or a story;
each page owns a logotype, specific fonts, font sizes, alignment types, colour palettes; a particular visual style - easy to detect and to be recognized;
the website's breakpoints are well calibrated in order to suit different screen sizes (mobile / tablet / small desktop / large desktop); this means the website’s content moves dynamically as the screen size increases or decreases.
One of the essential parts of a web design plan is navigation. The key element of high-quality navigation is the user's ability to know exactly where they are on the website, and to be able to easily access the menu. Some of the elements that most web designers should add to a website are the navigation bar, a menu and a search tool, as well as some shortcuts to your homepage or the important parts of your website.
" People ignore design that ignores people. " - Frank Chimero. 3
Also, branding symbols (as the company’s logo) shown in the same place on every page (both header and footer) should always be linked to the homepage, or the most important page of your website. In some cases, this specific link will send you to the site’s landing page, which may be different from the homepage.
Visual elements are also highly significant aspects of business web design, and they can influence the user experience just as much as the navigation process. It takes just a few seconds for the user to be either impressed, repulsed or simply confused (which may be the worst of all these cases) by the looks of your website, so make sure you put some effort/budget into graphic design.
" Less is more. " - commonly attributed to architect Mies van der Rohe
(the actual initiator was German designer Peter Behrens) 4
Do not add too many visual elements though, as sometimes less can prove to be more. The best results come from a clean, simple (but not simplistic!), yet aesthetic look.
// Make Your Website Visible through SEO
This basically means it is easy to be found. Having a website that offers a lot of value in both visual elements and written content is a great thing, and if you create beautiful, eye-catching designs for your website, it will make it look more professional. The truth is, having a neat website is great, but it's useless if you don't have the right visibility and good functionality.
One of the key elements of small business web design should be search engine optimization (SEO). Many web designers and web owners tend to overlook this, but it is a crucial part to assure that your website traffic functions properly.
This is why a good web designer should have been more than appreciated for his/her SEO knowledge in the past few years. These days, once the web design field grew and UI and UX design became different career paths, so did this responsibility of website optimization. Today, human resources departments from all over the world actively look for Search Engine Optimization Specialists.
Another important part of the technical requirements that will improve your visibility is both the UI/UX design and the web development, so it might be in the interest of both the certified programmer and the web designer to be aware of this: the website has to work well on all the major browsers, as numerous factors may affect the function and appearance.
This is why it's critical to use the right programming languages and UI/UX design tools, as well as SEO elements, for optimising your website's function and implicitly making it more visible, accessible and user friendly.
>>> Ending notes
Small business web design may require you to choose a more conservative approach to building your website. You will have to select your web design tools in a very wise manner and make sure that everything is in good balance. The whole process tends to seem more tricky because your goal is not just to preserve your audience and keep them engaged, but also to attract new visitors quickly, which requires a different approach.
Both web development and web design processes are important, as they are the main warranties for your website’s health and the key predictors for your product prosperity. In other words, in the end your site operates well, is pleasant to be looked at and gives the viewer a sense of reliance and trust.
Web design and development require specialised knowledge and skills. Reach us now for more information. We offer professional web development and design services, customisable to your own needs.
2. Interaction Design Foundation
// Elisabeta Stan, Product Designer @ Crafting Software // MAY 16 2022