That said, crafting a successful website is about more than just making it attractive. This guide will show you the website elements you need to include in order to make your website attractive and user-friendly.
Keep reading to learn which elements are the most important for user experience and therefore search engine optimization, or SEO.
8 Vital Website Elements
Before we launch into our discussion of the elements your website needs in order to please modern users, we need to make sure we’re on the same page regarding what a website element is.
When you talk to a coder, an element is usually an image or section of text. For the purposes of our discussion, and element can be those things as well as an attribute of a website. It’s important to understand this distinction, especially if you’re working with a professional designer.
Now, without any further ado, we give you the 8 elements your website must have.
1. Responsive Design
More than half — 51.3% of users — now access the internet via mobile devices. This means your website’s design needs to accommodate a variety of devices, like smartphones and tablets. Different screen sizes and different connection speeds can mean different experiences depending on device and location–and that’s not good.
With a responsive design, you don’t have to worry about the device and connection your users have. Responsive designs deliver a consistent user experience, or UX, no matter what.
2. White Space
If you’re planning a website revamp, now is the time to consider white space. White space refers to empty space around textual and visual elements on a web page. It doesn’t have to be white as the name suggests. Instead, it can be:
- Another color
- A texture
- A combination of another color and a texture
The more white space you have on your website, the easier it is to read. More white space around certain elements give those elements more importance, which is also a crucial consideration. White space can also be the space between lines of text or even between letters.
3. Flat Design
Flat design refers to elements that do not appear to have three dimensions. Years ago, it was popular to have drop shadows and other hints at the third dimension. However, flat designs are not only easier to consume, but they load faster, too.
You don’t have to go all in on a flat design. You can still have some elements that appear in the third dimension if you think it will provide a better UX. At least some of your web design elements should be flat, though.
Years ago, there weren’t many web fonts available. A web font is one of the elements of web design that is readable on most browsers and devices. Thanks to open-source font libraries like Google Fonts, you have a much broader selection of typography.
Current trends are favoring larger fonts. Try to find something unique that users will connect with your brand. The benefit to common typography is it can help build brand awareness while guiding users through a logical website flow.
The internet is a visual, colorful thing, so your website should reflect that. Hero images are large and responsive, and they can make a powerful impact for your brand, especially if they’re a user’s first impression of your company. Videos–especially background videos–are also on trend.
Infographics, diagrams, and photos of the non-heroic variety are still popular also. These elements of a web page shouldn’t be thought of as additives, but more like necessary ingredients to engage users.
Providing a search bar sends a few messages to your users:
- You have enough content for them to dig into
- You care about their time and want them to find resources quickly
- You care about their UX on your site
This is one of those elements of a website that’s crucial if you want to engage and encourage repeat users. When you build your search bar, you’ll want to ensure it’s wide enough to handle the terms your users will search for.
Placement on the site matters, too. The most common placement is the top right corner. This is where users will automatically seek a search feature, so you should consider meeting that need.
You can’t have a website without navigation. Even if you use a single page design, you should still offer the capability to jump to certain sections of the page. The problem with navigation is you want it out of the way, but not so out of sight that users can’t find or utilize it.
For this reason, we like hamburger menus–those stacks of three lines that denote a menu can be opened by tapping or clicking on them. We also recommend limiting your navigation items to a range of 5 to 10. You don’t want to overwhelm people.
Easy-to-ID and easy-to-use navigation menus can help users know instantly where they are on a website, give them a way to get home on your site, and provide a flow for the buyer journey.
8. Call To Action
Without a call to action, or CTA, you might as well skip having a website altogether. Maybe your CTA is to invite shoppers or subscribers. Maybe you want people to share and disseminate information.
Whatever your CTA is, it should be clear and immediate. You can test for the best placement, color, and size of your CTA.
Now you know which website elements you need on your website, it’s time to put them to good use. We offer a multitude of SEO and website tools, as well as tips and tricks for enhancing both to deliver a stellar UX that will garner positive notice for your site.
If you have questions about SEO, website design, or UX, or if you have tools and tips you’d like to share, drop us a line.