Everywhere you turn, people are talking about design. It’s been hailed as the core ingredient to the success of everything from ad campaigns, to products, to entire companies. In this post we’ll look at how to design for the success of your website or Web app.  From Jack Dorsey calling every employee at Square a designer, or Airbnb fixing an inefficient market through design, it’s clear that design makes a difference.


We can thank Steve Jobs (among many others) for this design-focused renaissance. He trained consumers to expect things that not only look great, but are designed to “make sense,” and create experiences that are, in his words, “magical”. Great design makes products more useful, allowing the user to be more effective, leading to greater satisfaction and, frankly, happiness.

When it comes to designing for the Web, there are core actions you want users to take. You may want them to sign up, download something, buy something, subscribe or share with their friends. Each can be optimized through design that meets the user’s needs. Here’s how:

1. Get More Clicks

If you’re trying to convert visitors to customers, you’re exceptionally interested in maximizing the clicks on primary calls to action that turn that visitor into a subscriber, fan, or purchaser. More clicks in the right spot means more potential customers.

Here are techniques that have proven to generate greater clickthrough rates (CTRs) on all kinds of sites.

2. Get More Sign Ups

If you’re launching a new web application or a service, you likely don’t have a huge marketing budget. Therefore, the performance of your friend referral program is critical. It’s imperative that companies design viral loops to leverage new customer referrals from their existing customer base.

Here are some techniques to drive the viral loop:


3. Get More Likes and Follows

Social proof is an important part of building customer trust and confidence. Not only do Likes and follows build first-time visitor confidence, they also help extend your reach to the social web and help energize word-of-mouth. Like everything else, you can design your use of social badges like the Facebook Like button and the Twitter Tweet This button to maximize your conversion and exposure on the web.

There are a handful of best practice techniques to consider when implementing social sharing on your site.

4. Get More Sales

Designing for sales means two things: clarity and reduced friction. Use design to make it easy for people to understand what you’re selling and the benefits of what you’re selling, and then get out of their way. Let’s come back to Airbnb and how they’ve used design to make their product the market front-runner over the much older VRBO.

Lets look at the techniques they used to get more sales with design:

5. Get More Leads

Converting a website visitor into a new subscriber, member or account holder is one of the most important conversions there is. In fact, a whole field of analytics, conversion rate optimization (CRO), is solely focused on improving sign up conversions through improved landing page design. Let’s look at a few examples of the sign up process, and how design makes a difference in maximizing conversion.

Putting it All Together

Being conscientious about design and user experience can create exceptional returns for your business. Be thoughtful, test your assumptions and designs, measure which ones perform better and then constantly iterate to improve all aspects of your website, product and service.  When an experience is well-designed it is the only thing your user sees. The design just works and is at the heart of the product.

By being design-oriented in your thinking you’ll achieve a greater level of success not only in sales, but in customer satisfaction. And by driving toward even better results for you and your customer you’ll create an experience that really does make a difference.

[Via Quick Sprout]

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