Web Design Archives - Designerly https://designerly.com/find-inspiration/web-design/ Digital Design + Marketing Magazine Mon, 25 Sep 2023 13:55:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.3.1 https://i0.wp.com/designerly.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/11/cropped-favicon.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Web Design Archives - Designerly https://designerly.com/find-inspiration/web-design/ 32 32 186359583 Weebly Website Designer Pros and Cons https://designerly.com/weebly-website-designer/ https://designerly.com/weebly-website-designer/#respond Sun, 01 Oct 2023 13:00:00 +0000 https://designerly.com/?p=16905 Two people using a website designer

Weebly website designer is one of many platforms you can use to build your website, but is it worth trying out? Here are the pros and cons.

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Two people using a website designer

Weebly website designer is one of many platforms you can use to build your website, but is it worth trying out? With so many web design options available today, it can be hard to find the best one for you. This guide covers all the pros and cons of Weebly, its pricing system and a few alternatives to consider. 

What is Weebly? 

Weebly is a code-free website builder and hosting service. You can use it to purchase a domain, host a website, and create and customize sites for everything from blogging to e-commerce. Thanks to a collaboration with Square, Weebly has become a top choice for creating online stores. 

Weebly Pricing Tiers

Weebly offers a few different pricing tiers, all of which are very affordable. It starts with a free tier anyone can use, which includes a generous amount of features. It’s worth noting websites made with the free tier have a “.weebly” label at the end of their web address. If you want to remove it, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan. 

There are three paid subscription tiers on Weebly: Personal, Professional and Performance. The Personal plan starts at $10 per month. It allows you to customize your domain name and adds some premium features like a shipping calculator and shipping label generator. 

The Professional plan starts at $12 per month. It includes everything in the Personal plan plus some additional features geared towards small businesses. These features include advanced site statistics, ad removal and a domain at no extra cost. 

Finally, the Performance plan starts at $26 per month. It includes everything in the Professional plan along with some premium e-commerce features. One particularly advantageous feature is the ability to accept payments through PayPal, which is not available on lower pricing tiers. 

Pros of Weebly

Why should you use Weebly website designer rather than similar services or custom web design? There are a few benefits worth considering. Key among them is price. Weebly is very affordable, even among other no-code web design platforms. Most website builders have a free plan, but Weebly’s is more generous and less restrictive than other free alternatives. 

Additionally, Weebly is great for e-commerce. Their collaboration with Square resulted in a robust set of tools for online businesses, particularly small businesses. The combination of advanced site statistics and versatile shop tools makes Weebly a good option for online businesses that are new to web design. 

Weebly’s theme library is smaller than that of Wix or WordPress, but the themes they do have are clean and responsive. So, there may be fewer customization options but the simplicity and reliability of the available themes may be helpful for beginners. Page editing and theme swapping tends to be quick and easy, as well. 

Cons of Weebly

Weebly isn’t for everyone. It has certain limitations and drawbacks that make it less ideal for some users. For example, the limited theme customization is one of its biggest disadvantages compared to other website builders, let alone custom web design. Weebly has fewer pre-built themes than alternative platforms, as well. 

Weebly website designer is also rather limited in long-term flexibility. It is extremely difficult to migrate your website from Weebly to any other platform, including WordPress. A significant amount of the process is manual since these website builder platforms don’t have cross-compatibility with one another. 

This might not be a concern for beginner web designers, but it’s worth considering if you plan to grow your website. While Weebly does have some great features, there are plenty of reasons someone might want to migrate their site away from Weebly. If this is a concern for you, you may want to look at other web design options. 

Finally, the mobile page generation on Weebly sites could be better. Pages look good on desktop, but the translation to a smaller screen often leads to lackluster mobile sites. 

This is especially important for e-commerce sites since surveys show 76% of consumers are buying goods on their smartphones. A poorly optimized mobile site could significantly impact a business’s impression with mobile shoppers. 

Alternatives: WordPress, Wix, GoDaddy

Weebly is ideal for people who are new to web design or website builders as well as anyone who wants to make a website for free. Its design and features are very beginner-friendly and the paid tiers are all affordably priced. 

However, there are a variety of reasons why Weebly might not be the best option for you. If you’re looking for an alternative to Weebly website designer, you have a few options. 

One obvious choice is WordPress. While it may be a bit more intimidating for beginners, WordPress is a much more robust hosting and web design option than basic site builders like Weebly. It has thousands of themes to choose from, tons of compatible third party plugins, a huge community of users and the versatility to adapt as a business or site grows. 

If you’re looking for another website builder with a little more flexibility and variety, take a look at Wix. It’s a bit more expensive than Weebly but offers hundreds of themes, so there’s a lot more design variety. All paid plans on Wix also include a free domain. Wix has more compatible third party integrations than Weebly, as well. 

Another alternative website builder is GoDaddy, which is especially good for ecommerce websites. GoDaddy includes more themes than Weebly, although customization is limited. It’s great for anyone who wants to get their site up and running as fast as possible while still delivering a good UX. GoDaddy also has more SEO tools and better mobile performance compared to Weebly. 

Who Should Use Weebly Website Designer? 

Weebly is best suited for web design beginners and small businesses. It is very beginner-friendly with affordable pricing and an approachable interface. Weebly’s simplicity makes it easy to use but also limits the potential for growth and customization. So, growing businesses, large organizations and users who want more design freedom may be better served with a different web design platform.

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Boost Your Website’s Look With 5 Background Design Techniques https://designerly.com/background-design/ https://designerly.com/background-design/#respond Sat, 30 Sep 2023 17:55:33 +0000 https://designerly.com/?p=16624

Website backgrounds are something that many people don’t think about when it comes to design. Typically, they pay more attention to other website components to ensure they’re usable, on brand and look great. Though background designs don’t always get as much attention as other parts of a site, they are just as important.  Backgrounds on…

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Website backgrounds are something that many people don’t think about when it comes to design. Typically, they pay more attention to other website components to ensure they’re usable, on brand and look great. Though background designs don’t always get as much attention as other parts of a site, they are just as important. 

Backgrounds on a website were plain in the beginning. Yet, now they have a more engaging effect to keep users attracted to the look of your site. From colors to images, a perfect background makes all the difference in a visitor’s experience. However, designers must use the right techniques to keep site users returning for more.

The Importance of a Strong Background Design

A good background design is crucial for several reasons. For one, they enhance the navigability of the website. Backgrounds with strategic creations help users know where to look and what to do on a site. When a website guides visitors, they stay longer — which is great for SEO and retaining users. 

Another reason that backgrounds are important is that brands need to enhance their awareness. Companies need to have a distinct look online. With all of the similar products and services offered on the internet, it can be challenging to stand out. However, branding attracts the right people — certain aesthetics or colors can serve this purpose. 

Plus, different businesses need special backgrounds. An e-commerce clothing store for young girls would choose fun and colorful backgrounds. On the other hand, a bank would have something simple and professional.

Moreover, this piece of your website tells part of your brand’s story and who you are as a company. When visitors first land on the homepage, they can immediately understand what your company is all about. So, choosing the right background is essential for any business.

Different Background Design Techniques to Try

Website background designs can come in many variations. However, the one you use will depend on your business and audience needs. 

1. Try a Hero Image Background

A hero image background is a large, eye-catching photo or graphic covering a website’s top part. It’s often the first thing people see when they visit a site. When people land on the homepage, the image of the background sets the mood, grabbing the attention of visitors and telling them a little about the business or website. 

It’s like the cover of a book where it gives you a quick idea of the story inside. Hero image backgrounds are useful, as they effectively engage the visitor and make your site bold and beautiful. 

When using a hero image, make sure it’s high quality and relates to your site’s main idea. You want to be sure you’re depicting the site’s main message clearly so you immediately show visitors who you serve. 

Additionally, the image should be clean and simple. Any text or buttons should contrast well with the background. In other words, be sure the hero image complements instead of competes with your site’s content.

2. Use Gradients

A gradient background is when one color smoothly changes to another color. It could be something like the sky at sunset, where blue transitions into pink. However, you can use any color combination you desire. 

Designers use gradients because they can give a website a modern, sophisticated look. They’re also useful in guiding a visitor’s eyes to important site elements, such as a sign-up button or special message. Therefore, they’re great for creating focal points for the audience. 

Gradient backgrounds are great for capturing your audience’s attention, but choose colors wisely. Be sure to choose ones that go well together and fit your website’s mood. A sudden change from bright green to dark blue could be too jarring. 

Yet, you also want the background to be subtle. If it’s too bright or bold, the look can distract visitors, so it’s important to let your design breathe. 

3. Consider Patterns

Pattern background designs are repeating shapes. The pattern could be geometric, where shapes with different angles and lines fall seamlessly in a symmetrical line. The way the pattern looks is up to you. However, many site owners use this look because it adds depth, personality and a specific feel.

It can make a site seem elegant and fun or simple and professional. Either way, the consistency of a repeating pattern looks aesthetically pleasing to the eye. 

If you choose to go with a pattern, make sure it’s simple enough that it doesn’t take the visitor away from the site’s main purpose. It’s a good idea to choose muted colors and subtle looks. 

Also, it’s important that you ensure the text is easy to read. It can easily overwhelm the user if the overall design is unbalanced.

4. Bring Your Website to Life With Animation

Website backgrounds with animation are fun. They bring parts of a website to life with movement. These types of background designs make your website attractive and high-quality looking. They can make for a great user experience, too. 

That’s why animated backgrounds are useful. They grab attention and make a website feel dynamic. When done right, you can immerse the visitors and make them feel like they’re stepping into a live story.

Plus, motion graphics are on trend, and they can immediately tell visitors about your brand in a captivating way. 

When using animation, ensure it plays in the background smoothly. A slow-moving video provides a pleasant experience. Yet, before you launch your site, make sure you check to see how it looks and functions on different devices. Doing so ensures it works properly and creates a great user experience for everyone. 

5. Go Simple With a Solid Background

A solid background is always a go-to design choice. It uses only one color without any patterns, textures or animations. 

Solid background designs make an excellent choice because they’re simple, clean and direct focus. Such backgrounds ensure the site’s message or products stand out clearly without distractions. They guarantee your website’s content is legible and the contrast has the right balance.

When choosing a color for your solid background, consider the emotions or feelings you want to convey. For instance, blue can feel calm and trustworthy, while red may be bold and energetic. 

Always use a color that complements the overall design and branding. You want to ensure the user can see the other site pieces clearly but still create an impression you want to give.

The Website Background Design Choice Is Yours

These website background design techniques are the most popular choices you’ll see today. However, various other options live in the design world. When creating your website, choose one that helps you stand out. Doing so will differentiate your platform from others and make it more memorable. Yet, it should also align with your brand’s aesthetics and make sense for your business goals.

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Designing Engaging Microsites: The Key to Captivating Audiences https://designerly.com/microsite/ https://designerly.com/microsite/#respond Thu, 14 Sep 2023 19:35:15 +0000 https://designerly.com/?p=16539

Trying to capture users’ attention can be challenging with all of the websites and content pushed on the internet today. With the average user’s small attention span, delivering concise, targeted content is more crucial than ever. That’s where microsites can serve you well. These compact digital platforms are laser-focused on a singular purpose. While they…

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Trying to capture users’ attention can be challenging with all of the websites and content pushed on the internet today. With the average user’s small attention span, delivering concise, targeted content is more crucial than ever. That’s where microsites can serve you well.

These compact digital platforms are laser-focused on a singular purpose. While they may appear minimalistic at first glance, these sites are more powerful than what meets the eye. A good microsite design can enhance your brand’s online presence and deepen the connection with your target audience. 

Yet, you may be wondering how a microsite can amplify your company’s next campaign. The best way to design a captivating microsite for audiences is to put these tips into practice. 

What Is a Microsite?

A microsite is a mini website designed for a specific purpose, be it showcasing a product, promoting an event or implementing a unique campaign. Unlike a company’s primary website — which can hold vast amounts of content — a microsite operates under a separate domain or subdomain. Although it’s connected to the main brand, it stands alone, offering a distinct digital experience. 

Microsites hold immense power because of their versatility. While they’re a smaller site compared to the main company’s site, they allow you to reach highly specific goals with a certain kind of audience in mind. You can tailor them to particular stages of a customer’s journey, from initial awareness to the final purchase. 

Whether a company wants to target a particular segment, narrate a compelling story or test new content ideas, microsites are the go-to solution. 

The Benefits of a Microsite

When you design and launch a microsite properly, it can be a great way to market a business and provide value in various ways:

  • Build brand awareness: A highly engaging microsite focusing on a specific campaign, product or service can promote a brand and boost its online presence across various channels. 
  • Improve SEO: A microsite created around niche keywords can rank better in search results. This allows your company to drive organic traffic and further enhance the brand’s visibility.
  • Increase brand engagement: Due to their targeted nature, microsites captivate visitors with relevant content. This crafts deeper interactions and prolongs site visits. 
  • Generates leads: Microsites have specific calls-to-action (CTA) you can optimize for lead generation. They effectively capture visitor details for future marketing efforts.
  • Demonstrate expertise: They act as knowledge hubs on particular topics, showcasing a brand’s deep understanding and expertise. This builds trust with visitors and encourages them to learn more from your company as you continue to deliver value.
  • Reaches new audiences: Microsites allow you to address specific needs or interests by remaining highly relevant to audiences your primary site cannot reach.

Overall, microsites are about precision. They allow your brand to zoom in on particular aspects of the business and engage with audiences in a more targeted manner. 

How Do You Create an Engaging Microsite?

When considering how to start designing an engaging microsite, devising a strategy is the first step to capturing and retaining an audience’s attention. An effective plan includes clear objectives, understanding the target audience and curating relevant content. Starting with a strategy will ensure your small website will be appealing in addition to serving its main purpose. Here are the steps to help you achieve this.

1. Define Your Microsite’s Goal

The first step is to know your microsite’s objective — what is its core purpose? Will the goal be an informational supplement post-meeting a client or the main engagement touchpoint? Such considerations shape your messaging.

Aim for a singular, clear objective. For instance, to get users to sign up, keep the site clear of distractions. The idea is to guide visitors directly to your main goal. 

2. Create Clear Messaging

In this step, you must decide what you want visitors to grasp. Clarity is key in promoting product features or aligning with the company’s mission. Ensure your site’s content has a central message so users immediately recognize the product’s value proposition.

3. Limit Branding Specifics to the Main Objective

When creating a microsite, align branding closely with its primary goal. Whether promoting an event or launching a brand, the design should remain streamlined and focused. Avoid overloading with multiple branding elements — excessive colors or graphics can sidetrack users and dilute the core message and purpose. 

4. Establish a 6-section Limit

Microsites thrive on focus. Ideally, you should limit your content to one page to reduce clicks and boost user retention. A simple navigation bar can use anchors linking directly to on-page content sections. You can also use this suggested layout:

  • A logo
  • A hero banner
  • Four to five core content pieces
  • A call-to-action
  • A footer

5. Provide Next Steps for Users

Conclude your site with a clear directive for users. Tailor your CTA based on customer needs to guide them toward meaningful engagement. Incorporate more than one CTA throughout so you cater to different stages of the customer journey. This will ensure you have multiple touchpoints for user action and interaction. 

6. Measure, Analyze, Refine

Before launching, link your microsite to an analytics tool. Tools like Google Analytics offer invaluable insights into customer engagement. Post-launch, regularly evaluate this data to inform stakeholders and gauge the site’s effectiveness. After the campaign concludes, reflect and refine based on the results you gain. 

Components of an Engaging Microsite Design

Any web designer can create a microsite. Yet, a good design should be thoughtful in how it can engage users, retain them and influence the customers to take action. Here are some elements you could consider incorporating into a small site design:

  • Incorporate immersive elements: These elements, such as videos and animations, draw users into the content. Immersive site components should be about creating an experience that leads to longer site visits and better content retention. How can you engage users through interactive site elements?
  • Implement personalization: The content should cater to the user’s browsing habits. When visitors feel the content speaks directly to them, they’re more likely to engage and take desired actions.
  • Add micro-interactions: These tiny design elements respond to users’ actions, like a button changing color when users hover over it. Micro-interactions enhance user experience and make the browsing journey more enjoyable.
  • Use gamification: Quizzes, polls and point systems can motivate users to engage more deeply. Gamification adds an element of fun and challenge, encouraging users to explore further. 

Make a Microsite That Captivates Users

Microsites offer a place for innovative content, unique messaging and unconventional approaches. Above all, they craft tangible value and allow companies to increase conversions. Web designers incorporating these tips and design suggestions can captivate their audience and create a truly unique user experience.

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FAQs About Web App Design https://designerly.com/faqs-about-web-app-design/ https://designerly.com/faqs-about-web-app-design/#respond Sun, 10 Sep 2023 12:01:00 +0000 https://designerly.com/?p=16668

Whether you’re interested in designing your own web application or considering a career in graphic design, you probably have questions about the process. Here are the answers to some of the most common queries people ask about web app design. What’s the Difference Between a Web App and Website? A website usually serves to inform…

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Whether you’re interested in designing your own web application or considering a career in graphic design, you probably have questions about the process. Here are the answers to some of the most common queries people ask about web app design.

What’s the Difference Between a Web App and Website?

A website usually serves to inform users. Website visitors can view the information on the page, but they often cannot interact with it or manipulate it in any way. Examples include the New York Times news site or business websites that post copywritten blog content. 

A web app is a specialized type of website where users can input data, complete an action or interact with the content in some way. The definition can be rather broad, but it often includes sites where users can make an account or place an order. Examples include Airbnb, Amazon and Facebook. Because a web app is interactive, its design is slightly more complicated than that of a static web page. 

Should You Design a Web App or Website?

If you’re launching a product or want to give your business a stronger online presence, you’ll need to decide whether to design a website or web app. There are benefits to each decision — it all depends on your personal needs. Some reasons to choose a website include:

  • Ease of use: Since websites aren’t interactive, people can easily navigate them. 
  • Accessibility: Websites can load better on mobile devices or in areas with slow service.
  • Development speed: Because of their simpler design, websites are faster to develop than web apps. 
  • Cost effectiveness: Designing a website is usually cheaper than developing a web app. 
  • Flexibility: It’s much easier to update a website than to fix a functional UI error on a web app. 

On the other hand, consider designing a web app for these benefits: 

  • Functionality: Web apps can create, store and edit data, making them useful for businesses that need to track and organize large amounts of information. 
  • User experience: A web app can help people order products or book tickets from the convenience of their own home. It’s a more interactive experience overall. 
  • Scalability: It’s usually easier to scale web applications than websites. 

Do You Need a Degree to Design a Web App?

You don’t need a formal degree or certification to become a web designer. However, the field is growing rapidly — experts project it will grow 23% from 2021 to 2031 — and having a formal education can help you stand out. 

If you want to do web app design for clients, consider getting a degree in the field. Many colleges offer associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in web design and graphic design. There are also online courses that award certificates on the subject. 

It’s common for web designers to take the Adobe Certified Associate exam, and many online courses and certification programs will prepare you for it. This test demonstrates a web designer’s skill in the Creative Cloud software most graphic design companies use. 

Even if you don’t get a formal education in web design, you can still become a graphic designer if you have a solid portfolio. A portfolio showcases your best work and gives clients an idea of what you have to offer. 

How Long Does Designing a Web App Take? 

It depends on your project’s scope and overall complexity. Four to six weeks is a typical timeline for designing a barebones application with minimal features, while creating a more complicated web app with robust features can take well over 10 months. 

An example of a simple application you could probably design in a few weeks is a weather app. It may only have one or two screens users can flip through, and users don’t need an account to access it. In contrast, banking, social media and gaming apps are more complicated and will probably take several months to finish. In addition to having multiple screens, they must also have features like user profile creation and privacy measures in place. 

What Is a Product Specification?

The first step in web app design is to write up a product specification. This document — also called a product spec or feature spec — describes the web app you will be designing, including how it will look and what your product does. It covers how people will use your web app and any special features it will have.

If you’re working for a client, they’ll probably give this document to you. If you’re working for yourself, however, you’ll need to create your own product spec from the ground up. 

It’s important not to skip this step even if you know exactly what you want your web app to do. The product spec serves as a blueprint for your web app design and will guide you through the development process. It can be a pretty lengthy document, especially if you flesh out what each page and function of your web app will do. 

What Is a Product Roadmap?

Once you’ve written your product spec, the next step for many designers is to create a product roadmap. This flowchart can show how your web pages are linked together, including how users will click from one page to another and which links they’ll click on to do it. It will give you a much broader overview of how your web app will function. 

Or, you can design a roadmap that visually outlines the steps you need to take to launch your web app. It’s a helpful tool for tracking the progress of your web app design. 

How Much Does Building a Web App Cost? 

Just as the time needed to design a web app varies by project, so can the cost. On the low end, a very simple web app that doesn’t require any backend development may cost as little as $5,000 to build. For a full-featured application with multiple functionalities and features, it’s not unheard of to pay a team of developers as much as $250,000. 

Can You Create a Web App Without Knowing How to Code?

Although coding is a very useful skill for designing a web application, there are several no-code app builders that let you design an app in a more user-friendly way. Rather than coding, you’ll simply fill in a template to build your application. 

No-code app builders often have a drag-and-drop interface where you click to add images, videos, text and forms to your app. You can also select from different color palettes and fonts. Companies like Glide, Bubble, Webflow and Adalo offer no-code web app builders. 

No-code app builders don’t offer you as many customization options as learning to code and building your own web app. However, they can save significant time and help even complete beginners get started with designing an application. They’re also useful for drafting outlines and brainstorming ideas for how you want your design to look. 

The Benefits of Web App Design

A web app allows users to engage with a business in a more interactive way than they could on a website. It drives interest in a product or service, helps people find a company through search engine optimization and lets customers place orders. Whether you want to design your own web app or help a client, hopefully the answers to these common questions give you a better understanding of the topic. 

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Creating Mobile-First Experiences With Hamburger Menus https://designerly.com/hamburger-menu/ https://designerly.com/hamburger-menu/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2023 13:08:07 +0000 https://designerly.com/?p=16272

More people are reaching for their smartphones to surf the web. With mobile phones being the favorable device for internet browsing, web designers have had to shift their focus to a mobile-first strategy. One of the key elements of a mobile-first design is the hamburger menu. What Is the Hamburger Menu? ☰ The hamburger menu…

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More people are reaching for their smartphones to surf the web. With mobile phones being the favorable device for internet browsing, web designers have had to shift their focus to a mobile-first strategy. One of the key elements of a mobile-first design is the hamburger menu.

What Is the Hamburger Menu? ☰

The hamburger menu is an icon that represents navigation. Imagine when you’re on your phone, and the website is compressed to fit on your screen. The navigation bar would look different on a PC. 

However, the hamburger menu lets users know there is still a menu to access without using a long string of words. It appears as a stack of three bold, horizontal lines. Clicking on this makes a menu appear. Users can keep clicking on words to get deeper within the website’s menus.

The original designer, Norm Cox, wanted to create a website resembling a road sign, a distillation that allowed menus to remain useful but less visually distracting. Everyone can derive complex meanings from icons, so how could this translate to simplify typically cumbersome website navigation? Now, mobile apps embrace the hamburger button and its many variants.

What Are the Other Foods Inspiring Navigation?

The hamburger menu started a trend. Now, every type of navigation icon resembles food. There are some strange ones, like the cheese and veggie burger icons or the infrequently used Oreo. You can probably guess what they are by looking at them. Still, as designers became inspired by the simplicity and effectiveness of the hamburger menu, they started crafting alternatives to spice things up.

It’s not just the shapes of the hamburger designers that designers rethought — animations can transform the hamburger into different forms, like an X, for a more modern experience. The possibilities are endless.


The icon is a series of three dots stacked on each other. Imagine a skewer going through them, and you have yourself the kebab.

Candy Box 

This is a three-by-three square of dots. It resembles an aerial shot of a glorious box of assorted candies in fancy wrappers.


Much like the candy box, it is also a three-by-three square, but instead of circles, there are squares. It whimsically represents delectable chunks you break off a chocolate bar.

Hot Dog

The hot dog is precisely like the hamburger — a series of three stacked horizontal lines. However, the top and bottom lines are shorter. They are still center-justified, but the middle line looks like a hotdog spilling out of the bun.


Here is another series of three stacked horizontal lines; however, the top line is the longest in width, the middle line shortens a little, and the final line is the shortest. It resembles a strawberry’s top-heavy look without the protruding leaf.


This icon looks exactly like the right-align icon in word processing. Three horizontal lines are stacked on each other, and the middle line is shorter than the rest. They are right-justified to resemble the different lengths of fries in a box.


The cake icon is the hamburger menu, except it also has a single dot hovering above the top line in the center. You can imagine it as a single candle or a cherry on top — wherever your imagination takes you.

Condensing navigation into these visually clean and recognizable ideas is an intelligent strategy for designers. What are the other pros of implementing it, and are there any drawbacks?

The Hamburger Menu Design Controversy

The hamburger menu has sparked a fair share of debate among web designers, despite its many iterations.

Yet, it continues to hold its ground in mobile web design. Should you use the hamburger menu, despite what other web designers have to say?

In mobile-first design, few elements have ignited as much debate as the hamburger menu. Therefore, its use remains a hot topic among web designers.

For one, critics argue the hamburger menu “hides” navigation, making it less discoverable for users. Keeping features out in the open is especially crucial for new users. When opening an app, they look for cues to see available features. As such, hiding those features with the hamburger menu may make it challenging for users to discover more. 

Some may argue the hamburger menu diminishes the hard work designers put in to make expertly crafted breadcrumbs or aesthetically pleasing dropdowns. It hides the menu from users, even though they may know where it is.

Some also point out users have to take an extra step to tap and open the menu before accessing the site’s content. Forcing users to access the navigation with additional taps can lead to a poor experience. Your website might be complex, full of pages and resources. Unfortunately, lengthy navigation menus that work well on a computer monitor don’t translate well to mobile or app, even if it’s behind a hamburger icon.

Another reason some web designers avoid the hamburger menu is because it’s hard to reach. Nowadays, many phones are too large to be held without a phone grip, making one-handed navigation nearly impossible. When using your phone with one hand, reaching the icon at the top corner can be challenging. Users must stretch their thumb across the screen to tap it. This makes the feature less user-friendly because people want the easiest path set before them. Therefore, they may avoid clicking on the hamburger menu unless it’s within reach. 

Are Hamburger Menus Still Relevant?

Despite what many critics say about hamburger menus, they continue to be popular in mobile web design for several reasons.

Firstly, the hamburger menu is an excellent space-saver. With screen real estate limited on mobile devices, designers can maintain a clean user interface while offering many navigation options. 

Some apps don’t need complex navigation menus to get customers to get what they need from them. For example, consider an app that relies on maps, such as a rideshare service or food delivery. They would want most of the screen to display the map to entice customers to keep searching for options. 

A hamburger menu removes unnecessary visual clutter while offering customers secondary navigation options that may not be related to their immediate needs but supplements their experience. This could include past orders or account settings.

A bunch of words on a website can hinder people from seeing beautiful graphics. It’s easier for visitors to process brand colors and moods without being bombarded with “About Me” and “Contact” words floating around. The hamburger menu allows the visuals to speak for themselves while comforting visitors that they know where to find more tangible information.

Additionally, the hamburger menu’s widespread adoption has increased user familiarity. Many users now recognize the hamburger icon and associate it with the concept of a menu or more options. This allows users to reduce cognitive load and interact with the site better.

Creating a User-Friendly Hamburger Menu

Creating an effective hamburger menu is all about balancing aesthetics with functionality. Here are some best practices to consider when designing a user-friendly hamburger menu:

  • Visibility: The hamburger menu should be clearly visible and located in a familiar place. Typically, designers place it in the top corner of the screen. Using the word “Menu” or another icon beside the hamburger is common to let users know they have more clickable options. 
  • Accessibility: Ensure your hamburger menu is easily accessible. One way to do this is to make the touch area large enough for users with different thumb sizes. Consider the reachability on larger screens and position it accordingly. 
  • Usability: Once users open the menu, it should be easy to navigate. Group related options together, use clear and concise labels and highlight the active page or section. Add a “close” or “back” button to the menu for easy closure.
  • Customize: While you still want the hamburger menu to be easily recognizable, your website or app must be unique. Slightly change the design using other universally-recognized symbols, such as the “Hot Dog.” These are three lines, with the middle one being the longest. 
  • Test: Perform usability testing with users. Doing so helps you understand how your audience interacts with the hamburger menu. Once you make note of the issues, you can make necessary changes to improve the user experience. 

The Right Time to Switch From the Hamburger Menu

The hamburger menu has inevitably changed website design forever. Some fell in love and used it as a staple. Others have already moved past the trend to work with other navigation hacks to see how they can circumvent the potential woes behind the hamburger.

While the hamburger menu can be invaluable, there are instances where there may be better choices. For example, websites with complex or deep navigation structures might find this icon too limiting. It can become challenging for users to keep opening the menu to navigate between different levels. 

Also, if your website relies heavily on users exploring different sections — like an e-commerce site — hidden navigation might discourage exploration. In this case, other types of menus may be more suitable for easy access to different sections.

Yet, how can you tell if you must switch from this popular icon? User feedback and website metrics offer indicators informing these decisions. If users report difficulty — or if your analytics show features with less user interaction — it may be time to rethink your design. 

Exploring Alternatives to the Hamburger Icon

These alternatives offer similar compactness and functionality.

Tab Bar

A tab bar presents the main navigation options at the bottom of the screen. This design is instantly visible, offering a great user experience. However, it can be limited by the number of options available. This makes it more suitable for applications or websites with fewer navigation points.

Priority+ Navigation

This model displays the most important options first, and the remaining ones stay collapsed under a “More” button. This ensures key navigation options are always visible and accessible while less important ones remain within reach. 

This model works well for sites with a medium number of sections, where not all need to be immediately visible.

Mega Menu

Mega menus are dropdown menus where all options are visible at once. They work well on sites with many options and levels of hierarchy. Although mega menus potentially occupy lots of space, a well-structured one can provide a complete picture of the site’s content at first glance.

Slide Out Navigation

With the rise of touch-screen devices, slide-out navigation has become increasingly popular. Swiping left or right to reveal menu options can be a fluid, intuitive way to navigate a site. However, users must be familiar with these gestures, making slide-out menus more suitable for tech-savvy audiences. 

Making Great User Experiences With the Hamburger Menu

Hamburger menus can be an effective way to simplify navigation, depending on how you design them. Therefore, this icon may not be useful for all cases. When considering which navigation design to use, get a deeper understanding of your audience. Doing so allows you to choose a style that complements them and create an efficient and intuitive mobile experience.

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How To Make a Web Style Guide https://designerly.com/web-style-guide/ https://designerly.com/web-style-guide/#respond Fri, 04 Aug 2023 18:20:26 +0000 https://designerly.com/?p=16145

Web designers have a passion for making websites look beautiful and aesthetic. Their ultimate goal is to please the end user with stunning visuals and simple navigation. However, designing a website is a complex project. With the result, you must ensure the final product is cohesive, following the same visual language throughout.  Yet, so many…

The post How To Make a Web Style Guide appeared first on Designerly.


Web designers have a passion for making websites look beautiful and aesthetic. Their ultimate goal is to please the end user with stunning visuals and simple navigation. However, designing a website is a complex project. With the result, you must ensure the final product is cohesive, following the same visual language throughout. 

Yet, so many elements come together to create a final design for a website. It can be easy to lose track of what you should incorporate. That’s where a web style guide comes into play. A web style guide is a simple solution many web designers use to visualize a website. Here is a simple guide for how to create one and the benefits you receive from it.

What Is a Web Style Guide?

A web style guide is a visual tool web designers use to maintain brand and design consistency across a website. By creating a cohesive look for your brand’s website, you create a professional first impression. The website has a structure in a way that’s easy to understand and navigate. Plus, your website becomes more memorable and easily recognizable to users when they get a first look. 

Additionally, a web style guide gives your design team a reference. Everyone can look back at it to ensure they’re all communicating consistently. That way, their vision aligns with the design goals of the project.

For a website design, this means every page should adhere to the same style. Every piece of content should also reflect the tone and style of the brand.

Website style guides make it easier for collaborators to stay within the guidelines. It’s like an instruction sheet for your design team, so they can refer back to it as needed.

The Benefits of Using a Web Style Guide

When designing a website, a style guide is perfect for following the rules of the brand’s style. Incorporating one into your design process enables transparency, as it creates a standard for everyone across the board. Additionally, it keeps your elements organized, so you have all your components in one place when referring back to your style guide.

In website design, a finished project will typically require edits and various corrections. You may also need to add or subtract certain elements from the finalized design. Additionally, you may have other team members who are working on the same design as you. In this case, a web style guide makes it easy for other designers to pick up where you left off. 

With the help of a style guide, team members immediately know what to work on, especially within a bigger design project and team. Therefore, decisions are much easier to make, streamlining the overall design process.

The Steps to Creating a Web Style Guide

You know what a web style guide is and the benefits of creating it. Now, let’s look further at the steps to creating one. 

1. Know Your Client

Before you start deciding what to include in your style guide, it’s always essential to know your client first. This part of the process is crucial, as it sets the tone for the style your client is looking for on their website.

Start understanding who your client is by gathering information on the company’s operations, its clients, vision, mission and services or products it offers. It is especially crucial to understand the potential buyers the company serves. The goal of the website is to serve a purpose, so you want to be sure you offer a great experience for users.

When creating your style guide, keep in mind the client you’re serving and their customer base. Establishing a balance between the two will give you a good base for considering the client’s desires and the user experience.

2. Colors

Once you learn everything about your client, the next step is choosing colors to incorporate into your style guide. Begin by selecting the primary and secondary colors for your client’s brand. The primary colors are the main colors that define the client’s brand. Secondary colors represent those that you use for highlighting and contrast. 

A typical color palette includes two to three colors within the set. Therefore, you can also choose tertiary or neutral colors to complete your color palette. 

When placing colors on your style guide, remember that you should always test various combinations to ensure they are accessible. That way, everyone will see the site clearly, and you can guarantee a better user experience.

3. Typography

Your typography should be consistent across your website’s design and the brand’s materials. In a style guide, this will include the fonts you’ll use, the spacing and the typography hierarchy. A hierarchy will consist of website elements, such as h1, h2, h3 headings, body copy and links, playing a role in guiding the reader throughout the page.

Additionally, you should determine other things like the font size. Compare the body text to different sizes to see which offers the best readability. You should also keep in mind the line height, paragraphs and the color of the text. 

Furthermore, the style guide should include how the brand uses bold lettering, italics and quotes. These outlines are crucial for ensuring they fit well across all screen sizes.

4. Graphics and Icons

Icons and graphics are another part of the style guide that requires a set of basic rules for usage. This will include how the icons will look. Will they have a color or be neutral? Should they be filled or lined?

Moreover, it’s essential to consider the types of hover effects they’ll have when a user moves their cursor on the element. Like fonts on a style guide, ensure you include the icon sizes you’ll use on the website. It may also be helpful to have rules or grids for how you’ll create the graphics.

5. Images

With so many types of photos available, you’ll have to be careful about the styles you choose for your images. Pictures can have certain filters, backgrounds or a gradient look. They can even contain text. That’s why selecting a few examples of the types of photos you want for the website is important. 

Additionally, you should have guidelines for the sizes of the images you want to use. Consider the height and width of your photo and ensure it maintains a balance alongside all other site components. 

6. Layout and Spacing

Another important part of your style guide should incorporate rules for the layout and spacing. You can use a baseline grid to help you determine where to place the content. It’s an easy way to ensure your design maintains consistency throughout the project. 

A grid is a structure used to formulate the placement of items on a website page. It utilizes various rows and columns for designers to make arrangements of the elements in a consistent manner. 

To determine your website’s grid, you can use design tools like Figma or Sketch, which have built-in layouts of grids to customize. The screen size you choose for your grid will depend on the content you place on the website.

Create Your Own Web Style Guide

Web style guides are necessary for you and your design team. They help you keep track of the essential elements for your next project. Plus, they become a handy reference point when making design decisions and keeping everyone organized. 

Remember, a style guide is just as it is — a visual tool that sets the standard designs for your website. However, certain elements may change throughout the process, so update your style guide if you encounter any changes. 

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Top 6 Best Website Navigation Examples https://designerly.com/website-navigation-examples/ https://designerly.com/website-navigation-examples/#respond Sun, 30 Jul 2023 14:00:00 +0000 https://designerly.com/?p=15980

One of the most crucial components of a strong user-friendly web design is the navigational hierarchy and structure. Users want to find the point of reference quickly and rely on it to be in the same place throughout a site. The best way to learn how to create a fabulous system is to check out…

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One of the most crucial components of a strong user-friendly web design is the navigational hierarchy and structure. Users want to find the point of reference quickly and rely on it to be in the same place throughout a site. The best way to learn how to create a fabulous system is to check out top website navigation examples. 

1. We3

screenshot of we3 for website navigation examples
Source: https://www.we3app.com

We3 is a great place to start when looking at best website navigation examples. The simplistic nature of the navigation on this site puts the focus on the next step for users. The purpose of the app is to help people find new friends in your area, so the first of two options in the navbar is “Find Friends in My City.”

You can repeat the success of the above website by narrowing down the categories for your site. What action do you want users to take? Place it early in the navigational hierarchy. 

Ideally, limit the number of options to around five. If you find you have too many categories, see which ones might easily combine and add subcategories. You can add additional options via a drop down or a separate page. 

2. Bad Ass Coffee

screenshot of bad ass coffee website
Source: https://badasscoffee.com

Bad Ass Coffee adds their donkey logo to their navigation. Using a simple outline keeps it from detracting from the purpose of the bar, while still imprinting their branding on the site. They also keep a bit of space between the logo and the links to set it off a bit. 

The logo serves as a link to the homepage. Most users expect clicking on a logo to take them back to the home of a site, so adding this minor detail scales up your design. 

As with many of the other logo examples in this article, you’ll see the number of overall categories is small. 

3. The Daily Egg

screenshot of the daily egg for website navigation examples
Source: https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/

Crazy Egg has a blog called The Daily Egg. By adding a call to action (CTA) button directly into the header, they put the focus on converting site visitors into leads. Users can move around the site and select from categories such as Reviews, Marketing or Social Media. However, the focus goes to the “Free 30-Day Trial” button outlined in blue. The CTA is also larger than the other navigation elements in the header. 

When looking at website navigation examples, check out how other sites add a CTA to the mix. Some place it above the fold. Others add information and place it near the bottom of the page. You should always test button placement and see which location, size, colors and text your target audience responds best to. 

Utilize both split testing and multivariate testing to figure out what works best for your customers. You can also survey your customers to see what they prefer. The more customized your navigation is to your customers, the more effective it will be. 

4. Zappos

screenshot of zappos website navigation
Source: https://www.zappos.com/

Zappos has a more complex navigation structure than some of the other sites we’ve looked at so far. They have a couple of brand tabs directly at the top of the website. They also highlight the typical categories you’d expect to see on a shoe retailer site, such as Women, Men, Kids and Sale. 

What stands out on the Zappos site is their search feature. Because they have massive inventory, adding a search feature allows visitors to go directly to the results they need without moving through multiple levels.

Consider whether you have enough inventory to warrant adding search functionality to your site. If you do want to add it, do you want a small magnifying glass icon and a drop down search bar? Perhaps you want a larger search feature to grab attention, such as the one Zappos utilizes on their home page. 

5. Franklin Sports

franklin sports screenshot
Source: https://franklinsports.com/

We love the clean, crisp layout for Franklin Sports. This website navigation sample is something worth studying, because it offers more than just a nav bar. You’ll also find CTA buttons on top of the hero image for “Learn More” and “Shop Now.” You can even navigate to a support page without ever going below the fold. 

The primary navigation bar offers five basic categories, a linked logo, a search feature and a shopping cart shortcut. The smaller icons serve as a placeholder without distracting from the message of the page. 

Keep in mind that your navigational hierarchy doesn’t end with a bar in the header. You can also utilize CTAs, the footer and links within the body text. 

6. Stephen King

screenshot of niche website navigation examples
Source: https://stephenking.com/

Author Stephen King is a brand unto himself. Author pages can be good website navigation examples because the topic is very focused on books rather than multiple product categories. If you run a niche business, you might appreciate the footer on this site.

Note how the categories are extended at the bottom but key ones stay in place, such as New Releases and Upcoming. You’ll also see the latest news and a link to details about the author. The footer is an excellent place to include links to social media.

Becoming a Website Navigation Example

Implement some of these techniques into your own navigational structure. One day, you might become part of a list of website navigation examples. With a little work, understanding your audience and consistent testing, your site will stand out from the competition and you’ll convert visitors into customers. 

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How Long Does It Take to Learn Web Design https://designerly.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-learn-web-design/ https://designerly.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-learn-web-design/#respond Thu, 13 Jul 2023 14:00:00 +0000 https://designerly.com/?p=15890

Learning to design websites is a crucial skill to anyone wanting to work as a freelancer, serve other businesses or create their online presence. Even if you don’t design professionally, knowing the basics of how to develop a site can help you work with staff to create a highly-engaging hub for your customers.  How Long…

The post How Long Does It Take to Learn Web Design appeared first on Designerly.


Learning to design websites is a crucial skill to anyone wanting to work as a freelancer, serve other businesses or create their online presence. Even if you don’t design professionally, knowing the basics of how to develop a site can help you work with staff to create a highly-engaging hub for your customers. 

How Long Does It Take to Learn Web Design Without a Degree?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the typical entry-level education for a web developer or digital designer is a bachelor’s degree. The average web designer makes around $78,300 per year. While a college degree is a good starting point, not everyone in the industry studies web design for their major. 

Some of the top designers don’t have a degree at all but have learned through practice, mentors and experience. What do you need to know to learn web design and start working as a freelancer or a company?

1. Understand the Basic Structure of Websites

Working on the backend of a website is quite different from what you see on the front. You’ll need to understand that every site has a platform and basic structure. Familiarize yourself with what the majority of sites contain. 

For example, nearly every site you visit has a navigation bar with a Home button, a logo, a header, a footer and body content. How long does it take to learn web design if you aren’t familiar with the topic at all? It can depend on how fast of a learner you are and how deep you dive into the topic.

You’ll find there are numerous sites explaining the basics you need to know. You’ll find both free and paid courses available to help you along the way. 

2. Learn Coding Languages

One of the biggest hurdles to designing sites is learning how to code. While some of the more recent artificial intelligence (AI) tools allow you to skip some knowledge and tap into the vast amounts of code available in online databases, you’ll still need to have a working knowledge so you can troubleshoot when you get a critical error.

Small business owners might think they will just tap into a third-party design system such as Wix or SquareSpace. However, you’ll be extremely limited in customization options and costs can quickly get out of hand. 

It’s far better to have options where you can remain fully in control of your own assets. Taking out independent hosting and customizing a design requires a bit of knowledge. You’ll need to work with a professional designer or learn the techniques on your own. The ability to add almost any feature you can think of and adapt your design to the specific needs of your target market make the effort worthwhile. 

3. Develop an Eye for Good Design

Your website should engage site visitors and make them want to convert into customers. The only way to learn good design skills is to study others. Take the time to check out examples here on this site or places such as Awwwards, Dribbble and Medium. 

Pay attention to who wins awards and why. Nearly every design has some flaw. Look for the issues, so you don’t repeat them in your own work. What do you love as a user about your favorite sites? Also, consider what you hate and would change to make the website look better or function more efficiently. 

Study basic design principles, such as the Rule of Thirds, user intent, user experience (UX) and color psychology. The more you understand about how the human brain works, the more likely you’ll design sites people love. 

4. Enhance Creativity

Web designers must know how to come up with a concept, take what a client envisions and make it stand out from the crowd. Creativity isn’t something you can learn but it is something you can enhance and get better at.

Start by brainstorming ideas with your team. What is the purpose of the site? What unique value proposition does your company offer that no one else does? How do you showcase that for the user? You can do so through images, text, video and calls to action (CTAs). 

5. Know About Hosting Options

How long it takes to learn web design isn’t nearly as important as how much knowledge you have about getting a site online and keeping it running. One crucial portion of creating a new online presence for any business is finding the right hosting options.

Your client may have some ideas already about where they’d like to place their site. Some want to use tools such as HubSpot, while others want to put their site on a paid hosting service. How much management you offer after the initial creation of the website may depend on where it’s placed.

For the purposes of most clients, who want a custom solution, understanding the different types of hosting is crucial. The web hosting industry is worth $90.42 billion per year. It’s growing faster than almost any other technical type business. Shared hosting is a good option for most small businesses just starting out. It’s cost effective but still affords customization options. You can always upgrade to a virtual private server or dedicated hosting solution as the business grows. 

6. Develop a Niche

If you don’t already have a specialization for your designs, try to develop one. You might be skilled at creating and adding videos to your designs. Perhaps you’ve studied UX extensively. You could also choose a particular industry to work with. Just be sure if you specialize in a type of business that it is a large enough demographic to keep you working long-term.

Think about what you enjoy working on and gravitate toward those types of clients. Ask for more referrals from them once you design something to their satisfaction. Developing a niche helps with how long it takes to learn web design by shortening the time to perfect a few skills instead of learning all skills at once. 

7. Communicate Effectively With Clients

When considering how long does it take to learn web design, factor in communication skills. As a web designer, you’ll need to figure out what clients want and how to guide them to the best options for SEO.

Read books on how to communicate effectively, take a college course, practice techniques you  hear about and ask your customers how you can better converse with them. 

So, How Long Does It Take to Learn Web Design?

If you consider only the length of time it takes to get a bachelor’s degree, one could say four to five years to pick up the skills needed. However, true web designers never stop learning. It can take decades to develop the skills one needs to create designs that shine.

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The 5 Key Parts of a Website That Enhance User Experience https://designerly.com/the-parts-of-a-website/ https://designerly.com/the-parts-of-a-website/#respond Thu, 06 Jul 2023 16:44:14 +0000 https://designerly.com/?p=15876

In website design, you, as a site creator, have a unique and crucial task — crafting more than a website but an engaging experience. Your challenge goes beyond eye-catching design or snappy copy. It lies in shaping a seamless journey for your users, an element referred to as user experience (UX). UX is a potent…

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In website design, you, as a site creator, have a unique and crucial task — crafting more than a website but an engaging experience. Your challenge goes beyond eye-catching design or snappy copy. It lies in shaping a seamless journey for your users, an element referred to as user experience (UX).

UX is a potent tool to have in your arsenal. It’s the magic bullet that transforms a casual visitor into a loyal customer, encouraging them to stay, explore and interact with your website. If you’re ready to take on the goal of enhancing user experience, consider delving into the key parts of a website that elevate it.

From simple navigation to informative content, here are all the aspects that can turn your website into a powerful UX masterpiece.

Defining User Experience

UX is a critical aspect of web design that embodies all the interactions a user has with a website. Think of it as the emotional, cognitive and physical reaction a visitor experiences when landing on a page. How easy is it to navigate? How quickly do pages load — and does it look appealing? The answers to these questions determine the quality of your UX.

The significance of UX is paramount in web design. However, it’s more than about making a website usable — it’s also about making it enjoyable and intuitive. The ease of finding information, the pleasure of viewing pleasing aesthetics, and the satisfaction of quick loading times — are all aspects that constitute an excellent UX.

The key parts of a website are like puzzle pieces that come together to form the UX. Integrating them into a web design project is vital in crafting this experience. With each component optimized for user comfort and enjoyment, you enhance their overall experience — turning your website into a virtual paradise for visitors. Therefore, good UX is more than an isolated element — it’s the symphony created when all parts of your website work seamlessly together.

Key Parts of a Website that Enhance User Experience

Understanding the different parts of a website will help you in your journey of enhancing the user experience. Consider the following key elements below.

1. Navigation

Effective website navigation is like a well-drawn map — it guides your users, ensuring they easily find what they’re seeking. At its core, navigation involves organizing and labeling your website’s information in an intuitive, user-friendly way. It should be clear, straightforward and consistent throughout the site. 

The navigation’s impact on user experience is of critical importance. Good navigation helps your visitors go from one page to another in a smooth transition, effortlessly guiding them to their destination. It reduces frustration, enhances satisfaction, and encourages visitors to stay longer and explore more.

To create seamless navigation:

  • Focus on simplicity.
  • Use descriptive labels for menus and avoid jargon.
  • Incorporate a search function for larger sites, and always include easy-to-find links back to the home page.

Remember, the goal is to make the journey through your website as smooth and enjoyable as possible for every user.

2. Content

Every industry expert says content is king, but it’s true. It’s the heart of your website, providing visitors with the information they seek while subtly nudging them toward taking action. 

Quality content enhances user experience by offering value, relevance and engagement. It captures visitors’ attention, satisfies their queries and encourages them to return for more.

As a web designer, it’s essential to focus on creating clear, concise and compelling content. UX writing involves a process of ensuring your content aligns with users’ needs and preferences. Conduct market research to understand those needs and the types of content you can create that offer viable solutions.

Avoid long blocks of text — instead, break up content with headings, bullet points and visuals. Always keep it fresh and relevant, and proofread your content for errors. Implementing these steps will ensure your content enhances readability and the overall user experience.

3. Website Speed

We live in an age of instant gratification, and website speed is a crucial aspect of UX. It makes the difference between retaining a visitor or losing them to frustration. A site that loads swiftly pleases users, reduces bounce rates and increases overall engagement.

While improving website speed sounds technical, it’s a fairly straightforward process if you follow these steps:

  • Optimize images and other media files — large files slow down load times.
  • Consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to increase speed for users in different geographic locations.
  • Regularly update and clean your site’s backend, removing unnecessary plugins or widgets. 
  • Enable browser caching so returning visitors experience faster loading times. 

By implementing these steps, you can boost your site’s speed, giving users less time to second guess their visit and more reasons to stay longer.

4. Mobile Responsiveness

A mobile responsive website means your site has the ability to adapt to the screen size of the device on which the user is viewing it. Whether they’re accessing it on a desktop, smartphone or tablet, you should ensure your website looks and functions optimally for various screen sizes.

Mobile responsiveness is essential because the majority of users browse websites on their smartphones. In fact, 51.52% of people use mobile devices worldwide. In the U.S., at least 67.81% of users visit websites using smartphones as of May 2023. With most web browsing now happening on mobile devices, a responsive website will cater to a vast segment of potential users.

To create a mobile responsive website, embrace a fluid grid layout that adjusts to varying screen sizes. Use flexible images and media that can scale, and ensure clickable elements are touch-friendly. Keep in mind that a website that adapts to its user, regardless of their device, is one that creates a superior user experience.

5. Visual Experience

Visual design is the visual voice of your website. It goes beyond aesthetics, playing a crucial role in usability, brand perception and overall user experience. A pleasing, cohesive design can invite users in, while an unattractive or confusing one may quickly repel them.

The balance between aesthetically pleasing and functional design is crucial. A beautiful site that’s challenging to navigate is as problematic as an ugly but usable one. The goal is to bring form and function together in a unified structure.

Consider creating a visually appealing design that maintains consistency in colors, fonts and design elements. Use whitespace effectively to avoid clutter and highlight important features. Ensure text is readable and images are high-quality. Overall, a well-designed website is like a story that draws users in and guides them effortlessly from beginning to end.

Creating the Parts of a Website for User Experience

Think of user experience as a way to guide you through creating the different parts of a website. When you keep users in mind, you can create a stellar user experience. However, the components you’ve explored here are key to enhancing UX. 

As you continue your website design journey, hone in on these elements to create engaging, delightful experiences for all your visitors. That way, you become user-focused and ensure all your website creations meet users’ high expectations and needs.

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What is a Modal? Key Insights for Modern Web Design https://designerly.com/what-is-a-modal/ https://designerly.com/what-is-a-modal/#respond Thu, 29 Jun 2023 17:39:10 +0000 https://designerly.com/?p=15677

A modal is a critical component of modern web design.  Consider this example. You’re browsing through a website, and suddenly, a window pops up, asking you to subscribe to a newsletter or offering a discount. This is a modal in action. Modals are intriguing elements of web design and have become increasingly crucial in creating…

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A modal is a critical component of modern web design. 

Consider this example. You’re browsing through a website, and suddenly, a window pops up, asking you to subscribe to a newsletter or offering a discount. This is a modal in action.

Modals are intriguing elements of web design and have become increasingly crucial in creating an interactive and engaging user experience. They are your secret weapon in crafting a digital environment that commands attention, provokes interaction and boosts user satisfaction. 

Understanding modals — what they are, how they function, and how to use them effectively — is an essential skill for the modern web designer. Here, we’ll uncover the background of modals, enhancing your web design journey one click at a time.

What Is a Modal?

So, what exactly is a modal? In the simplest terms, a modal is a type of dialog box or pop-up window that appears on a website or application. It’s a dynamic and interactive element that temporarily interrupts the user’s interaction with a page, demanding some form of engagement.

Several unique characteristics define modals. They typically overlay the main content, shading out or blurring the rest of the page to draw focus. They also demand user interaction — either to dismiss them or to complete a particular task before you can proceed.

The beauty of modals lies in their versatility. They come in various forms, each serving a different purpose. Dialogue boxes, for instance, may pop up to confirm a user action or present important information. Lightboxes are another form of modals used primarily to highlight images or videos, enlarging them on the screen while dimming out the rest of the page.

Notifications windows can also be modals. They alert users about updates or changes within the site or app.

Overall, modals are strategic interruptions designed to guide users, grab their attention, or enhance engagement with a site or application. They’re a powerful tool in your web design arsenal, ready for effective deployment to shape a captivating user experience.

The Role of Modals in User Experience

Modals play a fundamental role in sculpting the user experience (UX) in web design. They serve as dynamic connectors between the user and the web interface, guiding actions, offering options and providing feedback.

Imagine a user trying to delete a crucial piece of data. A well-placed modal can pop up and ask for confirmation, potentially preventing a regrettable mistake. This interaction adds a layer of safety, reducing the risk of inadvertent errors and enhancing user confidence.

Another scenario could be a first-time visitor landing on your website. A modal can invite them to subscribe to a newsletter or offer a welcome discount. This provides a personalized experience and promotes engagement right from the start.

Furthermore, they are perfect for focusing users’ attention on specific content or actions. Consider a photo gallery on a photography website. When a user clicks on a photo, a lightbox modal can enlarge the image, allowing the viewer to appreciate the details without any distracting background noise.

In these ways and more, modals contribute significantly to UX. When designed thoughtfully and used judiciously, they can enhance user satisfaction, lead to better interaction, and drive desired actions on a website.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Modals

While modals are powerful tools in web design, it’s essential to use them thoughtfully. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you navigate the use of modals effectively.

The Do’s of Modals

1. Prioritize User Control

Always provide an easy way for users to close the modal, such as an ”opt-out” button, as they can generate a 14.32% higher conversion rate than one with a single action button. However, this tactic works best when it subtly plays on the fear of missing out. Overall, giving users options empowers them because you’re giving them more control over their browsing experience.

2. Keep It Simple

Ensure your modals are clean. They should convey a single message or task clearly and concisely. A simple, focused modal is far more effective than one overflowing with information. 

3. Use for Immediate Feedback or Action

Modals are great for immediate feedback or prompting critical actions like confirming deletions or saving changes. Use them when instant attention is needed.

4. Design for Responsiveness

Ensure you design your modals to be responsive, adapting to different device sizes and orientations. This will maintain a consistent user experience across all devices.

5. Include a Clear Call to Action

If your modal intentionally guides users towards a specific action — like subscribing or purchasing — ensure the call to action (CTA) is clear and compelling. This can greatly increase the effectiveness of the modal.

The Don’ts of a Modal

1. Avoid Overuse

Overusing modals can lead to “pop-up fatigue,” making users more likely to dismiss them without reading. Reserve them for important interactions.

2. Avoid Hiding Essential Information

Modals should always be transparent and have information that is crucial to the main content or actions. Users should be able to see all the important details if they close the window.

3. Don’t Forget Accessibility

Ensure your modals are accessible, considering users who navigate via keyboard or assistive technologies. Use proper Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) roles and ensure all elements are keyboard-navigable.

4. Don’t Use Modals for Lengthy Content

If the content you need to display is long or complex, another alternative to a modal would be a better choice. Modals are more suitable for simple messages or tasks, and a better place for longer content would be on a new page or within the main content.

5. Avoid Disrupting User Tasks

Be mindful of when your modals pop up. If they appear while the user is in the middle of an important task, they can be more disruptive than helpful. Consider timing your modals strategically to enhance rather than hinder the user experience.

Leveraging Modals for Future Web Design

Modals hold considerable potential in the evolving landscape of web design. With growing trends like immersive interactive experiences and personalized content delivery, they could take center stage as facilitators of these trends.

In the near future, we could see modals becoming even more dynamic and intelligent, adapting to individual user behavior and preferences. For instance, AI-driven modals could provide users with highly personalized offers or recommendations based on their past interactions.

Furthermore, with the rise of virtual and augmented reality in web design, they could morph into three-dimensional interactive elements. This feature will transform the way users engage with digital interfaces.

The future of modals in web design is ripe with possibilities, promising innovative ways to enhance user engagement and experience.

Make the Most of Modals in Web Design

Modals are pivotal in modern web design. They drive user engagement, ensure interactivity, and shape a robust user experience. As web designers, it’s crucial to explore and experiment with modals. Master their use to craft compelling digital experiences so you can create one that truly resonates with your audience.

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