Author Jeff

Date: March 19, 2014

5 Ways To Make Your Web Design More Effective

These tools and methods make our lives easier, so why not use them to make your life easier too?

I absolutely love web design. Why? Web design allows me to create beautiful things, while also forcing me to think critically about the decisions I need to make. It requires me to balance form, function, interactivity, and usability into something that’s universal and crosses language barriers. While this can often seem like a daunting task to accomplish, there are many tools available that will help you reach your goals and make your web design more effective. Below is a list of 5 tools and methods our creative website design agency uses every day to increase the effectiveness of our web projects.

1. Crazy Egg

make your web design more effective with crazy-egg

If there’s one tool that you should add to your toolbox today, I highly suggest it’s this one. Not only has Crazy Egg given me insights into how my users interact on the web, but also how they interact with specific elements throughout my web designs. Some notable features are scroll tracking, user acquisition tracking, and establishing what and where the hot spots are on your website.

This tool is particularly amazing for adjustments to your overall interface. More specifically, it allows you figure out what the scroll threshold of your user base is. With Crazy Egg, I found out was that our user base doesn’t really like to scroll, so having a long narrative home page was a bad choice. But thanks to this tool, and some other keen observations, we were able to drop our bounce rate by 20% with a single revision.

2. Google Analytics

make your web design more effective with google-analytics
If you haven’t heard about Google Analytics, you’re most likely trapped in some late 90’s early 2000’s paradox. If you have heard of Google Analytics, I would like to specifically focus on the section dubbed “Behavior Flow”. If you’re building out a website for a client, or yourself, you should have a specific user flow in mind. Your goals could be to sell a specific product, or to simply get people to sign up for an e-book. Whatever your goal might be, “Behavior Flow” from Google Analytics will allow you to see if your website is preforming the way it’s intended to. With the ability to track up to 7 page interactions, and hundreds of variable modifiers, not only will you get a better understanding of how people progress through your website, but also how the different user variables adjust their flow. If you’re designing for a global brand that sells in multiple countries, this information might lead you to creating language specific page landings for better conversions.

3. Optimizely

make your web design more effective with optimizely

If you’re looking for quick and easy to use A/B testing software at an affordable price, look no further then Optimizely.
If you’re starting up a new project, or revising an existing one, Optimizely is a great choice when pitting landing pages against one another. Through their very easy to use system you can set up pages by appending bits of javascript on your page elements, or without ever touching the code itself. This allows you to really get an understanding of what layouts, buttons, and modules are converting the best for you.

If you’re working on e-commerce, or any sort of highly monetized web platform, this is definitely a must.

4. Google Event Tracking

make your web design more effective with google-events-tracking

Googles Event Tracking definitely has the highest learning curve out of everything on this list but what you gain is incredible. While most of these tools focus on the entire page, event tracking allows you to really drill down to the individual elements on these pages.

You can set up ‘groups’ which are essentially a series of events that trigger a certain action, or elements on an individual level. Groups are particularly helpful on contact forms or any sort of multi-trigger event, where as tracking individual elements is extremely helpful for things such as download buttons. When we’re using event tracking we’re typically pitting modules against one another. Do people prefer to interact with a slider, or static content? Do people prefer to scroll down the page, or activate a module that reveals hidden content? Event tracking is a great way of taking the guess work out of these questions and really build a platform that works for it’s user base.

5. Your peers

make your web design more effective with your peers

As a designer or developer, we often make assumptions as to what our “users” will do. How they’ll interact with a particular button or module, how they’ll browse a page. Without getting too cliché on you, assumptions aren’t always the greatest thing. Before we go public with a project, we like to release a beta or test to non-designers and see what they have to say. Keep in mind that some things must be taken with a grain of salt, and you can’t blindly make all of the suggested revisions, but it will often times point out glaring usability flaws that can go overlooked when your nose is too deep in the code.

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