Ever got curious enough to visit a website but left immediately because it was just too overwhelming?
Maybe it was the superimposed pop-ups, the screaming colors, or the traditional look and feel of the homepage. Whatever the reason, the website just wasn’t doing its job of making a good first impression.
Creating an effective online store is tricky. In fact, studies have shown that it only takes 0.05 seconds for users to decide whether they will stay or leave a website. This means that you literally have a split second to make a good impression and persuade them to continue browsing through your store.
Fortunately, there are some design principles that you can follow to make sure that your store stands out and sells more. And in this article, we’ll go over some of the most important ones and help you apply them to your own store.
Design Principles and How You Can Use Them
Overall, there are 12 basic design principles that you may have been familiar with since school. In most cases, a combination of these principles is present in any well-designed product, whether it’s a website, a painting, or even a building.
The key to making these design principles work for your store is to find the right balance and use them in accordance with your business goals, products, and target market. Let’s take a look at some of these principles and how you can use them to create a more effective online store.
Creating Contrast and Visual Interest
Contrast and emphasis are important in design because they help to direct the viewer’s attention to the most important elements on the page. The former accentuates the differences between the two elements while the latter creates a focal point that stands out from the rest of the design.
You can create contrast in your store by using colors, shapes, sizes, and even textures. For example, if you have a new collection or piece you want to highlight on your homepage, you can make it stand out by using a brighter color or making it larger in size compared to the rest of the products.
Visual interest, on the other hand, is all about making your design more intriguing and engaging. You can fuse both contrast and visual interest in your store by using patterns, textures, or even images with interesting details. Just make sure not to go overboard with it as too much visual clutter can be just as overwhelming as no contrast at all.
Defining Hierarchy and Grouping Similar Elements
Another important design principle is “hierarchy” which refers to the arrangement of elements in order of importance. This is usually done by making the more important elements larger or by using a different color or font to make them stand out.
Hierarchy is important in design because it helps to guide the viewer’s eye through the page and makes it easier for them to process the information. You can use hierarchy in your store by grouping similar items together and using fonts and colors to create a visual hierarchy of information.
For example, if you’re offering subscription-based products, you can use different font and image sizes according to the price and duration of the subscription. This will help to visually guide visitors to the products that they’re most likely to be interested in.
Understanding the Power of White Space
White space is basically the negative or empty space in a design. And contrary to popular belief, it’s actually an essential element in design. White space helps to break up a design, makes the elements on the page more legible, and creates a sense of calmness.
If you want to achieve a minimalist, aesthetic look and feel for your store, then using more white space is definitely the way to go. You can use white space in your store by leaving some breathing room around your high-resolution product images and by using cleaner fonts.
Additionally, you can also use white space to highlight certain elements on the page. For example, you can use it to draw attention to your store’s free shipping offer or sale items.
Using Typography to Create a Unique Look and Feel
Typography involves multiple design principles from hierarchy to contrast. But most importantly, it’s a powerful tool that can be used to create a unique vibe for your store.
Your store’s typography says a lot about your brand so it’s important to choose fonts that are in line with the image you want to project. For example, serif fonts tend to be seen as more traditional while sans-serif fonts are more modern. There are also script fonts that convey a more playful and casual tone.
You can experiment with different font combinations to see what works best for your store. Just make sure not to use too many different fonts as that can make your store look cluttered and unprofessional.
Creating a Sense of Movement and Flow
Movement and flow are important design principles because they help to guide visitors through your store and encourage them to take the desired action. You can create a sense of movement in your store by using directional cues such as arrows or by using images and videos that naturally lead the eye in a certain direction. Patterns such as stripes and waves can also create a sense of movement.
Implementing Effective Color Schemes
Of course, color plays a big role in the design and can be used to create all sorts of moods and feelings. In fact, about 39% of online consumers pay more attention to color than any other element in a website’s design. This means that choosing the right color scheme for your store is essential if you want to create the right look and feel.
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a color scheme for your store. First, you want to make sure that the colors you choose complement each other. You can use a color wheel to find colors that work well together. Second, you want to consider the mood or feeling that you want to convey with your color scheme. For example, warmer colors tend to be more exciting while cooler colors create a more calming effect.
You can also use color to highlight certain elements on the page and to create a sense of hierarchy. For example, you can use brighter colors for call-to-action buttons to make them more visible.
Ultimately, the colors you choose for your store should be in line with your brand identity. If you’re not sure what colors to choose, you can always look at other stores in your industry for inspiration.
Including Supporting Visual Elements
Apart from images, there are other visual elements that you can use to enhance your store’s design. These include videos, infographics, illustrations, and even those small icons which are often used to represent different features on a website.
Using these elements judiciously can help to break up the monotony of a long text-heavy page and can also help to convey a certain message or feeling. For example, you can use illustrations to add a touch of playfulness to your store or videos to create a more personal connection with your visitors.
Striking the Perfect Balance Between Form and Function
Finally, it’s important to strike the perfect balance between form and function in your store’s design. This means that your store should not only look good but it should also be easy to use.
The user experience is a critical part of any website and your store is no exception. You want to make sure that visitors can easily find what they’re looking for and that your designs are not getting in the way of that. An aesthetic design is important but it’s not worth sacrificing functionality for.
Of course, achieving this balance is easier said than done. It takes a lot of trial and error to get it right. But as long as you keep your visitors’ needs in mind, you should be able to find the perfect balance for your store.
Where to Apply These Principles
So, where exactly do you apply these design principles? Well, that will depend on the type of store you have and the products you sell. But to give you a clearer idea, below are among the most common places where you can apply these principles:
Your Landing Pages
Of course, one of the most important places to apply these principles is on your store’s landing pages. This is where visitors will be directed from your ads or from your social media posts. And this is also where you’ll make that all-important first impression.
Whether it’s a landing page designed solely for an exclusive promo or a product page that’s been lovingly crafted, putting your best foot forward starts with strong visuals that’ll guide users to take the next step.
Your Product Listings and Images
Your product listings and images are also important places to apply these principles. After all, these are what usually make or break a sale.
Your product images should be high-quality and should accurately represent the product. They should also be placed in a way that’s visually appealing and easy to understand. As for your product listings, make sure they are visible and can catch the attention of the viewer at one glance. Your CTAs on these pages should also be clear and highlighted.
Your Shopping Cart and Checkout Process
Yes! Creativity shouldn’t end at the “Add to Cart” button. In fact, this is where you need it the most.
Your shopping cart and checkout process are where visitors will finally decide whether to buy from you or not. Make sure that your design on these pages is user-friendly and that the process is as smooth as possible. An intuitive design will help to increase your conversion rate and decrease cart abandonment.
Anywhere Else You Want to Make an Impact!
These are just some of the places where you can apply these design principles. But really, you can apply them anywhere in your store, ads and social media presence. The key is to be consistent with your branding while also making sure that your designs are aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly.
Some More Tips
Ready to revamp your store’s design? Here are a few more tips to help you get started:
Make Sure Your Web Store is Mobile-Friendly
Whichever design you choose for your store, make sure that it is also mobile-friendly. More and more people are now using their smartphones to shop online. You wouldn’t want to lose out on potential sales just because your customers couldn’t navigate your store from their phone, would you?
Conduct A/B Tests
Every time you’re implementing a significant change to your store’s design, make sure to conduct A/B tests first. This will help you see which design works best for your store and your customers.
For instance, if you want to change your site’s order form, you can create two versions of it. Then, you can show each version to a different group of people and see which one converts better.
Get Feedback from Customers and Use It to Improve the User Experience
It’s your customers who will be using your store, so it’s important to get their feedback and use it to improve the user experience. You can do this in a number of ways, such as conducting surveys, sending out questionnaires, or even just talking to them directly.
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback and use it to improve your store. After all, the goal is to make sure that your customers have a positive experience when they visit your store.
Pay Attention to the Details
Last but not least, don’t forget the details! The little things matter just as much as the big things when it comes to design. This doesn’t mean that you have to go overboard with your designs. Just pay attention to the small details and make sure that they are in line with the overall look and feel of your store.
And don’t forget to check your overall design before publishing or implementing it. Inconsistencies can be very off-putting for customers and can make your store look unprofessional.
It’s Time to Get Creative!
There you have it! These are just some of the ways you can use design principles and some sprinkles of your own creativity to take your online store to the next level. The next step for you now is to start putting these tips into practice.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get creative and revamp your store to boost sales and create a better customer experience!
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