What is the “F” principle and how should it impact how your website looks?

The first thing that most people do when considering a product or service is to find the brand’s website and browse. Statistically, anyone visiting your website will form an impression about how credible it is in just 0.05 seconds so you don’t have long to make a positive impression. The aesthetics of your website will be crucial to whether or not someone stays after 0.05 seconds or goes elsewhere – but what kind of design principles do you need to bear in mind and how should these impact on the way the website looks?

The “F” principle

94% of website feedback that is negative relates to poor website design. Often this is because the website is difficult to navigate or just feels hard to read. The “F” principle is designed to draw website visitors further into your website by using the way that the human eye moves across a web page as it opens. Tracking eye movement has established that we tend to first look down the left-hand side of the page and then from left to right, creating an “F” shape. So, for website design that creates a satisfying experience, it will be important to pay special attention to the areas that form the “F,” whether that means using strong headings or clear, concise content.

How else does design impact on the effectiveness of your website?

Target a call to action

The investment you make in your website isn’t just to create something nice to look at – to generate returns, websites need to deliver on engagement and action. So, when you’re designing your website bear in mind the action that you want a visitor to take when they’re browsing pages. Colours, images and effective, concise headings and CTAs can be used to direct visitors to take the next step. Consider the use of buttons such as “buy now” and make sure that the functionality of the site makes it easy for customers to move from browsing to action.

Make navigation simple

A beautiful, sleek website that is impossible for visitors to navigate will be almost useless so it’s crucial that aesthetics and functionality combine when it comes to navigation. Simple layout principles are popular because they work – such as the “F” principle, or positioning your “Contact Us” page to the far right of your menu bar and the “About Us” page to the far left to bookend what your business is about. Keep menu dropdowns short and clear and don’t make the mistake of adding every single page to your menu and overcrowding it.

Create design that supports the buying journey

Does the beautiful design of the website lead the customer from one step in the buying journey to the next? A logical customer journey must underpin the aesthetics of your website in order to ensure that it is effective as a marketing and sales tool.

These are just some of the insights that can help you to create a better website. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with Iconic Digital.

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