Conventional vs. unique website design

May Marketing Madness Usability Week, Post #25

While having a unique web design works for some online businesses, it can be risky for most. Being different certainly has its advantages, but can cost you some converting customers in the process.

Web users of habit

Web users are only human, and, after years of getting used to traditional web usability standards, have specific expectations when arriving to a website. Here are some webpage elements most visitors expect to see:

Top menu navigation bar

Our eyes are trained to go from top to bottom. Tool bars that are not included at the top of a webpage can be overlooked and/or cause visitors confusion.

The search box and top navigational menu follow the conventional web design layout.

Search box

Some visitors come to your site with a specific product/service/ keyword in mind. If the search box is not there to help direct them straight to what they need, they are quick to bounce away.

Standard grid layout

Most websites are designed within a standard, straight-lined grid layout. Here, all web elements and areas of the page are divided into straight rectangles, clearly allowing a user's eye to follow an up and down, left to right movement.

This is a clear grid web page layout, where all content is divided into clear cut rectangles and straight lines.


Moving away from the mold

Although most visitors have acclimated to the conventional web design ways as highlighted above, intuitive web designers are now starting to exceed visitor expectations.

Here, the designer has chosen to go for a dominant central image with navigation options at the bottom of the fold.

Here, the designer has chosen to go for a dominant central image with navigation options at the bottom of the fold.

Each image is a navigational element. The site homepage contains very minimal content and heavy images to guide visitors to where they want to go throughout the site.

It will be interesting to see how conventional web design can embrace many new unique web design traits and their effect on the customer experience.

This post is one out of Clicktale's month long May Marketing Madness series. Each of our daily posts will highlight and explain today's best practices, useful tips and smart tools to measure and improve your online business performance. This week's theme is usability. Make sure to stay tuned in for more!

Book a demo to see how customer experience analytics can improve your business