web design 2016

11 Web Design Techniques That Improve User Engagement and Conversion

How do UX professionals define conversion optimization?

According to Jeff Gothelf, author of Lean UX book, conversion optimization is about “finding the right mix of value proposition, call to action and price point to convince a customer to take a deeper level of engagement with your product or service.”

However a “Conversion optimization consultant” is usually someone who a business contracts to evaluate a particular workflow. They typically come from a web analytics background and propose a series of tests to run to improve the conversion of a flow.

A beautiful website might make a great first impression, but if it has terrible usability, users can’t figure out what to do, forms on the site don’t quite work, the error messages are not helpful and the copy on the website is vague, the overall experience will be quite bad.

The question is, how can you drive user engagement on your site? From a web designer’s point of view, let’s take a look at twelve great tips that will help you in this direction.

1) Make a strong first impression

first impression

Every day a potential customer is seeing your interface for the very first time. This can be forgotten within teams that are always designing for themselves. The first screen your users see has 3 important jobs…

  1. Explain how your web application works.
  2. Motivate your users to get started.
  3. Let your users know how to get help, if and when they need it.

If someone lands on your web app and doesn’t understand how to signup right away, that’s a huge problem. It should be obvious to the user what your site does and how they can be apart of it.


2) Use a Hero Image

Hero Image on your website

The hero Image is a popular trend for minimal, responsive websites. These sites have a large photograph or video with a few lines of text or a headline that draws a user’s eye.

Make sure that the Hero Image on your website is perfectly suited to the site’s purpose. Generally, capturing the reader’s attention is becoming more and more difficult. So the use of one large image will cause the reader to pause or “rest”, and then give them the go ahead to read the page.


3) Parallax scrolling effects

 Parallax scrolling effects

A good concept that a parallax scrolling effect has an advantage is storytelling. Parallax effects are used to assemble products right before your eyes as you scroll down the page in an artistic and beautiful way.As far as engagement is considered, parallax scrolling really takes initial users to a trip and completely absorbs their attention.


4) Implement accent colors and call-to-action buttons strategically

call-to-action buttons

Effective call-to-action buttons (CTAs) have the ability to trigger a customer to signup, join, buy now, share, download etc. Together, CTAs and accent colors have the ability to draw attention, increasing engagement and sparking action. It’s all about, size, placement and color.


5) Intro/explainer videos

explainer videos

Explainer Videos are short videos that explain a company’s story and a company’s business model. In other words they give an answer to the question “What do you guys do?These videos can be in animation, digital drawings, hand drawings, or regular videos. People are not only mostly visual learners, but people retain 68% more information from videos than from texts.

Explainer videos is one marketing move that helps you to stand out from the crowd of competitors. When you use Explainer Videos, you provide a medium due to which users stay on your website and probably end up with desired action such as buying out your products and services.


6) Your website must be designed to be as strong as a landing page

landing page

The goal of a landing page is to persuade a website visitor to take an action, meanwhile every page on the internet is a landing page. Website visitors don’t always begin their journey on your homepage therefore, it’s important to remain consistent and provide key pieces of information near the top of all pages.

Let’s see an example of an American lifestyle brand O’Neill website that perfectly clear with an image-led landing page that sells you its clothing ranges and sports gear through stunning photography of big waves and snow-covered mountains.


7) Adding social widgets and buttons

Adding social widgets and buttons

Social Widgets increase traffic and user-engagement on your website. They have the capacity to gather new customers or expand newly created communities by allowing users to connect with them on social media like Facebook and Twitter to bring more referring visitors.

Did you know Dropbox has spent very little on advertising?They’ve implemented many growth hacks. For example, one growth hack is to incentivize some of your current users to refer others. This incentive may come in the form of company swag or a free month of your service.

Dropbox did something a little different. With each Follow on Twitter, connect with facebook or twitter, Dropbox gives the user a 125MB increase in space:


At the time of this writing, Dropbox had a little over 720,000 Twitter followers. While not all of them can be attributed to this hack. Dropbox incentivizes users to connect with them to spread the Dropbox product.

8) Add a subscription form on every page

 subscription form

Subscription forms are generally just a box with a place for the user to enter their name and email address. When they click on the ‘subscribe’ button they are automatically added to your email list. By providing multiple opportunities for blog readers to sign up for email updates, you’ll increase the number of your email subscribers faster if you add a lightbox option on every page.

In addition to a signup form in the sidebar, you can put one within your post or at the bottom.Putting the signup form in the content will be easy to convince someone to join if they are already enjoying your content.


9) Use more white space

Use more white space

Whitespace is an important element of design for good reason. If used well and correctly, it can transform a design and provide many advantages to your website.

The whitespace that is between paragraphs and around blocks of text and images actually helps people understand what they are reading and adds up to a better user experience overall. It will also help to increase engagement as users are more likely to stay on the page longer. Using more white space help to creates a more professional looking design and increase content legibility.


10) Engage audience with mobile friendly website

mobile friendly

Make it easier for users to interact with your site on a smartphone. Things like using a font size that is legible on small screens, or making it possible for them to call you with a single click, go a long way towards improving user experience.


11) Heat maps show engagement

Heat maps

Heatmaps tools are graphical overlays of your website which points out what content is hot and what not. This is mainly done by tracking the mouse clicks of the visitor.

Learning about visitor behavior is important for the success of your website.

Heat mapping answers many questions. Are your visitors distracted by too many choices? Are they leaving your page before subscribing to an email subscription option? Are you putting enough emphasis on the pages that are most important to users? What images and ads on landing pages are evoking the best responses and generating conversions to sales?



I hope this article can get you started thinking about some common web design techniques that improve user engagement. The best thing you can do is place yourself in the shoes of a typical user and try to determine the major flaws of an interface.

As consumers get smarter and in more control of their buying experience, it’s necessary that your marketing strategies keep up with the trends. There are many benefits of using engagement marketing for your business.

Better user engagement conduct to better conversion ratio, lower abandonment rates and probably an increase in sales.Do you have any of your own tips?Let us know in the comment below?

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