As a small-business owner, your goal is to keep users on your site for as long as possible. Because the longer your site visitors stay on your page, the higher you’ll rank in search engines. Users who explore a website are also more likely to make purchases than those who don’t—so it’s worth spending time making sure people enjoy their experience.
One of the best ways to achieve this goal is through an engaging web design. However, it should reflect your brand’s personality while still giving an aesthetically-pleasing appearance.
Yet, where can you get started when designing an engaging website? Below are a few great ideas to inspire you, even if you’re a beginner!
1. Incorporate Video to Show off Your Brand
Video is one of the most powerful tools you can use to engage your site visitors and show off your brand. It gives people a chance to hear and see you in action — which is great for helping them feel more connected to your business.
You can incorporate video in a variety of ways onto your site. Here are some ideas:
- Use a short video intro on your homepage to get people excited about what they’re about to see on your site. You can use this to introduce yourself and your company or make an exciting announcement about something new you’re launching.
- Embed animated videos. They allow you to bring in other elements, like graphics and music, to set the tone for your brand. This is especially helpful for making a good first impression for potential customers who need to know more about your brand.
- Add a background video on the homepage. Background videos are highly effective at retaining users and holding their attention. Yet, it doesn’t have to be film — it can also be a cartoon animation that plays, then becomes a still image.
2. Add Elements of Surprise
These days, most visitors know what to expect when they jump onto a site. They get the big header design, a hamburger menu on their mobile device, and a few testimonials.
Even though site users appreciate predictability and consistency — a predictable website experience isn’t all that exciting. While there’s nothing wrong with being ordinary, it would still be fun if they had this expectation. Then you added a surprise element to make their experience different and memorable.
For example, some web designers will do this by adding a non-traditional scrolling effect, like a parallax scroll. This element surprises users by visiting the homepage and thinking it’s a traditional static website. Then site users keep scrolling, and certain features start to move around the screen.
Adding a surprise like this can be a great way to capture users’ attention and keep things interesting.
3. Choose Color and Contrast
Color and contrast will always be a key part of designing a website. Yet, can they influence engagement?
The short answer is yes!
Colors can hold users’ attention by conveying the right emotions. They’re also important for highlighting the most crucial elements of a site’s page you want users to click.
For instance, suppose you want users to click on a call-to-action (CTA) button. You can influence engagement by using a dark-colored button against a light background. That way, they can easily find your site’s navigation and click on an action.
At the same time, using a specific color can help users take action. Consider color theory and the psychology behind each color. For instance, red can convey a sense of urgency — which may convince users to hurry and take action before it’s too late.
On the other hand, neutrals and pastels provide a calming aesthetic, allowing users to feel at ease.
4. Abstract Shapes and Geometric Patterns
Think creatively about capturing users’ attention with geometric designs and abstract elements. People have used these shapes and patterns in art and design for a long time — and they’ve used them to create visual interest.
By placing visually appealing elements in web design, you enhance users’ experience and influence them to stay longer.
For example, squares and circles are simple, but mixing them can create a complex design. Abstract motifs are an excellent way to build an aesthetic as long as it aligns with your brand. They can generate emotion and allow you to connect with your audience by creating an authentic brand identity.
These elements are especially useful if your business is new. They avoid predictability and enable your brand to stand out, especially when you’re first entering the market.
Overall, it’s a fun design that you can use to direct focus and bring your website to life.
5. Turn Your Navigation Into a Visual Attraction
The homepage typically features your latest offers or the company’s mission statement. Yet, in a non-traditional aspect, you have ways to engage users with the navigation menu.
Navigation is crucial because it helps site visitors find what they’re looking for on your site. However, you can ensure your navigation works well by making it the main event. You have lots of ways to achieve this engaging web design idea:
- Use icons instead of text since icons make it easier for people to recognize their options.
- Ensure the colors you incorporate are bright and vibrant enough to see but avoid making them too intense.
- Use animations or other effects that draw attention to certain areas on the page.
Ultimately, your navigation should look inviting and welcoming to encourage users to stay and click through it.
6. Send a Message With Text-Heavy Designs
Images and graphics are a great way to add appeal to your site. Yet, what if you took a chance to use a text-heavy design?
By taking this route, you can use text to convey a message and engage users. Even though this design is simple, it still offers variety in font type, color and typography layout. However, it can also mean using lots of text or breaking up the design with lots of white space.
Using a minimal or maximal design with text is also your choice. If you go with a minimal approach, a sans-serif font can make the most of it since they’re thin and allow for lots of white space for more breathing room.
You could also go big and bold with large blocks of text that fill the entire screen. If your brand is spirited and energetic, this would be a great way to convey its personality through this maximalist design.
Yet, it all depends on how you want your site to look. The advantage of a text-heavy method is that you communicate directly with users rather than relying on media or other content that may be less personal.
7. Communicate Your Brand With Loading Animations
Loading animations used to be a popular trend in the earlier days of web design, but now it’s a trend that many designers are starting to incorporate into 2023.
Because of the rising popularity of animation and immersive site designs, the animated loading screen gives you another opportunity to engage users and communicate brand identity. Website visitors aren’t fans waiting for pages to load, so why not entertain them with a moving cartoon?
Each time a site-loading animation pops up, you show your creativity by adding an element of playfulness and whimsy to a dull website.
Turn a Predictable Website Into an Immersive Experience With Engaging Web Design Ideas
As a web designer, it’s time for you to think outside the box. Use these engaging web design ideas to keep your audience returning for more. The more you add responsiveness, personality and functionality, the better the user’s experience. Because it isn’t only a place to learn more information, it’s also about making it a fun place to visit and thinking of how you can shape users’ experience.