Modern Web Designs & Functionality

Whatever your business website goals—to sell products, to get people to buy your services, or to build a community with your visitors—your site has to do a lot of work for you. It’s your marketing manager, your cash register, and your customer service center. It can train, educate, sell, and entertain.

If your website were a store, it could be:

  • Simple like a hotdog cart
  • Complex like a shopping mall
  • Helpful like an information booth
  • Comprehensive like a library

Whatever the case, you want a website that looks good (and so does everyone else). But what does “looks good” mean in terms of modern web designs?

Modern Web Designs and Performance

There is basically one and only one feature that truly matters in modern web design: Performance.

It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises but only performance is reality.
~Harold S. Geneen, ITT

If your website were a brick-and-mortar store, performance would be:

  • The location of your building. Is it easily accessible?
  • The architecture. Is it sturdy? Will it hold up to lots of foot traffic?
  • The road, parking, sidewalk, and entrance. Are they unobstructed?

Performance in modern web design gets people in the door, directs them across the floor, and inspires them to buy.

Case Study: Modern Web Design and the Law Firm

I worked on a Law Firm project that previously had a site that didn’t load quickly, which was like having a revolving door at the entrance for the store that only moved a centimeter at a time. It was attractive when you finally got inside, but not many people stuck around to find out. After my revamp that concentrated on performance, performance, and more performance, the entrance to the business was like a wide open door. Visitors stayed longer and clicked more internal links.

Modern Web Designs and Conversion

Okay, I may have exaggerated a bit when I said performance was the one and only goal of great modern web designs. There is another feature that matters and it’s conversion. You’re in business to sell something. So, once you have performance under control, it’s time to look at conversion.

In our store analogy, conversion is:

  • Product placement. Is the thing you have for sale conveniently located?
  • A clear path to the register. Is it easy for your customers to buy?
  • Customer service. Are potential questions answered easily?

Modern web designs turn visitors into customers.

Case Study: Modern Web Design and the Med-Spa

I worked on a Med-Spa website that was seeking to positioning itself as a resource for its clients. They wanted to educate their customers about their services and the latest news in the industry. However, a survey of visitors revealed that their customers wanted an easy way to reorder products and book appointments. It’s not just sellers that want conversions. Buyers want an easy way to get what they want so they can get on their way.

Do You Have a Modern Web Design?

Maybe you think you’re all set with your website. But this post is making you wonder. Real, actual front-end use is the only way to know. Test it. Ask your web developer if you’re up-to-date. Or find friends who use different smartphones and operating systems and browsers and ask them to go to your site.

You don’t have a modern web design if your website:

  • Doesn’t load within 5 seconds
  • Has too many roadblocks to conversion
  • Isn’t easy to navigate on smartphones and tablets

And if you find that you need to update, ask a few web developers what they think is the most important aspect of modern web designs. If they say Performance, consider hiring them. If they say Performance and Conversion, definitely hire them.

Case Study: Modern Web Design and the Non-Profit

A non-profit website I was called in to fix had all of the markers of poor functionality. The load times were slow, and it was unclear what the organization wanted its visitors to do. Also, it was a nightmare to navigate on mobile devices. Performance and conversion aren’t just for selling goods and services. We asked the leaders what exactly they wanted people to do and why they had a website. Then we boiled that down to a statement and made that the focal point of the site … of the lightning-fast site.

Performance stands out like a ton of diamonds. Non performance can always be explained away. ~Harold S. Geneen

Modern Web Designs functionality

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Jon Whitbeck
As a web designer and developer, I have managed, built, launched, and maintained websites that meet my clients' objectives. I develop dynamic websites with content management systems based on the latest design trends. My background as an educator and instructor helps me create user-friendly interfaces and teach my clients how to update their own sites.

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