Have you ever stumbled upon a website only to think to yourself, “this can’t be real”? You, like most people, evaluate a business based on how well designed its website is.

According to Standford’s Web Credibility Research, three-quarters of people reported making judgments about a company strictly based on the business’s web design. This is especially true for expensive, luxurious brands as they must maintain a certain level of prestige to sell their products.

If you’d like to learn about what it takes to make a luxury website, keep reading this guide to discover everything you need to know to take your website to the next level.

1. Simplicity

Simplicity is the “in thing” right now – it looks clean, stylish, and can give users the impression that your company is legitimate. When a website looks cluttered and doesn’t seem to flow, visitors will get confused and won’t know where to look to find the information they need, leading to an increased bounce rate.

Implementing a simple design can allow text, products, or CTA’s to pop, catching the user’s attention and leading their eyes directly to where you want them to go.

To get started, consider only allowing content that’s essential for the user to see above the fold. This can include a featured product or your call to action. Having too much content displayed above the fold can give off a “cheap” impression to consumers.

2. Responsiveness

Creating and maintaining a luxury website requires you to know your audience and who you are promoting products/ services to. Individuals who purchase from luxurious websites are people who are typically on-the-go and know what they want when they want it.

With that being said, catering to users who visit your website from mobile phones is essential. According to research from Adobe, over 70 percent of respondents said content on websites “must display well” on their devices. On top of that, 38 percent mentioned they would stop engaging with a brand if they find the content’s layout to be unattractive.

Having a mobile-friendly website can attract a new market of visitors and keep them engaging with the brand. If you are truly serious about your website’s design, considering taking it a step further and going for a fully responsive design. Having a responsive design will allow your content and design elements to scale and display correctly on any device, no matter the screen’s size.

3. Imagery

Images are an important part of any design. However, where you place them, and the quality will have a significant impact on visitors. The first step for using images in your luxury website design is to avoid using stock images. Well, most of them anyway. You can find decent stock photos, but it may take some searching.

If you’re going to use images in your design, make sure they are of the highest quality – you should be able to clearly see every detail of the image. Also, avoid using stock photos that may appear on other websites as it can give off a cheap, inauthentic feel to users.

It’s best to use professionally taken photos to give users an authentic impression that can make your business appear more credible. By doing so, you can create what’s referred to as a “halo effect.” The halo effect is when users are impressed with your website design and make assumptions about the rest of your business based on the website alone.

4. Text

Text is another significant factor when it comes to creating a luxurious website. Too much text can also make your website appear untrustworthy, so it’s best to limit how much text is placed above the fold. Make sure your text represents the brand and can clearly communicate the information that needs to be relayed.

When it comes to typography, the problem is finding the right font for your company that can represent the brand. There isn’t a single font that will automatically make your design seem luxurious – you will have to find what resonates best with your market. If you’re deciding between two different fonts, try using the A/B testing method to determine which one is preferred using real data to back up your decision.

Below the fold, it’s a different story. You have already enticed the user to continue using your website and have proved to be, at very least, valuable to the consumer in a way. Just be sure to stay consistent with your typography throughout the design so users can connect it with the brand.

5. Navigation

Your site’s navigation is a critical factor for the user experience and can make or break a website design. Your primary goal is to create a seamless experience for the user where they can easily find the information they are looking for.

Your website’s structure and how easy it is to use can have major impacts on your site’s bounce rate. The harder it is to find information, the higher the bounce rate you will typically experience. When users can find the information they’re looking for easily, they will stay on your website longer.

It’s important to include a navigation bar for visitors to have the information accessible to them when they access the page. When designing the navigation bar, keep it simple and make sure visitors can quickly find the information. Instead of having a cluster of information, try using main headings for categories and then subheadings to keep it organized and clean.

Other than your call to action, social media icons, and navigation bar, you won’t want to include too many buttons as they can confuse the consumer and deter them from clicking on what really matters. You should also include a search button so visitors can immediately search for the information they’re looking for.

Are You Considering Building a Luxury Website?

What does luxury look like to you? Building a luxury website requires a different state of mind than what you would normally experience with other types of websites. You have to have the ability to put yourself in the consumer’s place and determine what they would like to gain from using your website.

To learn more about building luxurious websites and other helpful design ideas, check out the rest of our website.

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The Most Hotly Contested Web Design Concepts of 2016

If there’s one topic that gets people fired up it’s web design. To succeed online, a smartly designed website is crucial. Something that brings in visitors and keeps them on your page, absorbing content.

Unfortunately, what constitutes a great site isn’t always agreed upon, and there’s constant debate of best practices, what’s hot, what’s not, and what is the cancer that is killing the industry. The argument still rages on, and recently it’s moved on to these commonly used web design elements:

The Carousel

“We’re not at the park, so why are we going around and around? Because people keep designing their sites with these blasted carousels” is just one of the commonly heard gripes about this supposedly interesting design choice.

Unfortunately, we have to keep clicking left or right to get another little morsel of information that the designers have deemed us worthy to handle. Are they afraid we can’t read full paragraphs? This one isn’t just a matter being annoyed personal preference, however, Carousel designs actually harm your websites performance.

They kill local SEO efforts by starving your site of actual content, the slow your site down with huge image files and JavaScript, and they are so confoundingly bad that nobody clicks through them all the way. The naysayers might have a point on this one, Carousels are way more trouble than they are worth.

Parallax Scrolling

You’ve seen this technique on graphics heavy sites in which the foreground and background scroll at different speeds. It creates a feeling of depth, helps tell a story through visuals, and looks pretty cool when properly implemented.

Unfortunately, it comes with some (resolvable) issues that may make it a waste of time. Like the Carousel, use of Parallax Scrolling is damaging to SEO. Since there’s usually just one page and a bunch of images, there’s no text content for search engines to crawl through and rank.

The abundance of images reduces performance (and completely kills performance on mobile devices). Most damaging of all though, is that the technique can just make it confusing to absorb any useful information, which will cut your number of repeat visitors down tremendously.

Think about it, would you stick around on a website where your only navigation option was to scroll downwards through hard-to read image/text combos? Of course, there are examples of Parallax Scrolling done right, so the argument is there that it’s all about how you choose to use it.

The Hamburger Menu

That three lined symbol in the corner on most websites that you click to access navigation options is commonly known as the hamburger menu.

While it does look cool, and you can see why one might be tempted to clean up their navigation by having it sleekly displayed in a drop-down menu, many say it kills a websites discoverability.

When your navigation options are out of sight, they are also out of mind, the thinking goes. There’s also the argument that it’s less efficient, since you’re forced to go to a separate menu just to see your options, but that’s more a matter of personal taste, it would seem.

We may never get definitive answers on whether these trends are good or bad, but it seems pretty clear that if you are going to try to incorporate any of these ideas into your design, you have to do it with care.

We’ve given you an overview of the tons of free web design options out there for building a pretty good site. When you have to move up to the big leagues though, it’d be prudent to hire some big league talent.

Professional web developers like Big Drop (out of New York), or Brown Box Branding (Dallas TX) offer great designs coupled with high level marketing strategies proven to keep the visitors coming back to your site for more.

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