5 Essential Web Design Elements to Make Your Site Appear Relevant!

Posted On January 6, 2020

5 Essential Web Design Elements to Make Your Site Appear Relevant!


How to Appear Fresh and Relevant


A while ago, I outlined how even small businesses can create an effective website. Today I want to follow up on that and describe 5 essential web design elements you really should include on your small business website.


Mobile-first web design is a moving target. Web designers and marketers always strive to find better ways to display information and attract the attention of website visitors. In recent years the following essential web design elements have proven their value and longevity. Each one does its part to serve the current understanding of the best ways to give website viewers the best possible experience.


Espresso Digital Blog - 5 Essential Web Design Elements


5 Essential Web Design Elements


1. Minimalistic Design


The first of these essential web design elements is one of my favorites, minimalistic design. Mobile consumers are both sophisticated and impatient. They want to know if what they are looking for is on a site as fast as possible, or they’ll look elsewhere. Minimalistic design is a user-centric design philosophy that emphasizes giving the user only what they need on any given screen, without much clutter.


Moreover, the e-commerce market demands effective use of white space, easily readable typography, selective use of design elements, and a preference for videos, web graphics, and animations instead of walls of text. If you’re starting your brand or website from scratch, a minimalistic logo will set the tone for your website. Here are some other brand design considerations to help you along.


2. Plenty of White Space


Effective use of white (or empty) space is another of our essential modern website design elements. White space is a crucial tool in web design. You can use it to control the flow of information to the viewer; by directing attention, making on-page elements stand out, and keeping text readable.


Keeping the spaces on your website open and free of clutter also contributes to smooth, clean user experience. And the user experience is essential for your mobile consumers!


3. Big, Responsive Hero Images


Responsive hero images are another essential web design element. Using large, high-resolution photos to help tell the story of your brand is very useful. Place hero images in the background with a small amount of text or other content overlaid on top. The right image will catch the user’s attention and draw them into your website.


It’s essential to make sure the images are responsive, meaning they will change size depending on the user’s viewing device. Responsive images help give mobile visitors the same experience no matter how they’re accessing your site. In 2020 the majority of viewers will access your business website from a mobile device. Providing them with the best possible experience must be a priority.


4. Call to Action (CTA)


Another of our essential web design elements, unfortunately, is frequently missing on business websites! Every page of a website has a purpose, and in most cases, that purpose is to get visitors to perform some action. Your objective can include making a purchase, signing up for a subscription, or just continuing to explore the site. But to make the desired intent as clear as possible, calls to action need to be evident and convincing.


Please make use of other design elements, like white space, color, and contrast, along with the content of the page to direct users toward the desired action, and then explicitly encourage them to take it. Keep your CTA short and to the point. Including a sense of urgency as in “Buy Now!” can be very powerful as well.


5. Informational Footer


Many web designers often overlook the last of our essential web design elements. Your website or page footer is an excellent place of real estate to include valuable information. So why limit it to your copyright notice?


The footer is the perfect place to provide additional information about your site without breaking the flow of the rest of the page. You can include things like company or contact information, a small site map, links, or other context-based information. This content will be useful to your audience. It’s essential to keep the footer clean and straightforward. A design that meshes with the rest of the site and focuses on ease of use is best.


Espresso Digital Blog - A Few More Thoughts on Essential Web Design Elements


A Few More Thoughts


Mobile-first web design and development is a continually evolving field. The term “modern” in the realm of website design is always in flux. This constant evolution does not make it any easier on business owners, I know. To help guide you, here is a handy checklist for small business website essentials. Keep those in mind as you develop your ideal business website.


Making effective use of these essential web design elements will help keep your website contemporary, stylish, and focused on serving its purpose and audience. Keep in mind that ultimately you are not building a website for yourself! You are creating it for your potential clients and consumers. Therefore, it is essential to develop an online presence that visitors will trust.


Some Tips and Resources for Improving Your Business Website


If you need to get your business noticed online, you may find these posts from our blog helpful as well:



Espresso Digital Blog - CTA Background Image


Need Help Implementing These Essential Web Design Elements?


Here at PixoLabo, we offer a full range of mobile-first business website consulting and design services, including mobile-first website design and development, e-commerce solutions, search engine optimization, brand strategy, and design, and business website hosting and maintenance.


Feel free to reach out to us and learn more about our mobile-first business website design services. Our team can help you determine what type of website and content you need, and include all of our essential website design elements. Our experienced global team is here to help!


Did You Include These Essential Web Design Elements on Your Site?


Do you have anything to add to our essential website design elements? Maybe you know of a design element that worked well for you? Please leave your comments below so our audience can benefit as well. Grab our feed, so you don’t miss our next post! And help other business owners get the best possible small business website by sharing these essential modern website design elements with them!


Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!


By Gregor Schmidt

Written by Gregor Schmidt

Gregor is Co-Founder of PixoLabo, a multilingual WordPress web design studio based in Japan, and has over 25 years of experience in web, UX and information design. Gregor consults and mentors startups in Asia and the US, and is an adjunct professor of design and user experience, as well as a foreign language editor at the Tohoku University School of Medicine. He lives with his wife, an award-winning Japanese designer, and photographer, in Sendai, Japan. When he is not working he enjoys writing, traveling, gardening, and sampling new street food.

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