You notice your traffic dropping and your clicks are back to zero. Zip. Nada.

WTF is happening. You just finished your last round of optimizations, but you realize it is apparently no good.

You’ve spent hours researching keywords and the perfect adcopy. But it’s not working.

You finally decide to have a friend look over your website and landers to get a second opinion about your “masterpiece” design.

Mercilessly, your friend’s reply is “This site looks like shit man.” Say whaaat.

You’ve spent so much time optimizing your top of the funnel, that you forgot about your website entirely!

Luckily for you, you can take harsh criticism, so you’re ready to make changes.

But what do you change? Is it the fonts? Is it the color scheme? Is it the images?

Below are some design ideas that will keep your visitors from pushing the “back” button.

1. Brutalism

Literally, “raw, concrete”, brutalism refers to essential design. By keeping it high-impact and essential, your website will download and render quickly.

Forget the fancy and the pretty. It tends to distract users from their task, which is one thing and one thing only: clicking on your CTA.

By embracing its nature and materials, a “brutalist” web page is fast. It allows the system of network, browser, content, and operating system to work together smoothly and efficiently, as they were designed to.

Even with decoration, advertising, and imagery, a website embracing a brutalist approach will fix in your visitor’s time, bandwidth, and battery life.

2. Overlapping Design Elements

As stated above, the goal of the website is to lead the user to click. This is also done using overlapping design elements.

This means using a cascading effect to move the eye to a link in the right-hand corner.

It is done also by creating an arbitrary design element that works like an arrow to draw the user’s eyes upward toward a menu option.

When done effectively, this can increase engagement and help your site stand out in the crowd.

3. Hollow Fonts!

Yes, hollow. No more bulky, blocky sans serifs.  Basically, go for lighter, hollow fonts if possible.

This will give a both trustworthy and innovative feel to your website.

Bigger, bolder fonts tend to telegraph a “try-hard” approach to the user, like you’re overcompensating for your small delivery.

4. Accessibility

Remember back in the day when we didn’t have accessible ramps and toilets for the disabled? Then the world woke up, and we realized we should cater to that group as well. Online advertising is finally buying into that trend too.

What if some visitors have one or more senses impaired? The solution is deliver your message in as many ways as possible.

For example, include audio files for the visually impaired.

Use colors less liberally so the color-blind can get a feel too.

5. Make Animation Mobile-First

Desktop sites get all the fun. They have carousels and animation transitions. But when you go to the mobile site, it’s boring and scaled down for “ease of use.”

But why can’t we use animations on mobile versions of our sites? Our phones are now more powerful than the laptops we were using ten years ago. And we used animations on websites back then!

Timed animations are a new thing in mobile web design. While these little tidbits can be annoying if done wrong (and they’re done wrong more often than not!) they can increase engagement. Use an animation to draw the user’s eyes to a desired section of the website. You want them to click on something farther down, create a timed animation to bring them to that spot. Maybe a flitting bird they need to follow or pulsing arrows at the periphery of the page.

6. Much Larger Navigation

We’re seeing sites experiment with where navigation should start. For years we’ve put the menu at the top of the page. Then we made a little menu button to hide the menu.

Minimalism was all the rage.

Now we’re looking at largism. Everything big and overbearing. Experiment with placing each menu item on the page as a massive button somewhere. See if you can get people to click on things faster by shoving them in their faces.

Since this is an entirely experimental design in 2019 and beyond, there isn’t much data on the subject. But try it if you dare and see if you can garner a few more clicks with largism.

7. Using White Space

If you’re going to go large, you’re going to need space. For a while, it seemed like we were going back to a 90s stuffy internet. Literally stuffing design elements onto the page until it was overwhelming.

Now, we’re seeing the opposite. Sites that leave only one or two design elements on the page and hope you’ll click through to more pages.

It’s all about creating a focal point. You want to draw the user in and make them want more. It shouldn’t feel empty but inviting. Give them something they will gravitate toward and lead them on a journey through your website.