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One of the most critical things to understand about web design is that you're ultimately talking about more than just the way your website looks and feels.

Really, what you're trying to create is a legitimate experience in every sense of the term - and one that your customers won't be able to find anywhere else.

Whether yours is a site that exists simply to educate people about your business, or you offer a full-fledged e-commerce platform, the experience you offer to users needs to be exceptional - end of story. Getting to that point isn't necessarily difficult, but it does require you to potentially re-think the way you're approaching web design in the first place.

The Intersection Between Web Design and a Superior User Experience

If you had to make a list of some of the most important ideas that contribute to creating an incredible experience for your website visitors, simplicity would undoubtedly be right at the top.

The more information that you cram onto your business' website, the harder it is to understand. The harder it is to understand, the more difficult it is to navigate. Soon, people will grow frustrated and if you give them an excuse to hit that "Back" button on their browser, rest assured they're probably going to take it.

Resist the urge to include too much information on your home page in particular. Likewise, there needs to be some type of visual hierarchy that allows visitors to naturally draw their attention towards the most important parts of your site soon after they arrive.

Really, what you're trying to do is use the design and layout of your website to naturally guide your visitors on the experience you want them to have. You do this by being precise in terms of not just the position of content, but also the color and size of certain segments. Many websites these days include their calls-to-action right at the top, immediately visible right after the page loads. This would be a good idea if you wanted to call someone's attention to a new product launch, for example, or to some type of free trial that you're offering.

Regardless, keep the structure of your website's navigation as simple as you can to avoid overwhelming people. Be sure to include some type of "Search" bar at the top of the page so that if someone doesn't instantly find what they're looking for, at the very least they know they can use keywords to get it.

In the end, keep things as simple and as straightforward as possible to avoid making people work too hard to find the information they're after. People are more than willing to browse your site to find out new information - provided they've gotten what they initially came for first. If you make all of your web design choices with these ideas in mind, you'll have created a solid user experience - and one that separates you from your competitors as well.