Business website designs are missing something.
Some are hard to navigate. They might be missing new products or services. No brochures or white papers are available. Some have parts of the website that looks totally different than the rest of the brand.
These problems are compounded in websites with 100+ web pages. Big websites mean bigger design challenges.
We just wrapped up a web design for a business with 100+ web pages. It was huge – just like the energy services company itself.
But we learned a lot along the way. And that's what we're discussing today - the challenges, how to overcome them, and what many business web designs are missing.
Plus, web design tips straight from the design team who built the site.
Now let’s get into it.
Challenges of Business Website Designs Over 100 Pages
Designing websites with over 100 pages comes with a fair share of design challenges.
We polled the design team to learn the biggest hurdles in this business web design. See their answers, plus our solution for each design challenge.
“You can’t design a 5 page website and scale it up for a 100 page website”
- John | Website Developer & Interactive Director
Many business web designs have big graphics on key pages – banners, key messages and big, beautiful photography. Here’s the catch; you can’t do this for every webpage.
You need to scale it down, make content and styles reusable. All supported with a logical navigation. Here’s how we handled it for Exterran’s corporate web design.
“For me, it came down to the navigation - making sure the user won't get lost. It's only after seeing a site with a bad nav that you see why you need something solid. Something logical.”
- Rodney | Senior Art Director
For this project, the company had many sub-categories within the product line. Designing a logical, seamless navigation was one of the first design hurdles.
Here’s how we approached navigation design with Exterran.
Ultimately, product pages go down to the fifth level. Keeping the side navigation bar clear and consistent helps people find the product they want – without getting lost along the way.
Visual Hierarchy + User Experience
These two things go hand in hand. Here's what Copywriter & Strategic Partner Shawn Collier had to say.
“Sharing similar fonts and styles is more acceptable in a 10-page website. The user still accepts that experience. But it’s a whole other ballgame in websites with hundreds of pages.”
He's right. Web designs for large businesses need an established visual hierarchy to help the user easily navigate the site. Focus on how font families convey structure. Bonus points if you use unique font sizes to distinguish webpage content and controls.
Without it, users will get lost on your website. And they’ll leave, looking for solutions from some other provider. Your website can even be penalized if clickable elements are too close together, or if text is too small or unreadable.
Looking at Exterran, every font has a purpose. Titillium Web is always used for header text. Intro copy color is always blue.
The last word in banner copy always uses a 900-font weight.
And so on.
What 100-Page Business Web Designs are Missing
All this – everything we talked about so far – boils down to user experience. Most web designs for businesses are missing a great user experience. We have a whole post about user experience design if you want to know more. But for now, all you need to know about UX is:
User experience is the overall experience of a person using a website, particularly related to the ease of use and enjoyment.
A good user experience does more than just making your site easy-to-use. It greatly affects your website ranking and how often search engines suggest your content in search engine results pages.
It also affects key website metrics, like time on page, pages per session and bounce rate.
Google analyzes the user experience of your website – plus those key website metrics –and grades you.
You can use website graders to benchmark your own website's performance.
Web Design Tips for Business Website Designs
Enough about us. Let's talk about what you can do to evaluate and improve user experience on your website today. If you're considering a new web design for your business, here are some web design tips to get you started.
Really think about Navigation Design
It can’t be overstated enough. Know how people will use the website, then make it as easy as possible. A great place to start is to look at the website analytics. What are the most popular pages? What pages keep people engaged the longest?
The Faster Site, the Better
Make sure your website loads quickly. 2 seconds or less is the goal.
The thing is, mobile users are focused on their goal. And most aren’t willing to wait to get the answer they’re looking for.
The three website metrics that truly reflect the user experience are First Contentful Paint (FCP), Speed Index, and Time to Interactive (TTI).
Make it Mobile First
Beyond usability, think about website scalability. How does your site look on mobile phones? How does it function? Even B2B websites have to consider this. 52% of web traffic is mobile traffic, after all.
Here are some mobile web design trends:
- Bottom navigation drawer
- Sticky call to actions at the bottom of the page
- Accelerated mobile pages
Focus on User Experience
It’s your audience that’ll be using the website – make it for them.
Ask your customers what they like about your site. What they don't like, even. Perform usability tests, and test again. And always go back to data – see the hard numbers for most popular pages.
Pay close attention to what pages earn leads or conversions – like contact pages or product pages.
By focusing on user experience design, you'll make your website easy to use and hard to leave.
Website Speed Benchmarks:
< 2s First Content Paint (FCP)
< 3 Speed Index (SI)
< 5 Time to Interactive (TTI)
Keep homepage and landing pages fast and simple. Don’t forget to include a call-to-action either. Make sure your value propositions are visible above the fold (as in, instantly viewable without scrolling).
UX Business Web Designs
Those were some of the challenges we faced in web designs for businesses with huge sites.
If you want our focused feedback for your site, schedule a website review with Axiom. It’s complementary and collaborative and we’ll get to share our thoughts on how to make the most out of your website.
If you’re not ready to meet yet, you can keep reading about Houston design agencies and user experience design. Here are some articles we think you’ll like.