Design thinking has many facets, but at its heart, it’s centered on making products more human-centric and intuitive. Design thinking can be especially impactful when it comes to building a business website or app. Crafting a website or app that makes it easy for users to find the information they need or complete the actions they want to take (or your business wants them to take) is key to boosting sales and customer engagement.
A careful blend of features uniquely tailored to serve your target audience can make your website or app one of your most efficient and effective sales tools. Here, 15 members of Forbes Technology Council share design elements that companies ranging from product and service firms to e-commerce businesses can include on their websites or in their apps to increase engagement and boost sales.
1. Product Videos
What we have found very useful is to include short (30- to 60-second) videos describing specific product capabilities. These are useful both for users who want to quickly understand what the product features look like and for us when analyzing the telemetrics. – Ben Herzberg, Satori
2. Interactive Elements
Design thinking and user experience go hand in hand, and a good user experience enhances the customer experience. And a user experience is complete only when one can interact. Adding interactive design elements to a website could lead to a better user and customer experience, thereby leading to increased sales and engagement. – Arungalai Anbarasu, Waygate Technologies – a Baker Hughes Business
3. A Clear, Consistent Call To Action
As elementary as it may sound, a consistent, obvious call to action is essential. Consistency is key in the user experience. The smallest user hesitancy can begin to chip away at conversions. Your website may involve different funnels and target varying audiences, but when it comes time to take action, the next step should be evident almost without thought. Great design will set the stage for this stylistically. – Denver Hunter , PenServ Plan Services, Inc.
4. A ‘Let’s Talk Now’ Button
What’s better than a “Contact Us” button? A “Let’s Talk Now” button. When a user goes through the trouble of submitting a contact form, at that exact moment they have top-of-mind awareness of your business and are much more likely to buy from you. Instead of having a sales rep call them later, implement a feature that calls them right away and connects them with someone who can help. – Adi Ekshtain, Amaryllis Payment Solutions
5. Valuable Content
We believe it is important to provide value to the people who come to our website. Whether it is a white paper, a market report or an easy-read blog post, gating appropriate content for leads is a great way to start sales conversations and increase engagement. – Matt Pierce, Immediate
6. Faster Service For Past Visitors
Usability is huge—and it’s not just pretty screens and text bubbles. Make your app or site easy to figure out, and do as much for me as possible. The first time I access an app, I expect to need to complete a few extra steps, but if I need to return, there are things you should know about me and steps I shouldn’t have to do. – Laureen Knudsen, Broadcom
7. A Customer-Focused Story
Adding a single design element won’t make a difference. Conversion is about your approach in general. Instead of bragging about you, tell a story about your customers. Illustrate how your product can solve their problem. Use words and images that show how much better your visitors’ lives will be after using your product. I believe in the power of messaging-first design. – Konstantin Klyagin, Redwerk
8. Cross-Device Responsiveness
Build a responsive website that works on any device with ease. There are tons of responsive website design trends that businesses can choose from these days. One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to work on a responsive website design that’s truly innovative. People expect more from their technology these days, and they want to be kept up to date with the latest trends. – John Giordani, NCheng LLP
9. Tool Tips And User Guide Buttons
Website design has improved in the areas of tool tips and user guide bubbles. Nowadays, many websites include a preview of new features, with bubbles and tool tips to guide the user. This helps improve sales conversions and engage customers in looking at new products and services. Tool tips and help options guide the user through a fruitful user journey. – Bhagvan Kommadi, Quantica Computacao
10. A Chatbot
Add a chatbot. Whether it is my personal favorite (Intercom.com) or any other, a chatbot will allow for real people to be present on your site at all times. Having a chatbot will also allow for higher conversions because staff are present at the point of checkout in case the customer has any last-minute questions. – David Astoria, Pranos
11. Reputable Social Proof
Reputable social proof can be an external reviews widget such as Trustpilot or Yotpo, or it can be a case study, a link to a press release or a banner that says, “As seen on Forbes and NBC” (or other reputable sources). Basically, it’s anything that validates the business or product and can build trust in visitors’ eyes. – Arturs Kruze, Magebit
12. Calendar-Based Booking
I have always found that calendar-based booking tools are a very useful method to reduce friction in a sales funnel. People are inundated with messages and communications from different channels. Removing even one interaction point is supremely helpful in getting to the sale/conversion. – David Glazer, Kroll
13. Multiple, Convenient Payment Options
For websites that sell directly to consumers, reducing the friction of the purchase will definitely widen the funnel. Many browsers allow users to store credit card info; make sure your forms are tagged appropriately to support this. Also, use Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal and other well-known payment apps, and reduce friction by letting people pay securely and use previously stored payment and shipping info. – Luke Wallace, Bottle Rocket
Speed is often overlooked, but the speed and performance of your website have a huge impact on bounce rates. If your site takes more than three seconds to load on mobile devices, you’re failing—as will every other conversion you are pursuing. – Henri Isenberg, ReviewInc
KISS: Keep it simple, stupid. Results-oriented design happens not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to remove. Adopting the principle that “less is more” is key to conversions, as a user is not bogged down by complexity or analysis paralysis. They can make decisions and see value immediately. – Iman Bashir, Craftly.AI
Originally published on Forbes.com.