How to Convert Website Design into User Action


  • Website designers often focus on aesthetics over conversions and user actions. This misses key opportunities to promote business goals through webpage design.
  • Optimizing strategic choices around visual hierarchy, CTAs, layouts, content presentation, and form simplicity provide an effective way to promote conversions.
  • Using analytics to continually test and optimize page elements creates a data-driven approach to unifying user experience with business growth.
  • Adopting these practices directly connects user flows to business goals, leading to an increase in target user actions.
The best measure of effective website design is the ability to motivate user actions like newsletter signups, downloads, purchases, or content shares. Improving these metrics requires connecting design to conversion funnels. Choices around visual hierarchy, calls-to-action (CTAs), layout, content presentation, and optimization directly impact action rates.

Orient Design to Business Goals

Optimal design decisions are context-dependent. For example, a company offering virtual networking software might prioritize free trial signups as its primary conversion goal. In this case, contrasting colors, strategic element positioning, and supporting imagery would draw attention to trial CTAs. Simplifying form fields to the minimum information needed also reduces barriers to completion. In contrast, an advocacy website might aim to maximize social media engagement by giving prominence to share icons and pull quotes. Contrasting backgrounds could highlight selected passages for standalone circulation and metadata could be optimized to reinforce share ability. In both instances, the choice of website architecture should guide visitors along tailored conversion pathways using aligned design principles.

Connect Design to Conversions

Choices like prioritizing visual hierarchy of CTAs, minimizing form field friction, and crafting shareable content can promote conversions. Some strategies include:

Visual Hierarchy

  • Data-informed CTA placement and creative optimization
  • Guiding sightlines through page layout
  • Typographic contrasts to direct attention

How to Convert Website Design into User ActionHow to Convert Website Design into User Action – Simplify Forms or Lead With a Calendar

  • Reducing unnecessary fields
  • Show/Hide option for advanced sections
  • Pre-filled information where possible
  • Inline validation to reduce errors

Shareable Content

  • Pull quotes for social snippets
  • Contrasting backgrounds to spotlight shareable passages
  • Including sharing metadata in page headers

Ongoing Testing and Optimization

  • A/B testing CTA variations
  • Reviewing analytics to identify drop-off points
  • Iterating page layouts and content presentation
  • Personalizing experiences over time
Designing for conversions requires analyzing visitor data, identifying leverage points, formulating hypotheses, prototyping focused changes, and validating through observation. Analytics provide ongoing insight to optimize experiences. While aesthetic cohesion remains important for user perceptions, the best strategies for conversion rate optimization prioritize architectural decisions that directly impact user actions.


Website design must go beyond aesthetics to actively influence user behavior. A conversion-focused approach to web design provides a more productive user experience, which translates into bottom-line growth. Get our full eBook on improving website design here.

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