The Perks of Using the Z-pattern in Web Design

Z-pattern Web Design

Do you own a company? If the answer is yes, then you need a substantial online following. The reason is, it will help you build up your brand image and ultimately boost conversion rates. Today, there are multiple channels that one can use for increasing audience size, including social networks, digital advertising, and digital marketing campaigns. And although each one of them is quite useful, there’s nothing to gain from them, if you don’t have a properly designed website. The design on your site is the digital face of your business and its anchor on the web.

Building a successful website is not that simple. It means that you will surely require the help of a reputed web design team. This type of organization has to be experienced, qualified, and of course, creative. And unless your company designs websites for a living, hiring a web design agency is an absolute necessity. By hiring a professional and reputed agency in San Francisco, you are going to assure the creation of a premium website for your company that will become your marketing and sales agent 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is essential to take into account design factors with websites – and luckily, these are thoroughly considered by reliable web design agencies. However, it’s also crucial that you, as a business owner, understand them as well. We’ve outlined several of the most critical design factors and have described each of them below.

As for the Z-pattern – it is a great way to start just about any web design project because it addresses the core requirements for an active site: branding, hierarchy, structure, and call to action. While the classic “Z-pattern” isn’t going to be the perfect layout solution for every website out there, it’s undoubtedly sufficient enough to guarantee inclusion in any web designer’s arsenal of layout ideas.

Getting a better understanding of how different layouts and patterns may change user behavior is one of the central principles of creating a great user experience.

Meet the Z-Pattern

The premise of the Z-pattern is pretty simple: super-impose the letter Z on the page. Place the items that you want the reader to see first along the top of the Z. The eye will naturally follow the path of the Z through four points. The goal is to place your call-to-action (CTA) on the last point. All along the way, you can include bits of information that build-up to the CTA.

Sounds simple, right? There’s undoubtedly nothing complicated about this pattern – it quickly and efficiently moves the eye from Point 1 to Point 4 in a logical order and concludes with a compelling CTA. There are still a few things that you could do to boost this effectiveness of the layout a little bit. Here are a few things you may think about adding to the design:

  • Background separation to focus eye movement inside the framework of the design
  • A stylized logo that grabs the visitor’s attention at Point 1
  • A colorful “Sign Up” or “Register” button at Point 2 – this will reinforce the eye movement that is needed
  • A featured image slider in the center of the page to separate the top section of the web page from the bottom and therefore encourage downward eye movement
  • Icons at Point 3 and along the bottom axis will facilitate “title scanning” as the eye moves to the CTA
  • A big CTA at Point 4 that will become more prominent due to separation in the new background.

All of that sounds and seems as simple as one could imagine. But simplicity is not necessarily a bad thing – when it comes to web design, simple can be awesome. The layering can be complicated if you want, but don’t ever neglect the power of a simple, practical layout. It is an option you should discuss with your web design agency.

Why Does the Z-pattern Work?

The Z-pattern surely doesn’t need to be the final solution for all websites. Still, it’s often a high starting point for any web design project because it deals with four essential principles of efficient design: branding, hierarchy, calls-to-action, and structure.

This pattern works because the majority of Western readers will scan a website in the same way they would scan a book: top to bottom and left to right. With this simple foundation, you can go almost anywhere: add multiple CTAs, reduce the height of the Z-pattern, expand it, do whatever you want that makes the website make sense. 

One thing about the Z-pattern that is important to note is that this type of layout is capable of adapting to many different settings. The CTA may not be the same at all times. Some websites may be more interested in driving users to their portfolio than they are in getting them to “Sign Up” for a newsletter. The content along the Z-path can vary drastically in its appearance. You should also note that when visitors move their eye along the Z-Path, the chances that they will end up doing what you want them to do drastically increases.

Shortcomings Worth Considering

It’s crucial to note that the Z-pattern isn’t the only layout that’s out there. There are about as many layouts as there are letters in the alphabet. The Z-pattern is one of the most often used arrangements because it’s straightforward to use as a basis. That being said, you’ll always want to trust your instincts when it’s time to make a final layout decision.

There have been several new studies conducted on eye-tracking that suggest trying to predict the eye-movements of a website visitor is about as chaotic as sending 1,000 kids into a candy store. Several studies have also shown that the F-shaped pattern is more effective at controlling a viewer’s eye movement during their time on a page. The ugly truth is that no matter what particular layout design you decide to use on your site, visitors are more likely at first to notice the most significant, brightest elements that are most highly contrasted on the web page. You should remember this. If your goal is to lead visitors through the Z-pattern, don’t allow them to get distracted along the way.

Closing Thoughts

Websites have become an absolute necessity for modern businesses. Every single company wants to be both successful and unique. Websites are one of the most effective ways to stand out among competitors. By closely collaborating with your web design agency, you will be able to come up with some unusual visual and informational solutions that can put your business on the map and help you develop a substantial online following. The Z-pattern can help boost your website performance and increase customer conversion rates. It’s all depends on proper use and the adequate placement of relevant content and elements. This is the type of thing you will have to trust your web design agency to take care of.

It’s best to hire a web design agency that saw the construction of the Tower of Babel and the rise of the Great Wall and is now heading to Alpha Centauri. In other words, the best design company would be the one that has worked in multiple niches and industries and has created some genuinely useful, creative, and visually stunning websites. You want people to perceive your business as a unique source for their particular needs, so having a high-quality website that conveys your message clearly and provides all the necessary information to people is the only right way to go.

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