Essential Principles for Ecommerce Web UI Design

Photo of Said Isaev

Said Isaev

Updated May 28, 2024 • 15 min read

By ensuring the various elements of an interface interact harmoniously with each other and adhere to best practices, UI web design principles can help maximize conversion rates and increase website or app revenue.

In 2022, the global ecommerce market reached an impressive 5.7 billion U.S dollars in sales. Ecommerce web design is critical in directing customers to important elements and motivating them to take specific actions. Creating a superior online user experience can open up new opportunities for increasing sales – and set your business apart from competitors vying for their share of this booming industry.

This article will cover the fundamental principles for ecommerce web UI design converting online store and provide insights and rationale to the necessary requirements before beginning your design process.

Planning - an essential step in the creation of online store design

Project planning is a fundamental step in creating an online store design and neglecting this aspect may require numerous corrections and redo's, compromising the final result.

Planning image

Source: Unsplash

Designing takes significantly more time than prototyping. Jumping right into the design of an online store will certainly result in feedback and requests for changes, which can be both time-consuming and difficult to implement.

Make sure to do a preliminary round of user research and run field surveys to improve design features and your sales funnel. From a business perspective, it’s cost efficient to pre-plan and improve your web design by focusing on the key elements that attract your target user.

A well-thought-out user interface improves the aesthetic appeal of the web product and clarifies the product’s structure and functional elements, saving time and enhancing the overall project quality.

A thorough preliminary design, on the other hand, can simplify the entire process by reducing the need for subsequent modifications and revisions.

Following the Rule of Third to improve the user interface

The Rule of Thirds is a compositional principle that has applications in film, photography, painting, and design. The core of this rule is to divide any web page into three equal horizontal and vertical sections. This segmenting will result in intersection points that are naturally appealing to users.

Rule of Third image

Source: Bootcamp

The Rule of Third ensures overall balance and unity of images that divide the design into segments and directs a user’s eyes to a particular section of the screen. It’s one of the many key visual elements that defines great design.

The Rule of Thirds can be used in building your ecommerce website to align text, images, call-to-action buttons, and other elements in a visually appealing way that draws the user's attention to the most important parts of the page.

It can also assist in creating a sense of hierarchy by directing the user's attention to the most important content first and then leading them to secondary information.

Designers should remember that it is just a guideline and can't apply to all scenarios.

Building converting product pages with a strategic use of visual elements

Successful sales are reliant on product pages that stimulate customer trust. You can effectively communicate the value of your product and build a rapport with your target audience by utilizing various strategies such as

  • Clear product descriptions
  • High-quality images
  • Customer reviews

Implementing the following advice could drastically improve your customer relationships and how potential buyers may view your brand.

Zalando glasses page image

Source: Zalando


Although obvious to most, it's surprising how many ecommerce designers overlook the essentials. My advice is to choose a calming color palette that elicits positive emotions and builds trust when designing the product page.

While vibrant, eye-catching colors are great for artwork and showpieces, these palettes should be avoided because they can be distracting for a potential client. Ensure that the product photos highlight its main features, complementing the overall aesthetic of the page.


Because customers can't physically touch or inspect the product, it's important to post photos that present it in a way that elicits confidence in their choice. This can be achieved by showcasing the product in detail, providing multiple angles and as much information as possible.

Providing essential information can help consumers overcome any psychological barriers and make a confident purchase decision, especially when purchasing from an ecommerce website.

Using high-quality images to effectively present your product on your website is critical. Multiple images from various angles should be displayed to give the customer a comprehensive view of the product. Using original photos instead of stock images builds trust and authenticity in your brand.

A video or 3D version of the product to the visual experience can also help potential customers appreciate and understand the product’s features better.


When defining your customer journey, always consider the classic web shopping behavior patterns to create a user-friendly and effective product page on your ecommerce site. You can improve conversion by including key information about the product, such as its basic parameters, price, and social media icons, in the product description block.

Furthermore, by strategically placing important elements on the page, such as the store name in the left corner, the product name at the top, and the shopping cart in the right corner, you can better align with typical user behavior patterns and make it easier for customers to navigate the site and make a purchase.

Unique design is great - but familiarity breeds confidence.

Pro tip: Highlight the price

You might also want to highlight the price of the product in the product page, especially during sale periods with slashed prices. Consider using a larger font size or bold text to make it stand out.

To attract the customer's attention, display the original and discounted prices, if applicable, in a clear and contrasting manner. This can contribute to a successful purchase decision by increasing the customer’s perception of value.

Pro tip: Introduce product recommendations

Integrating a product recommendation section below the product description can improve the user experience and boost the chances of a similar product of interest being found. This works exceptionally for items that usually come in bundles and sets.

For an even more seamless shopping experience, consider using personalized recommendations based on their browsing history. You can also display a 'Frequently Bought Together' section near the product description to improve the shopping experience. A Product Recommendation is a staple in many ecommerce websites because they encourage customers to buy related products, aside from what they came here for.


Finally, let’s discuss the crucial principles of Button design on product pages.

The 'Add to Cart' button should be prominently displayed and easily visible. Consider animating the button after adding the product to the cart to make the process clear, visually appealing, and rewarding - improving the overall user experience. A common action to increase sales is to create a clear and simple call-to-action button. A visually appealing button is important, but equally crucial is the customer journey and what happens after a user presses the button.

Focus on customer convenience by avoiding multi step registration processes, captchas, and lengthy forms. Finally, the language used on the call-to-action button should be convincing rather than intimidating. A simple “Buy” or “Add to Cart” are well-known options because they inform the customer what the button does once it’s pressed.

Sign up buttons are another popular action that UI/UX designers could implement.

Customer emails are a valuable resource that could be received in exchange for benefits such as free courses, lessons, e-books, or personalized product recommendations. Experienced marketers would then use these emails to entice customers to make a purchase through discounts, promo codes, and bundles.

Making buying easier with online shopping cart designs

Creating an efficient shopping cart requires careful attention to key interactive elements for simplicity and convenience.

Icon location, color and size

The shopping cart can be hidden in the header, as long as it is easily noticeable. Users instinctively focus on prominent elements on the page, thus shopping cart icons have to be visible while contrasting to other elements on the page.

Consider including a feature that allows users to view their order without having to click on the cart icon. This allows them to quickly determine whether they have added the desired product without switching back and forth.

Zalado blouse page image

Source: Zalando

Checkout and purchase

Like the other elements of ecommerce design, purchasing should be simple, efficient, and equipped with features like automatic data filling and convenient payment methods like credit/debit cards or cash. A streamlined purchasing experience can help to foster customer loyalty.

Make your product search as relevant as possible

Whether customers can quickly and effortlessly find the information they need on an ecommerce site or app depends on how comfortable they are with the search bar. Product search can be broken down to two elements: the search field and the results page.

When thinking about where to place your search field, remember what we had discussed earlier about patterns and consumer familiarity. You may want to check the top performing sites in your niche and see where they’ve placed and how they’ve designed their search bar function. It is also important to polish how the search results look while and after the search begins.

Check if the search engine is properly configured to provide the user with timely and relevant results. This includes the program’s ability to correctly interpret the user's query, even if it contains spelling mistakes.

Once the search query has been entered, the results page should be easy to navigate and well-organized. Lists are good for displaying standard text elements, whereas product images look better when displayed as cards. For better user experience, keep the original search query in the search field, allowing for quicker and easier revisions without having to retype the entire phrase.

Displaying the total number of products in the search results can help customers understand the scope of their search and how much time it will take to review all of the options. This can encourage the use of filters to produce more efficient results.

Medicine page image

Placing order

Order placement is one of the last stages in the customer journey - so make sure to leave a good impression on your client. Ensure that each step is clearly defined, has a consistent structure, and only includes information relevant to the current order.

If you collect data, the input should be as simple as possible, with prompts and automatic completion. Data security and privacy is another concept to ensure as you collect user information. Using data protection software, SSL encryptions, and only keeping necessary customer data are some of the ways to keep user information safe. . To improve the customer journey while they make their purchase, check if the shopping cart is saved when the user leaves and returns to the site, even if they are an unregistered visitor.

Using animations to draw attention

Animations enhance your target audience’s experience by giving the impression that the site is dynamic and responsive to their actions. They incentivize user interaction, provide visual cues on the status of an action, communicate wait times, and organize information.

This visual experience builds an emotional connection between the user and the product. When used effectively, animations can also improve conversions by providing a visually appealing and interactive element that encourages users to return to your site.

UX animations serve several key functions, including:

  • Encouraging user action
  • Offering feedback
  • Guiding navigation
  • Enhancing the loading experience

An animated progress barn draws attention to show the completion status of a signup process, instead of a static text displaying the percentage done.

UI animations, on the other hand, create a visually stunning experience, demonstrate the overall level of sophistication of the resource, and reinforce the company's brand identity.

Because of animation’s growing demand, Material Design and Dribble are highly sought after resources for animations. They not only categorize animations based on their use cases like focus animations, wait animations, state transitions, and others, but they also provide guidance on the fundamental principles of creating effective animations.

Given the importance of every small detail in animation and the constant emergence of new trends, these resources are invaluable in the work of designers.

Add to cart button
Source: Dribble

Improving your ecommerce website with UI design principles

Visuals and aesthetics are mere footnotes in the overall scheme of website design. Every detail and feature should have a purpose and goal. Streamlining the customer journey from awareness to sale is key to building a great website. Using animations, optimizing your search results, and creating clear, definite buttons are some core practices that every good ecommerce web designer should know.

Building a successful brand online means you need to have intention behind every action. Building a website that converts your target audience regularly means you need proven design principles to live by.

Photo of Said Isaev

More posts by this author

Said Isaev

Product Designer at Netguru
Build competitive advantage  Leverage exceptional product design services Check how

We're Netguru!

At Netguru we specialize in designing, building, shipping and scaling beautiful, usable products with blazing-fast efficiency

Let's talk business!

Trusted by: