All businesses need a good web design to stand out in the marketplace. The website should not only look good but should also be user-friendly. The ultimate success of a design lies in its utility and usability and not its appeal. However, it is the face of your brand, and many potential customers will visit your website before they make a real visit to your store. Thus, it is very important to design your website very cautiously so that you can include all the vital components.
A good design which is complete in all the respects actually involves taking inputs from many professionals who have expertise in different fields at every step. Here is a comprehensive list of the basic principles of design which will help to make your website both engaging and effective.
This is the foremost step in web-designing. Every good web design serves the needs of the users. Once you have decided what is the primary interest of your users and potential users, you need to earmark what is it that your customers are looking for in terms of information, entertainment, transaction or any type of interaction. Each of your pages needs a clear reason and should be able to fulfill a primary need of the users of your website in a highly efficient manner.
It is a commonly observed fact that the people who are on the web want to have quick access to information so they can make effective communications. The information which you thus put on your website should be both easy to read and digest. The most effective techniques which you may use in your web design include the organization of all the information in terms of headlines and also sub headlines while making use of bullet points and not including any lengthy and wordy paragraphs.
It is very important to keep your entire web-design streamlined to a maximum of 3 typefaces and a maximum of 3 point sizes. It is generally seen that the ideal font size is 16px. It is the latter size which is most easily read online. In the fonts, it is seen that the most preferred font is Sans Serif fonts like the Arial and Verdana. All the Sans Serif Fonts are contemporary, and they do not have any decorative finish.
Colours have a huge impact on user experience. Use of contemporary colors brings in more balance and harmony to the whole scene. Also, the use of contrasts for the text and background makes reading easy for the eye. Vibrant colors lead to more emotion and are rarely used. Also, the use of white space in the design gives a modern and uncluttered look.
Any website involves a lot of creativity which emanates from interest and talent. Professionals who master the design know how to creatively use the white space. Whitespace or the negative space is that part of the design which is empty. This is found between graphic elements, text and other graphics. Thus, it forms that part of the design which will ultimately make it more readable and attractive.
Any innovative use of these elements will thus involve the creation of less distracting and appealing designs which are soothing to the user. E.g., companies like Apple and Google, have simple yet very effective logos which are surrounded by a lot of white space. The web is loaded with many cheap and low-edge products which have noisy and ad-oriented designs giving a highly irritable experience to the visitors. Thus, the golden rule of less is more is highly applicable to the web-designs. Thus, you should not load your page with more elements and thus avoid over-designing the same as the latter often mars the user experience completely.
The functionality of a design cannot be compromised to good web design. For the creation of a website which is clear and leads to engaging users, the designers have to keep in mind both design and technical issues. All the links must function well and fast. All the buttons and even the call to actions should be correctly positioned. There should be very little effort for the user to move in either direction.
Your website is a direct reflection of the personality of your business. The personality is also communicated via many other services in which your business is engaged in addition to your history. Thus, communication of the unique qualities of your business via all the design patterns is a unique way to tell the visitors what they can expect from you. Every piece of the design must easily fit into that flow and lead to the cohesive appearance which supports the appeal of your brand.
It stands about how easy it is for people to move about on the website and take various actions. Some of the most notable actions usually include a logical page hierarchy, having clickable buttons. Some designers even make use of the three click rule which states that the users will be able to get the information which they want in three clicks only.
Any haphazard placement of content or visuals on your website will only make it messier and kill the user experience. Thus, designers often make use of grid-based layouts, i.e. they arrange the content in sections, columns or even boxes which are well-lined and thus give a balanced appeal to the eye. This, in turn, leads to well-structured web design.
Many studies which deal in eye-tracking have found that people often read computer screens in an F-like pattern. It is thus, generally seen that the what is most often seen is the top bar and the left side of the screen while the right side is often ignored. Thus, to not restrict the visual flow of the user and not force anything, most effectively designed websites work with the natural behavior of the reader and display the information from left to right or from top to bottom. This keeps the F-patter intact and helps enhance the user experience.
It has been found out that a majority of web users access the web on their mobile phones and with multiple screens. It is thus important to consider while designing how your website looks and feels on a mobile platform. Even many Google algorithms are now designed in a way that they weigh the mobile-friendliness of your website. Thus, it is an important feature, and if it is absent or not responsive, it is a good idea to rebuild it and verify that your website can adjust to different screen widths. Another way is to build a completely dedicated mobile optimized website which specifically caters to the mobile user base.
A good web-design will thus need to be highly effective in terms of both functionality and appeal. It has to have all the elements properly placed which truly reflect the personality of your business and its values. Furthermore, the idea is to make clever use of whitespace and keep the design clean and not clutter it with more elements. Users should be able to reach any information they are looking for with ease and minimal effort in a smooth transition of clicks. There should be no shocking color play, fonts or layouts. In fact, it is ideal for keeping in mind the F-rule which is soothing to the eye. Lastly, one has to be careful to keep in mind the mobile-responsiveness of your site. The design should be able to adjust itself to different screen sizes. The future of the web lies on the mobiles so one cannot afford to march ahead without taking this into account.