7 Must-Know Principles of Web Design

There are more than 1 billion websites on the internet. Yeah, I know that’s scary for someone who’s now thinking of getting a website. Or for you thinking how much traffic you can drive to your website. Thing is, there are lots of websites online, but yours can stand out & grab your loyal customers. It all depends on some key factors, ultimately, a focus on your customer.  Today, we’re exposing you to the things that can make your website stand out in the more than a billion websites worldwide. Whether you’re a techie (designer, developer, curious) or a business owner, you’ll get some tips to ensure your website becomes a useful asset.  Let’s dig in: 

Craftsmanship not Mediocrity

Today’s website scene has robots & programs that can create almost everything for you including websites. But you see, what grabs people’s attention online isn’t normal stuff. What grabs attention is usually designs that put in thought and effort to produce websites that are interesting & captivating. Craftsmanship takes time, effort, practice, and repetition. Unfortunately for most businesses, the time & effort are viewed as too expensive and thus end up producing mediocre websites with terrible user experience. If you want your website to stand out amongst the billions online, you can’t push craftsmanship to the side. Excellently crafted websites can greatly improve your traffic, get the search engine bots to trust your domain & eventually rake in some revenue from intrigued customers. 

Navigation 

Imagine this: you are on a website for some critical information before making a purchase. You expect to see it on the menu, but get disappointed. You click a link on the homepage hoping to get the information only for it to open up a subscribe button. 

Out of these two choices which one will you take: A. scream and close the website; B. patiently try to find the information to make the purchase?

Navigation seems like minutia, but it plays a huge role in improving your user’s experience. The mantra for the majority of internet users is this: ‘don’t make me think’! 

The more difficult your website is to navigate, the fewer time visitors spend on it & the more your website traffic decreases. Make your mark on a billion websites, give your website visitors a beautiful experience by improving your navigation.

Hierarchy

Most people will leave a website in the first 15 seconds if they don’t understand what’s happening (Flux, 2020). Hierarchy is determining where you want the visitor’s focus on each page. This can be a call to action button like “book a UX designer now” or your brand’s mission statement highlighted above the values/services. 

In a hierarchy, you must prioritize the key message you want your customer to observe. If you highlight every detail, the visitor will end up seeing nothing because everything on the page is screaming for attention. 

For your website to stand out, you should successfully navigate your user’s attention towards the most important thing on each page. A fun design exercise is to be on the lookout when you visit other sites and point out their deficiencies. You can use that information to boost your understanding of design & thus direct your designers towards better design. Or if you’re a designer, design better websites. 

Color

Color helps you connect with your audience persona. Color communicates emotions as well as your brand’s identity. Color has functional properties too.. Mostly, if you see blue-colored text on a website, you know it’s clickable. If the same clickable text was black, you’ll most likely miss whatever link the website designers may have wanted you to click.  As attention-grabbing s you want your website to be, splashing colors all over the website isn’t the answer. 

You need to carefully pick a color scheme that helps you communicate without blinding your website visitors with colors. Here’s a run-down of how to pick a color scheme for your website: How to choose the right colors for your web design

Whatever you do, make sure your website doesn’t become a crayon pack with colors. Let your maturity as a brand or business show in how you use colors across your website.

Typography

This is the style and appearance of text on your website. Usually, your typography will proceed from your brand identity. However, if that’s not the case, make a conscious effort to stay consistent. Don’t mix Helvetica with Times New Roman, with a little Arial, thrown in there. As you can see, the mix hurts your eyes. 

Beyond the consistent font type is the sizing & styling. Choose the right size & only use bold, italic & underlined styles if it’s absolutely necessary.   Christine Austin, who has over 7 years of website development experience points out that 16px is the ideal font size for websites. 

There is entire psychology when it comes to fonts; they play a big part in the perception of information by the reader. This experiment found there was a 6.9-minute difference in the amount of time it took two groups to conceptualize the same message in different fonts.

Space

“Who needs space? Let’s get all the information out on the first page just so if they leave, we know at least they’ve seen everything.” Sounds like a statement you’ll make to your web designer? Don’t feel bad. But it’s really a terrible idea & advice. 

CanyoureadthiswithoutthinkinghowcrazyIamandwhatpointI’mtryingtoprove?

If you enjoyed reading the sentence above, then you can go ahead to design your websites without space. Space allows for clarity on your pages. It gives room for the visitor to walk through the website at their own pace. 

They don’t feel lost & wondering what exactly they’re supposed to be reading. If you want your website to stand out and grab user’s attention followed by their purchase and potential loyalty, structure your website with adequate space. 

Allow the design elements to breathe. Don’t squash a picture and a checklist into the same frame. Use one idea per section and create coherence throughout the page flow by utilizing space amongst elements & some white space overall on the page. would have gotten something from them at least,” said Mr. Not A Designer. 

If you want your website to join the ‘easy to ignore’ websites out there, continue using the website design & development principles you’re used to. However, if you want interested customers to camp, check your business out, share the ‘coolness’ with friends & come back to enquire about or purchase your services/products, realign your mindset on design for your website. 

You could make waves through advertisements or influencer marketing strategies. But, if the crowd you drive to your home (website) gets disappointed, you’ve wasted your investment! Beautiful, creative, and user-beloved thinking & creation isn’t just for ads, but also for your website.  

Your website is what sells you 24/7 after the ads are no longer trending. Will you invest in making a website that stands out? Start by incorporating these principles.

PS: if we’ve helped you value design & you want us to ‘put our money where our mouth is’, reach out to us today. 

Else, follow us across our socials command-space to stay updated with our content.

 

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