PRINCIPLES OF GOOD WEBSITE DESIGN
An effective website design should fulfill its intended function by conveying its particular message while also simultaneously engaging the visitor. The main factors in the design such as consistency, colors, typography, imagery, simplicity, and functionality all contribute to good website design. A well-designed website can help build trust and guide visitors to take action. Creating a great user experience should make sure the website design is optimized for usability (form and aesthetics) and how easy is it to use (functionality).
Below are some guidelines that will help you when considering your next web project.
1. WEBSITE PURPOSE
Your website needs to accommodate the needs of the user. Having a simple clear intention on all pages will help the user interact with what you have to offer. What is the purpose of your website? There are many different purposes that websites may have but there are core purposes common to all websites;
They are describing your expertise, building your reputation, growing your online presence, and follow-up/mailing list/newsletter acquisition.
Keeping your website design simple is the best way to go when considering the user experience and the usability of your website. Below are ways to achieve simplicity through design.
Color has the power to communicate messages and evoke emotional responses. Keep the color selection limited to less than 5 colors. Complementary colors work very well. Pleasing color combinations make the user feel good
Typography has an important role to play on your website. It commands attention and works as the visual interpretation of your websites voice. Typefaces (fonts) should be legible and you should only use a maximum of 3 different fonts on the website.
Imagery is every visual aspect used in communications with the visitor. This includes still photography, illustration, video, and all forms of graphics. Most of the initial information we consume on websites is visual and as a first impression it is important that high quality images are used to give the impression of professionalism and credibility in the visitors mind.
Navigation is the wayfinding system used on websites where visitors interact and find what they are looking for. Website navigation is key to retaining visitors. If the navigation of the website is confusing, visitors will give up and find what they need elsewhere. Keeping navigation simple, intuitive, and consistent on every page is key
4. F-SHAPED PATTERN READING
The F- based pattern is the most common way that visitors scan text on a website. Eye-tracking studies have found that most of what people see is in the top and left area of the screen. The F’ shaped layout mimics our natural pattern of reading from left to right and top to bottom. An effectively designed website will work with a reader’s natural pattern of scanning the page.
5. VISUAL HIERARCHY
Visual hierarchy is the arrangement of elements in the order of their importance. This is done either by size, color, imagery, contrast, typographically, whitespace, touch, consistency and style. One of the most important functions of visual hierarchy is to establish a focal point; this shows visitors where the most important information is on the page.
Effective web design has both great design and great content. Using compelling language makes for great content that can attract and influence visitors. This makes your visitors want to stay longer on your website, and they will return again and again.
7. GRID BASED LAYOUT
Grids help to structure your design and keep your content organized. The grid helps to align elements on the page keeping it clean and simple. The grid based layout arranges content into a clean grid structure with columns and sections that line up and feel balanced imposing order and results in an overall aesthetically pleasing website.
More people are using their phones or other devices (IPADs, Kindles, Tablets) to browse the web. It is important to consider building your website with a responsive layout where your website can adjust to different size screens (smaller or larger).