Insights / Branding
The process of designing a website is quite personal. The building blocks of a great website are by no means an exact science. Nonetheless, there are plenty of useful guidelines and principles that can help and assist you in creating a website that has good usability and aesthetics. But how do you know which design principles make or break a website? Oftentimes, design is about bending the “rules”, Even so, it is crucial to understand the foundation of what makes a website polished and functional. Here are some tips and tricks to help you construct your very own web design.
Use Web Friendly Fonts
How many times have you come across a website that has an unreadable font? It is extremely frustrating for a reader to read an article on a website that is not web-friendly. There is no denying the importance of typography in web design. By using the right fonts, you can instantly capture the attention of your visitors instead of pushing them away with a hideous font. Readability will always be a priority, first and foremost in web design. Keep the appearance of the font simple; something like Times New Romans or Helvetica will get the job done. If your visitors need to squint their eyes to read your content, you probably need to revisit your typeface. It is generally recommended to use fonts that retain their readability and function at all sizes and screens.
Utilise Negative Space
The word negative has always been associated as a cynical term, but what if I tell you that the use of negative space is one of the most common and popular ways to improve the layout of your website! The empty space between the components of your design such as the graphics, texts and icons is called negative space or white space. This design principle is especially significant in web design. The worst thing that can happen is when a user feels overwhelmed on a website that is too complicated and complex. Crowded and cluttered text with no utilisation of negative space can hinder the readability and attention towards crucial information, by using negative space, you can streamline a much better user experience.
Stick to a Consistent Design
Simplicity is key. A common quote not only in general but in web design too. One of the most important aspects of web design is its design. Maintaining consistency isn’t about just using the same fonts and colours across your platform. It is about applying the same consistency throughout your website layouts. Keeping consistency strengthens the credibility and impression of your brand by a significant margin. Be sure to stay cautious around various visual elements that have a variety of image and letter sizes. It could be a difference-maker that makes a website a chaotic mess or a harmonic synergy.
Let’s use the Google Store as an example. As you can see, not only is the design of the website simple, but it is also clean, clear, and concise about the products that are displayed. There is minimal word clutter, so the user does not feel overwhelmed, and a simplistic design that is easy on the eyes. The spacing between each element of the website is consistent, creating a synergistic feeling and sense of order.
A website without functional navigation is like a lost sailor in the middle of the ocean. Not only is it confusing, but it is also annoying. Users visiting your website will not be able to get what they came for and will leave as a result of that. A bad navigation on your website will cause more difficulty than necessary for the user, and it is up to the web designer to avoid that. A good website navigation should be somewhat simple yet comfortable, something like a drop-down menu or an aesthetic sidebar. Play around with different formats, but make sure to keep in mind that it has to be compatible with all devices, whether they are mobile, tablets, or desktops. Allow the navigation system on your website to be easy to locate; do not put it somewhere in the corner of your website where it is difficult to find.
Choose a Supportive Colour Palette
The tone of your site design is determined by the colour scheme you choose. Pastel hues can look fairly trendy and lively, while utilising a lot of dark browns and blacks can produce a rustic effect. Regardless of the style you choose, it's critical to ensure that the colours you choose complement one another. This can sometimes include sticking to complementary hues, although opposites can also be drawn to one another. In the end, the colours you decide to go for must somehow be complementary to one another, regardless of where they sit on the colour wheel.
One of the best examples we can see right now is the Apple website for their flagship phone, the iPhone 15 Pro. With a simple glance, you can already tell what the brand is trying to tell you. Using bold colours, the website gives off a feel of superiority, exclusivity, and class. This hooks users into wanting to know more about your product or content, and Apple does a very good job at that.
Visual Hierarchy is often a factor that is overlooked by many, but it is such a fundamental principle that it deserves an article on its own! In addition to creating a visually beautiful website, each element in the website has to have a purpose on why it is there. You need to structure your content in a way that is easier to consume, section by section. Visual Hierarchy is about guiding the user's eyes through various positions on the website to grant them a way to consume your content much easily, by following an order created by your design.
Visual hierarchy enables our brains to determine the relevance and importance of a particular design. Elements such as the position of texts and graphics, the quantity of content, and the size of the fonts and typography are all crucial factors that contribute to the good construction of the visual hierarchy on a website. An example of this can be seen in the layout of Longines’s website. Observe the layers of each section of the website. With simple texts and fonts, it is able to tell you what you need to know about the product.
An often overlooked factor in web design is making your website SEO-friendly. Making your website SEO-friendly optimises your website in search engines to attract more organic traffic. So how do you improve the SEO on your website? The first step would be to do keyword research on your desired topic and industry first. Identify relevant content and use these keywords strategically on your website. Use elements like title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags. The next step to boost SEO is to ensure your website is crawlable and indexable by search engines. This means improving the structure of the website, which includes image optimization, mobile responsiveness, site load speed, and URL structure. Provide backlinks about your industry inside your website, and earn backlinks from reputable and high-traffic websites. Backlinks directed to your websites mean you have earned the votes of confidence from other websites, and this can considerably boost the search engine rating of your website.
Mobile Friendly Design
The use of mobile devices isn’t going away anytime soon; in fact, they’re quickly becoming the most common way for us to consume content. For this reason, it is extremely important for designers to design for both desktops and mobile devices, which includes phones and tablets too. Designers have to ensure that the headers and paragraphs work properly on both devices, making sure no graphics, images, or any visual components are chopped. Buttons must be easy to function with and use on a smaller screen, and remember to ensure that your website loads swiftly on both devices.
These are the design principles that guarantee you to have a solid foundation in place, so that you can take risks and explore where it matters. Be sure to also test out the website on mobile devices too to ensure a web-friendly website on all platforms. If you ever feel lost or clueless during the process of creating your own website, feel free to consult a website agency to help get you started off your feet.