“Hocus Focus I put a Spell on You, let there be a website that looks good and is liked by all.” Only if website designing were so simple! Developers know this for sure, the intricacies behind the smooth functioning of a website, the importance of website designers. The key focus being: creating an intuitive and engaging website, that garners attention and encourages the users to keep exploring. Not an easy task, unless the website is Netflix or Amazon Prime or any video streaming site for that matter.
Here are 11 Effective Web Design Principles.
For sure, a website without a purpose would fall short in many ways. One of the most crucial principles of web design is that the website meets or fulfills the needs of the visitors in terms of providing entertainment, interaction, or delivering information. A singular feature that must flow through the website.
An extension of the purpose, proper communication should be established. And how? Through the content that is written to give the users all the necessary information, and should be arranged in an organized manner to avoid confusion.
When it comes to websites or pages, the users expect things to be easy to run through. Creating a maze can often mislead or frustrate the users and distract them from the primary purpose of the website too. So, web designers need to focus on creating fresh designs with simple easy-to-use interface.
The first page has Illustrations and Cartoons, the second page goes all Grunge, a stark transition that may look good on a portfolio showcase maybe but not on a regular website. Right from fonts, to colors, headers-footers, button styles etc. The list of design styles and elements in the website are maintained in the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
While conveying the information is one thing, its success lies in its readability. This is where font selection plays and important role. While commonly Verdana, Arial fonts that fall under sans-serif fonts are used, at times the 1lI test is used to find the font that works too. Font size on websites is usually set at ‘16px’.
Mobile versions are no longer good to haves. It is a compulsory requirement and so, compatibility is an essential aspect to be considered in web design. Often it is either a mobile-first approach or responsive design that works. But, depending on the requirements that approach can be changed.
No, matter how good the content, the way it is presented the colors used, the use of white spaces etc. should be such that it attracts the readers/users. It is advisable to go with 2 to 3 tones, balanced color palette and enough white space to make it seem uncluttered.
The prolonged wait for the webpage to open is no longer acceptable in the modern-day scenario, that too when 5G is soon to enter the connectivity market. According to Google, “On 70% of the pages analyzed, it took nearly seven seconds for the visual content above the fold to display on the screen, and it took more than 10 seconds to fully load all visual content above and below the fold.” However, as the loading time increases so does the bounce rate, that can reach up to 123% as the page loading time goes from 1sec to 10 sec.
As mentioned earlier, the users are not looking for a maze or a neural network. Majority of the users seek simple, easy-to-understand navigation. Most of them are more likely to leave the website if they are unable to go to the next page or find what they are looking for. It is advisable to create a logical page hierarchy, using bread crumbs, designing clickable buttons and follow the three-click-rule (users find the information they are looking for within three clicks).
Website design should be clean, and ordered. Web design 101, use Grid based layouts and arrange content into sections, columns and boxes, line it up with enough gaps between content, images etc. Create the required balance.
Reading Pattern Design
While the F-shaped reading pattern for web content may not be the only pattern (layer-cake pattern, spotted pattern, marking pattern etc. are followed too), it is still popular in web design. While good design can prevent F-shape scanning, yet keeping the information in the order of importance (left to right, and top to bottom) can be effective.
There are other particulars too that govern web design, however the above mentioned are the most important ones for designing a good website. Having a clear objective in mind, sketching the web-design prior to development, discussing about image usage-content layout etc. before getting started are the basic necessities for web design. The web design principles can be put into practice only when the basic prerequisites are clear.
If you are planning on designing a website/web page any time soon, do have a look at the points discussed here before getting started.
Atul is Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting. He has over 22 years of experience in marketing, across corporates as well as SME,start-ups. Over the last 5 years, he has gained significant expertise and has helped several companies drive growth leveraging digital marketing