Basic Principles Of Designing a Great Website
“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” – Milton Glaser
A website must have a clean, visual, and attractive interface to provide value to the users. Well, if you want to find out what actually goes into building a good website, then keep reading.
As a designer or developer, you need to understand the psychology of your users. Getting a sneak-peek into the minds of users can help you hack your way in converting the visitor into a customer.
An efficient-usable-appealing all-in-one website is the one that you should try and need to create. Only then can you expect to convert long-term users. These users can also help expand your reach by word-of-mouth.
In this digital, if you do not have a website to communicate with the global audience, you are leaving untapped opportunities for yourself.
Now without further ado, let us delve into the principles for designing one outstanding website.
– Information architecture is a discipline that helps visitors to understand their position on the website, and about the information, they seek. Information architecture focuses on organizing, structuring, and labelling content effectively and sustainably.
– A good IA puts your website users at ease and helps them in reaching their destination and complete their tasks hassle-free. This leaves a great lasting impression on their minds and they will want to revisit your site.
– Generally, an information architect does proper research by interviewing users, card sorting, observing what users want, and how they interact with existing designs.
– IA and navigation are not the same. Information architecture informs user interface (UI).
Website designing is a multi-step process and ideally requires proper research. A website’s navigation is a collection of user interface components. The primary goal of navigation is to help users find information and functionality and encourage them to take desirable actions.
If your navigation is confusing, your website will end up intimidating the user and thus affecting the functionality of your website.
– Try to keep the navigation simple, consistent and clear
Do not overcrowd your navigation bar, keep it straightforward. The navigation should be the same all over your website and extending to the innermost pages.
– Communicate the current position of the user on the website
This helps in a good user experience. Specifying the current location to the user encourages them to explore your website without them worrying to remember the path they followed to reach a certain point on your website.
– Using links for navigation
You can use internal and external links on your website to direct the users. While using links, take extra care that any link on the website should not open to a 404-error page. ‘404’ pages can be irritating for the visitor and can harm your website’s reputation.
Visual hierarchy is a crucial principle in web designing. Apt arrangement of information or elements by placing them at strategic positions in a priority-based manner is what visual hierarchy is all about. The visitors on your website will generally quickly scan over the home page. Visual hierarchy helps their natural eye to catch the most important elements in the first go.
Here are the building blocks of an effective visual hierarchy:
– The Gestalt principles
The Gestalt principles are laws about human perception. These describe how we as humans, group similar elements, recognize patterns, and simplify complex images when we perceive objects.
A smart website designer makes proper use of these principles by putting them to practice and organizing content accordingly.
– Typography and style
Elaborate fonts are more appropriate in some industries, but ornate text and special effects (e.g., embossed, washed-out text) might distract users, and even slight distractions reduce usability.
– Prioritising by understanding the needs of the user
As a website designer, you might feel the urge to emphasize every piece of information on your website. But it is advisable to resist it since visual hierarchy is about ranked information.
– Utilise the ‘F’ pattern
In web design, using an ‘F’ shaped pattern mimics the eye’s natural path . ‘F-shaped’ pattern thus does not disturb user’s visual flow. It is generally used in websites where conversion is the ultimate goal. For example, many commerce websites have an expertly crafted ‘F’ shaped layout to prompt the user to take the desired action. This layout is often accompanied by bold typography and colourful underlining.
– Utilise the ‘Z’ pattern
The ‘Z’ layout is another important design principle. It is used when the eye trails from left to top right forming an imaginary horizontal line, then it goes diagonally to the left side of the page and then again to the right in an imaginary horizontal line. This layout is used when there is minimal information to be displayed and call-to-action is the main takeaway. Example- the login page of Facebook.
Negative space is also known as blank space. This is unused or empty space between various visual elements on a web page.
Negative space is generally not given its due attention. This space can turn out to be very powerful if used right.
Web designers usually want their websites to not have any negative space because they don’t comprehend its importance.
As a web designer, you should consider keeping negative space on your page because of the following factors.
– Gives a smooth and clean appearance to your page
Overcrowded websites can confuse users. Keeping appropriate and clean negative space can make your website even more beautiful, balanced, and does not strain the eyes of the user.
– Highlights centralized message
Negative space can highlight your important messages if used strategically. Negative spaces give users the ability to focus on specific items and develop a strong emotion or insight associated with your message. Effectively used negative spaces can make a page easier to read, without changing a font style or size.
– Directs the flow of the page
Negative space is used to redirect the movement of the user over your website. Negative space can connect or signify the relationship between visual elements on the screen.
By now, you can quite feel a negative space is a positive one!
The color scheme of your website carries your website. It can make or break it! Each color represents some meaning, and each color combination communicates a message.
Make the message of your website clear. This will help you to manipulate the color palette that aligns with your idea to elicit strong emotions from the visitors of your site.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right colors for your website.
– Get to know color psychology basics
Since our childhood, we have been associating with colors. We have interacted with colors. Each color has had its own set of meanings in our minds. As a web designer, you should know these color psychology basics to be able to select the right palette for your website.
Red represents passion, danger, and excitement.
Yellow stands for accessible, friendly, and cheerful.
Green stands for growth, nature, money and wealth
Orange stands for energetic, vibrant, invigorating and playful.
Blue is a common choice. It stands for trustworthiness and maturity.
Gray is the ultimate color if you want to achieve a mature, classic and serious look.
– Think about color combinations
Brush up your knowledge of color theory. There are warm and cool colors, like red and green, which make for a complementary pair.
Monochromatic color schemes are different shades of the same color. If you want to associate your brand with a single color, then this color scheme can work for you.
There are various color schemes for you to explore before making your decision.
– Keep it simple
Colour combinations that are not heavy and confusing for the users to help them to focus. Simple color schemes make everything on your site look unified and ties them up together.
Bad Color Combination
Good Color Combination
As a web designer, you should keep in mind that your website will cater to a variety of users and a variety of devices.
A responsive web design (RWD) creates a system for a single site to react to the size of a user’s device with one URL and one content source.
– A responsive web design creates an optimized browsing experience.
– A responsive website means more number of users will be able to view your site. The more users reach, the better it is.
– It will make sure that each element on your website is represented aptly among all devices.
– A consistent and optimized web experience increases the chances of conversions and sales.
– It provides ease of access to your users.
These were some important principles that one should follow while creating a website. We hope you got value from our post.
By any chance, you need any help, let us know your queries and views in the comments below.