As a web designer, your work can make or break a company. Oftentimes it is the difference between success and failure for many businesses; especially those that are just starting out. That’s why the principles of good web design play such an important role in the development process.
In order to be successful, you need to understand what your clients want and find a way to deliver it in an effective manner.
Check out these 10 best principles to follow when creating an effective website design so your site is not only beautiful, but drives conversions.
Principle #1: Good Web Design Must Be Visually Appealing
What Makes a Design Visually Appealing and Easy to Use?
The answer is simple: good design.
What makes a good web design is not that people simply visit the website, but that they want to stay on it. It’s not just about looks; rather, it’s about creating a seamless experience for your online visitors. A good web design is one that does not only look great, but also feels great to use. It should be clear, simple, and easy to navigate.
The first thing that makes a design visually appealing is the overall layout. A good web design layout should be easy to understand and use. It should be simple and clean, with plenty of white space. The second thing that makes a design visually appealing is the use of color. Color can be used to create contrast, add interest, and set the tone of a design. The third thing that makes a design visually appealing is the use of typography. Typography can be used to create hierarchy, add interest, and set the tone of a design. Finally, visuals such as images and videos can also make a design more visually appealing.
There are many factors that contribute to making a good web design visually appealing. Some of the most important include color, contrast, balance, scale, and texture.
How Can You Achieve This?
There are a few key things you can do to make sure your design is visually appealing. First, choose colors that complement each other and create contrast. Second, use balance to create a sense of stability in your design. Third, use scale appropriately so that your elements are neither too small nor too large. Finally, add texture to add interest and depth to your design.
Principle #2: Good Web Design Must Be User-Friendly
What Makes a Website User Friendly?
It is essential that your website is easy to navigate, provides clear and concise information, and is aesthetically pleasing. User-friendliness is the quality of being easy to use and understand. This plays a key part in what makes up a good web design, as it should take into account how users interact with your site, so that they can find what they are looking for as quickly as possible.
When designing a website, it’s important to strive for simplicity over complexity. Make sure the design is usable from the moment they land on your site and that users don’t have to struggle to find their way around.
To keep your website more user friendly, make sure to follow these key points:
- Keep it simple: Don’t overload your visitors with unnecessary content.
- Keep it consistent: Make sure the overall look and feel of your website is consistent across all of your pages.
- Use a pure text format: Don’t include any advertisements, further content blocks, or matching styles
Principle #3: Good Web Design Must Be Responsive and Mobile Friendly
Importance of Having a Responsive Design
Responsive design is an important element to creating a good web design because it allows a web page to be displayed on a wide variety of devices, ranging from phones to large-screen desktop computers. It does this by adapting its layout to the size of the device. By building a good web design that is responsive, it makes it easy for users to browse your site on their phone or tablet without having to squint or scroll horizontally.
This includes not only the layout responding, but also the text and images that appear on your site. They should be able to respond based on the screen size and instantly adapt. By having your website respond based on the user’s device, you are creating a good web design experience and increasing your chances to be better optimized for search engines. Search engines don’t want to direct a user to a website that isn’t responsive or mobile friendly.
How Does Having a Responsive Design On Mobile Users?
A responsive design is important for mobile users, as they will likely be using their smartphones or tablets to access the web. This means that the website should be designed with “responsiveness” in mind. Responsive design means that all screens should be handled the same way, with the same font size, color, and layout so that no user is left feeling frustrated. A responsive design also makes it easier for users to navigate through your website; they can zoom in and out on articles or images, and change the font size without having to scroll down or lose their place on a page.
By reducing the chance of a customer encountering any errors or obstacles, you will make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for and make buying or browsing easier.
Serving Your Clients
At the end of the day, creating a good web design that is responsive keeps your customers coming back for more. By having a responsive design, you’ll not only make your website easier to use but you’ll also ensure that your customers can access it from any device or browser.
Principle #4: Good Web Design Must Have a Clear Structure
Why is a Clear Structure Important?
Layout is one of the most important aspects of any website. A well-designed layout will help users find what they are looking for easily and quickly. A good web design layout also makes use of space wisely, which can help to improve a website’s overall look and feel. A clear structure also helps users understand how a website works and provides a foundation for creating content.
Here are a few ways to for your web design company to be able to achieve a clear website structure:
- Use headings and subheadings to break up your content and make it easy to scan.
- Use bullet points or numbered lists to make your content easier to digest.
- Use images and infographics to break up long blocks of text.
- Keep your paragraphs short (no more than 3-4 sentences).
- Use whitespace to separate different sections of your page.
Check out some important areas to focus on when creating good web design structure:
- Navigation: A site with clear site navigation is easier for users to navigate, both on the page and across the site as a whole. By making sure the menu is easy to find and intuitive will help your users find what they need.
- SEO: A well-organized site will be easier to rank in search engines. This will help ensure your content is relevant to your customers and shows that you are providing them value.
- User experience: A site with a clear structure makes it easier for users to find what they’re looking for, therefore creating a better experience. By placing links in logical and easy-to-find locations such as the footer or throughout the content can be beneficial.
As you can see, having a clear structure has a high impact on your user experience and online visibility. While it helps visitors to find their way around your site more easily, it also allows search engines to index your pages more effectively. Most importantly, having a clear structure can help to improve the overall design of your site.
Principle #5: Good Web Design Must Have Consistent Design and Branding
What is Consistent Design?
Consistent design is a term used to describe when elements on a website or application are repeated throughout. This repetition can be in terms of layout, style, tone of voice or even functionality. If the overall look and feel of the site is inconsistent, it may confuse or frustrate users which can lead to high bounce rates (people jumping off your website).
Why is Consistent Design Important?
There are two main reasons why having consistent good web design is so important. The first reason is that it helps to create a sense of cohesion and unity across your site. When everything looks and feels like it belongs together, it gives your users a much better experience. The second reason is that consistent design makes your brand more recognizable and memorable. If users can easily identify your brand, they’re much more likely to come back to you in the future.
Branding Your Website
When it comes to designing a good website, it’s important to differentiate your business from others by ensuring your site is properly branded. Branding includes a variety of factors and not just branding colors. From the logo to the font, typography, and graphic design, all of these play an important role to the success of a consistent design.
By having too many fonts on your website, it can be confusing: Use two fonts that compliment each other and stick with those for your entire brand. When it comes to the body paragraphs throughout your site, it’s important to choose a main body font that is not emotional. Sans serif fonts typically read better on the web, and should be used for the main body font of your website.
When it comes to your branding colors, you should follow the same set of colors throughout your website, that way when customers come back, they will recognize your business’ site. This is a key part in building brand recognition.
If you maintain a certain consistency of visual graphics and images such as having more highly saturated images, you are creating brand consistency.
Consistency is King
Consistent design is defined as “a set of standards or rules that govern the appearance of a website.” In other words, it’s a way to keep your site looking uniform no matter where users are viewing it from. So by having your colors, font, brand, graphics and more solidly aligned, you are creating more familiarity with your customers.
Creating a consistent design helps to create a cohesive user experience and makes it easier for users to navigate your site or app.
One example of a good web design that is consistent is Apple’s website. All the pages on Apple’s website are designed in the same style, with the same layout, colors, and fonts. This creates a cohesive user experience and makes it easy for users to navigate Apple’s website. No wonder Apple has been so successful for not only their technology, but also building a more cohesive look and feel from their products all the way to their website.
Principle #6: Good Web Design Must Be Optimized for SEO
What is SEO?
SEO is short for “Search Engine Optimization”. It is a long-term marketing strategy employed in order to improve a website’s online visibility and appearance in organic search results including Google and other global search engines. The most important thing to remember when optimizing a site for SEO is to make sure the site is relevant to your users and original. While there are a lot of SEO specialists that cater to Google’s algorithm changes and making sure the content follows a certain set of rules, at the end of the day, it’s about writing for humans by humans.
How to Optimize for SEO:
The main aim of SEO is to improve a website’s online visibility in a variety of global search engines. There are many factors which contribute to this such as the quality of content, website design, website structure, loading speed, backlinks etc. All these factors must be taken into account when trying to optimize a website for better SEO results.
Some examples of how you can optimize your website for better SEO include:
- Creating high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience. Creating content that is relevant to your target audience and includes keywords that are commonly searched for is one of the best ways to optimize your website for SEO.
- Conducting keyword research to find the right keywords to target. By performing a competitor gap analysis, you can learn what keywords to focus on and go after keywords that are missed opportunities.
- Optimizing your website SEO title tags and meta descriptions. Title tags are the title of each individual page on your website, while meta descriptions are brief summaries that appear below the title tag in SERPs. Both title tags and meta descriptions should be keyword rich in order to improve your website’s SEO.
- Creating an XML sitemap and submitting it to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.By doing this, you can get your url website links to be better captured by search engines.
- Using social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter to promote your content. This is also a great way for search engines to pick up your content and index it faster.
- Headings and subheadings: Using headings and subheadings is a great way to break up your content and make it more readable. When used correctly, they can also help improve your website’s SEO by making your content more relevant and keyword rich.
- Anchor text is the clickable text that is used in hyperlinks. When creating anchor text, be sure to use keywords that are relevant to the page you are linking internally. This will not only help improve your website’s SEO, but it will also help users find the information they are looking for more easily.
- Be sure to update all of your website images, specifically the alt text. Alt text is used to describe images on a website. When adding alt text, be sure to include keywords that are relevant to the image as well as a brief description of what the image is showing. This will help improve your website’s SEO and make it more accessible for users with visual impairments.
Principle #7: Good Web Design Must Be Visually Consistent
What is Visual Consistency?
Visual consistency is the principle that governs the overall look and feel of a good web design. It’s what makes a site feel “put together” and cohesive, rather than feeling like a hodgepodge of random elements.
There are several ways to achieve visual consistency in web design:
Use a consistent color scheme throughout your site.
A good way to create a consistent visual tone and style for your web site is to use the same color throughout the design. This would be your brand colors, and can help you to organize your content and make it easier for viewers to navigate. Additionally, using a consistent color scheme can help you create a more cohesive and professional appearance.
Use consistent typography throughout your site.
Your typography will play a big role in setting the tone and message of your site. Consistent typography will help reinforce the design and message of your site. Use typefaces that are legible and easy to read, especially on smaller screens. Match the typography of your header, navigation, and body text to create a cohesive look for your entire site.
Creating a good web design requires thoughtful consideration of various factors, including typography. By using consistent typefaces throughout your site, you can create a visually appealing platform that communicates your key messages clearly and effectively.
Use consistent spacing and alignment throughout your site.
Spacing and alignment should be consistent throughout your site as well in order to create a cohesive look and feel while also creating a more professional presence. This will help visitors find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily.
Principle #8: Good Web Design Must Have a Good Color Scheme
What is a Color Scheme?
A color scheme is a group of colors that are chosen to be used together on a website and should act complementary. By incorporating too many colors, it can be distracting and can create a visual clutter. That’s why it’s so important to utilize white spaces to avoid visual clutter and mess.
How to choose a color scheme
The purpose of the design: What message are you trying to communicate with your colors?
The audience: Who will be viewing the design? Consider what colors they might respond to.
The mood: What feeling do you want to create with your colors?
By choosing the right color scheme you can:
Build Brand Recognition: it’s been found that color does in fact create recognition by 80%. When you use colors that are consistent across your site, it helps people to identify your brand more easily.
Create a Consistent Look and Feel: Choosing colors that work together will create a cohesive look and feel for your site, making it easier for visitors to find the information they’re looking for.
Make Certain Sections Stand Out: By using different colors for different sections of your site, you can make specific sections more noticeable. This will help visitors to find the information they’re looking for more quickly.
So, if you want to create a website with good web design principles in mind, incorporating a complementary color scheme is a great way to start.
Principle #9: Good web design must use typography effectively
What is Typography?
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point size, line length, line-spacing (leading), letter-spacing (tracking), and adjusting the space within letters pairs (kerning).
There are three main principles for effective typography: contrast, repetition, and alignment.
- Contrast is the difference in visual properties that makes an object or symbol distinguishable from other objects or symbols. Good contrast between text and background can make your content more readable and easier on the eyes.
- Repetition is the consistent use of elements throughout a design. Repeating fonts, colors, shapes, and other design elements can create a sense of unity in your design.
- Alignment is the placement of elements in relation to each other and to the page margins. Good alignment creates a sense of orderliness in your design
How to use typography effectively: To use typography effectively, designers need to understand the basic principles of how typefaces are created and how they work. In addition, they need to have a good understanding of the different types of fonts that are available and how each can be used to create a particular effect.
To use typography effectively, designers need to understand the principles of good typographic design. These include:
- The basic elements of typographic design: typefaces, point size, line length, leading, letter-spacing and kerning.
- How to select appropriate typefaces for a project.
- How to create visual hierarchy and contrast using different font weights and styles.
- How to set effective line lengths.
- How to add white space for visual balance.
Some common examples of effective typography include using a sans-serif font for body copy (such as Arial or Helvetica) and a serif font for headings (such as Times New Roman or Georgia). Other examples include using bold or italic fonts to emphasize certain words or phrases, using different font sizes to create hierarchy within text, and using left-aligned, right-aligned, or centered text depending on the overall design.
Principle #10: Good Web Design Must Have Effective Calls to Action
What is a Call to Action?
A call to action is a statement or button that encourages a website visitor to take some desired action. Calls to action are typically used in marketing and advertising, but can also be found on websites and in apps.
There are two primary types of calls to action: those that ask the visitor to do something (such as make a purchase or fill out a form) and those that provide information (such as subscribing to a newsletter). The best CTAs will be relevant to the specific content on the page and will be clear about what you want the visitor to do.
Having a clear goal and purpose in mind will help you decide on what to include on your custom web development site. An example of this is if your goal is to drive more web lead forms submission, then you will want to direct your users to the contact form. By strategically placing clear call to actions and buttons throughout your website, you can successfully guide your customers to where they need to go.
A call to action is a clear and concise directive that encourages a visitor to take a specific action on your site
- Calls to action should be easy to find and understand.
- Calls to action should be placed above the fold so they are not obscured by content.
- Calls to action should be clear and concise.
Different Types of Calls to Action
It’s important to know what is the best type of call to action for your web design to be considered successful. Depending on specific services or products, you may need to include a variety of different buttons on your site.
- Buy now/add to cart buttons: These are typically used on ecommerce websites and encourage visitors to make a purchase.
- Download buttons: These encourage visitors to download a file, such as an eBook or white paper.
- Subscribe buttons: These encourage visitors to sign up for a newsletter or other email list.
- Contact us: These provide a way for visitors to get in touch with a company or individual by directing them to the contact form.
Follow These Best Practices to Achieve a Good Web Design
When crafting your calls to action, keep the following best practices in mind:
- Use strong verbs that clearly state what you want the visitor to do (e.g., “Download our free eBook”)
- Make your CTA stand out from the rest of the content on the page by using color, whitespace, or another design element
- Place your CTA in an easily visible location on the page
- Keep your CTA short and sweet – too much text will only serve to confuse the visitor
- Use first person point of view (e.g., “Download my free eBook”) to make the CTA more personal
- Test different CTAs on your website to see which ones are most effective
There are several best practices that should be followed when using calls to action, including: Keep the message clear and concise, Use persuasive language, Use strong verbs, Create a sense of urgency and Use visuals (such as images or videos) sparingly.
A call to action (CTA) is a statement or button that encourages a website visitor to take a specific, desired action. CTAs are usually placed prominently on a web page, and they can take many different forms, such as “Buy now,” “Subscribe today,” or “Download our free eBook.”
Make the Best Web Design You Can
After reviewing these top 10 principles on how to create a successful website design, we hope you were able to take with you some valuable tools and apply them to your next project.
If you are looking for a web development company that can build and design a sleek new website that is user friendly, branded, responsive, and made consistently well, contact us at Hyland Graphics. We’re here to help make it easy for you as we are experts in building high quality websites at an affordable price.