10 Principles of Web Design for an Engaging User Experience

As Ryan Singer, the developer of the 37Signals team, states, users would be eager to provide an email address if they had seen the feature work and had an idea of what they were going to get in return. Registration can be done in less than 30 seconds, since the form has landscape orientation and the user does not even need to scroll the page. Modern web designs are often criticized for their approach of guiding users with visually appealing 1-2-3 step steps, large buttons with visual effects, etc. But from a design perspective, these elements are not bad at all.

On the contrary, these guidelines are extremely effective as they guide visitors through the content of the site in a very simple and user-friendly way. Just like the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, effective web design is judged by website users and not by website owners. There are many factors that affect the usability of a website, and it's not just about the form (how good it looks), but also about the function (how easy it is to use). Websites that aren't well-designed tend to perform poorly and have Google Analytics metrics that aren't optimal.

So what makes good web design? Below, we explore the top 10 principles of web design that will make your website aesthetically pleasing, easy to use, attractive and effective. A good web design always adapts to the user's needs. Are visitors to your website looking for information, entertainment, some kind of interaction, or transacting with your business? Each page of your website must have a clear purpose and meet a specific need of your website users in the most effective way possible. In general, Sans Serif fonts like Arial and Verdana are easier to read online (Sans Serif fonts are contemporary looking fonts with no decorative finishes).

The ideal font size for easy reading online is 16px and stick to a maximum of 3 fonts at a maximum of 3 points to keep your design optimized. Here are 10 principles to help guide the design of your next website:

1.Clear Paths

Paths to sections and content on your site should be clear and easy to use. Imagine an intersection with 3 street options instead of 10: simplicity makes travel better.

2.Fulfill Intended Function

An effective website design must fulfill its intended function by conveying your particular message while at the same time engaging the visitor.

Several factors, such as consistency, colors, typography, images, simplicity and functionality, contribute to good website design. Simplicity is the best way to do it when you consider the user experience and the usability of your website.

3.Color Selection

Color has the power to communicate messages and evoke emotional responses. Finding a color palette that fits your brand will allow you to influence the behavior of your customers towards your brand.

Keep color selection limited to less than 5 colors. Pleasant color combinations increase customer engagement and make the user feel good.


Typography has an important role to play on your website. It attracts attention and works like the visual interpretation of the brand's voice.

Fonts must be legible and use only a maximum of 3 different fonts on the website.


Navigation is the guidance system used on websites where visitors interact and find what they are looking for. Website navigation is key to retaining visitors. If website navigation is confusing, visitors will give up and find what they need somewhere else.

Keeping navigation simple, intuitive and consistent on every page is key.

6.Visual Hierarchy

The visual hierarchy is the arrangement of elements in order of importance. This is done by size, color, images, contrast, typography, white space, texture 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 located.

7.Page Load Time

Waiting for a website to load will lose visitors. Nearly half of web visitors expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and potentially leave a site that isn't loaded in 3 seconds. Optimizing image size will help your site load faster. Users don't need too much time to decide if they like your website or not; therefore you have to impress them from the first seconds - and visual hierarchy is what will help you do this!

8.Color Psychology

Color is another powerful tool to capture attention from users; there are some common psychological tricks such as red means negative and green means positive - however in principles and elements of web design visual hierarchy uses colors in combinations (complementary colors, monochromatic, analogous, triadic or tetradic).

You can choose colors and shades with help from Color Wheel!

9.Typography for Responsive Design

We've already mentioned power of typography for visual hierarchy - it's still important for responsive design! In our work we always follow principles and elements of web design since they help us systematize our work and deliver best results for our clients! From visual hierarchy to communication & user interface - you can always count on us!

10 Responsive Design

Responsive web design is fluidly adjusted to fit visitor's device or browser taking into account factors such as screen width resolution & screen orientation - responsive design allows visitors experience your site as intended on any type of device or screen size! A successful website is one that works equally well in all viewports regardless size or aspect ratio from mobile to desktop & anything in between - responsive design achieves this result by resizing images & rearranging content fit various screen sizes & browsers! A consistent design ensures that visitors who learn use one part of your site can transfer knowledge other parts easily!.

Gloria Foulke
Gloria Foulke

Wannabe twitter lover. Freelance social media maven. Friendly twitter nerd. Hipster-friendly zombie advocate. Avid zombie practitioner. Amateur baconaholic.