4 Principles of Web Design: A Comprehensive Guide

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. Below are ways to achieve simplicity by designing. 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.

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. 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.

As Ryan Singer, the developer of the 37Signals team, states, users would probably be eager to provide an email address if asked once they had seen the feature work, so they had an idea of what they were going to get in return. However, registration can be done in less than 30 seconds, since the form has landscape orientation, the user does not even need to scroll the page. Modern web designs are often criticized because of 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.

The squeaky wheels get the grease and the prominent images attract attention. Visual hierarchy is one of the most important principles behind good web design. It is the order in which the human eye perceives what it sees. Not knowing anything about these circles, you could easily classify them. This is visual hierarchy, a timeless principle of web design, done right.

Surf the web and consciously classify elements in the visual hierarchy. Then go see your site. Is the key information that visitors are looking for too far down the hierarchy? Make it more prominent. The golden ratio is the magic number 1.618 (φ). Designs using proportions defined by the golden ratio are believed to be aesthetically pleasing. Next, do you see how the image on the right is more interesting? That is the rule of thirds in action.

For the past 20 years, Peep has worked in web development, marketing consulting, B2B sales, SEO, PPC and SaaS. My year 10 ICT students are going to get a LOT out of it tomorrow. The part about Occam's razor is incredible. 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 how good it looks but also about 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 (e.g.). So what makes good web design? Below we explore 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 user needs. Are visitors looking for information, entertainment or some kind of interaction? Each page must have a clear purpose and meet a specific need in an 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 for optimized design. In addition we will describe at a high level WCAG 2.0 requirements for web accessibility including compliance with levels A and AA. As you read for more detailed reference check out W3C online tool. The principles of visual design taken together with general rules of Gestalt apply to whole image and how brain gives meaning to entire design. The principles of modern web design and user experience are generally not time-dependent; it's just not a good experience either way these principles can help make your website more attractive useful and memorable for visitors while these principles were developed together with visual art web designers apply design principles based on these fundamental ideas. This so-called Teto principle should be applied to all web design projects since usability tests often provide crucial information about important issues related to given design. The four fundamental principles expand into 13 general rules which when applied correctly can help create an effective website that meets user needs while providing an enjoyable experience.

Gloria Foulke
Gloria Foulke

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