8 Web Design Fundamentals For a Great Website
When it comes to a website’s design, first impressions matter. In fact, when visiting a site, 94% of user’s first impressions are design related. As a web designer, you’re under a lot of pressure.
Web standards are also very high and will continue to increase. It’s no longer good enough to simply have a website. It has to live up to current standards and also embrace trends.
The good thing is that executing necessary design fundamentals has become easier. The programs web designers work with and the information available allows for incredible functionality.
However, if you don’t have a working knowledge of web design fundamentals, you risk building a site that falls short of the competition. Given people’s refined search behavior, you can’t let this happen.
Let’s look at eight basic elements of good web design.
1. Keep Your Theme Consistent
When thinking about the entire website, you need to maintain a consistent design theme from the very beginning. It’s important to make the homepage stand out from the rest of the site, but every internal page must fall in line with the overall theme.
A website’s theme should be very well-defined and obvious. This is how you create an impression. Make sure this impression gets threaded through every page with consistent color schemes and a well-balanced layout.
You should also incorporate imagery that makes sense for each individual page but also maintains a consistent vibe.
2. Sensible Navigation
Simple and clear navigation is critical when structuring a website. This greatly affects the user’s experience along with SEO, so make sure it works well and makes sense.
The key here is to limit the number of navigation items you have on a site. If a user feels overwhelmed or confused, they’ll leave. If your site has a large infrastructure, make use of drop-down menus that make it easy for the user.
Also consider things like navigational arrows, which make the site more user-friendly. Guide the visitor through the website the best you can.
3. Prominent Contact Info
This is one of the more important web design fundamentals if you’re selling products or services through your site. A user shouldn’t have to look for your contact information. However, it shouldn’t be forced down their throats.
Aside from a contact page, consider integrating the information gracefully into the footer throughout the site. Including all relevant information such as phone number, address, and even directions is important.
A contact form that allows visitors to email you directly from the site adds credibility and convenience.
4. Good Imagery is a Must
Imagery is a great way to catch people’s eye. Quality imagery draws users in and also shows them they are on a credible site. Only thread high-quality images into the overall design layout.
When choosing imagery for your design, watch out for stock images. They are easy to come by, but you may end up using imagery seen on other sites. It’s important to set yourself apart through your imagery.
Hiring a professional photographer is a great way to produce a truly unique visual experience. This is especially important when including images of products.
5. Know Your Target Audience
When thinking about web design fundamentals, you must always keep your target audience in mind. This will guide the look and feel along with the overall message of the site.
Think about who you want to target and make notes regarding the following:
- How old is your audience?
- What is the primary demographic?
- What is their geographic location?
- Is there is primary gender?
- What does your audience want?
These may seem like simple questions, but creating a client profile will greatly affect the choices you make when designing the site. Everything from the color palette to the content style depends on who you’re trying to reach.
6. Think About Your Typography
Fonts and fonts sizes are extremely important when trying to make a website flow well. You want to grab the reader’s attention and also make the content inviting and readable.
Large font sizes are popular right now. They attract the reader’s eye and are great for establishing what the content is about. Large fonts also work well with mobile devices.
Bigger fonts don’t necessarily mean that a design looks gaudy or cluttered. You can still achieve a minimal look by choosing a sleek font style. Larger fonts also allow the user to read the content with ease.
7. Use Space Wisely
When it comes to web design fundamentals, less is more. Cluttered sites are generally unattractive and cause the user to want to leave the site quickly. Opt for more space and let the site breathe.
Try eliminating sidebars. This opens the page up and allows you to focus on what’s important. This is usually the content.
The use of white space is a very popular trend right now. A spacious and airy design not only puts emphasis on the content, it makes it easy for the user to navigate the site. This also opens up the design so you can use large imagery on the homepage.
8. Employ Responsive Design
Mobile use is surpassing the desktop when it comes to browsing the internet. In fact, consumers spend up to 5 hours a day on their mobile devices. Having a site that’s not mobile friendly isn’t an option anymore.
Whether you’re building a new site or thinking about a redesign, you must plan on responsive design. However, this should go beyond the layout. Mobile-optimized images and menus need to be incorporated.
Many developers are now considering mobile-first design and you may want to as well.
Final Thoughts on Web Design Fundamentals
Knowing what’s out there is one of the most important things to consider when designing a website. Looking at what the competition is doing is critical when trying to do something better.
Aside from that, knowing the basics is a must. Keeping these eight tips in mind during the entire design process will ensure an attractive and functional site.
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