Web designers constantly talk about web design principles. There are, of course, a whole bunch of design principles to master, like colour, layout, typography, imagery, etc.
But it’s good to take a moment to consider all the other things that you have to know to succeed on the web.
Web Design Principles
Web design is the process of conceptualising, planning, and creating a collection of electronic files that determine the layout, colours, text styles, structure, graphics, and use of interactive features that deliver pages to one site visitor. Although the phrases web design and web development are sometimes used synonymously, web design is actually a subset of web development as a whole.
The following is a list of some fundamental web design principles that every web designer should know:
Simple and Effective Colour and Layout
The most critical guideline of web design is that your website must be simple to read. What exactly does this imply? You should exercise extreme caution while selecting text and background colours. You do not want to utilise obtrusive backdrops or difficult-to-read colours.
It is easier to read dark writing on a light background than light text on a dark background. Additionally, you do not want to choose your text size to be either small (impossible to see) or too huge (it will appear to shout at your visitors). All capital letters provide the impression that you are shouting at your guests.
Maintain a left-aligned primary text, rather than a cantered text. The optimum use of centre-aligned text is in headlines. You want your visitors to feel at ease when reading, which is why most content is left-oriented.
Your visitors should be able to see all of your hyperlinks. Buttons and tabs, for example, should be well-labelled and easy to see. Your graphic web designer should use extreme caution while selecting colours, backgrounds, textures, and special effects for your web graphics. Having easily readable and understandable navigation buttons and tabs is more crucial than having “flashy” effects. Make the link colours in your text recognisable to your reader (blue text typically denotes an unvisited link, while purple or maroon text typically suggests a visited link).
If you choose not to use the default colours, you should emphasise your text links in some other way (boldfaced, a larger font size, set between small vertical lines, or a combination of these). Text links should be distinct from other text on your web pages. You do not want users to click on your headings in the mistaken belief that they are links.
Within three clicks, your visitors should be able to find what they’re looking for on your site. Otherwise, they are quite likely to leave your site as quickly as they arrived.
The website should be easily accessible
What method do your visitors use to locate you online? The illusion of “If I establish a website, they will come” persists among businesses and organisations new to the Internet. Visitors to your website will not come until you market it both online and offline.
Online website promotion is accomplished through search engines, directories, award sites, banner advertising, electronic periodicals, and referrals from other websites. If you are unfamiliar with any of this internet terminology, it is recommended that you have an online marketing specialist advertise your site.
Offline advertising strategies include print advertisements, radio, television, pamphlets, and word-of-mouth. Once you’ve established a website, all printed documents associated with your firms, such as business cards, letterhead, envelopes, and invoices, should have your URL.
Not only should your website be easy to access, but so should your contact information. Individuals appreciate knowing that there is someone on the other side of a website which can assist them if:
- They require answers to issues that your website does not readily provide;
- If an element on your site is not working properly, end users must be able to notify you, and
- Directory editors may require you to amend portions of your site to ensure that it is classified appropriately.
By providing the necessary contact information (physical address, telephone numbers, fax numbers, and email address), you also provide your end-users with a sense of security. They are free to contact you in any way that makes them feel most at ease.
As with any document prepared in a word processor or any brochure, newsletter, or newspaper published in a desktop publishing application, all graphic components, typefaces, headings, and footers should be consistent throughout your website. Consistency and coherence in any document, whether it is a report or a collection of web pages, contribute to the content’s professional appearance.
For instance, if you use a drop shadow as a special effect in one of your bullet points, you should utilise it in all of your bullet points. Your web pages’ link colours should be consistent. Additionally, your site’s typefaces and background colours should be consistent.
This uniformity is especially important for colour-coded web pages. The typefaces used in the body text and headings, as well as the background effects and special effects on visuals, should all remain consistent. The only thing that needs altered is the colours.
Quick loading speed
According to studies, if most pages are not downloaded within 15 seconds, viewers will soon lose interest. (Artists’ pages should have a caution at the top.) Even websites targeted at high-end customers must take download times into account. At times, accessing websites such as Microsoft or Sun Microsystems is so difficult and time-consuming that people frequently attempt to access the sites from their homes during non-working hours. If your firm does not yet have a strong brand name, limiting your download time to a minimum is essential.
A nice example of this rule in action is the addition of animation to your website. While animation does appear “awesome” and first catches your attention, motion visuals are typically big files. To begin, determine the download speed of your pages. If your page’s download time is quite short and the inclusion of animation does not significantly raise the page’s download time, then and only then should animation be considered.
Finally, before considering your personal preferences for web page design, you should first consider the preceding criteria and then adjust your personal tastes accordingly. The attitude “I don’t like how it appears” should always take a back seat to the functionality of your website. Which is more critical: artistic expression/corporate image or business success?