What Are The Principles Of Good Website Design?
Sincerely speaking, designing a good website can be hard and overwhelming. While the internet contains billions and billions of websites worldwide, only a few can be termed as good. In the modern world, most individuals spend a better part of their entire day on the internet for various reasons. For instance, they could be ordering online food, shopping, going through their college or university websites, article reading, or generally working in their industry.
Are you concerned that you can spoil a visitor’s day by simply having a bad site? That’s why we’re here to change that. We need to make our websites effective so they can accomplish their intended function of passing its information as it fully engages your site visitor. It would be best if you understood that a great website could potentially build trust and give guidance to your visitors, leading to them taking action. Developing a good user experience comes with ensuring the site is optimized for usability and functionality. Therefore, if you’re looking to design a new website or already have an existing one and wish to make it better, please stay on this page because this article is yours. Let’s continue reading to get more knowledge.
Easy navigation is among the most important properties to be remembered and implemented when designing your site. A survey carried out by Clutch suggested that most people, around 94%, said that navigating easily is the most vital feature for a website. That’s for sure since a website giving problems in navigation means nothing much is available to keep waiting. Also, things may not flow finely. One navigates easily when there’s a menu layout, and they can reliably manoeuvre through the site. The following tips can help;
- Try mitigating the drop-down menu choices.
- Avoid excessive clicking within site.
- Apply the user’s language for naming your options. You can also use real-world conventions.
- The navigation bar should be kept simple, with fewer options.
Learn, teach, and motivate yourself about implementing the above tips by checking out what other websites have out there. You can look at Google or Gmail, among others that are recognized as the best sites globally.
In knowledge hierarchy definition through various websites, colour can be left out. A user should be in a position to skim through your site, understanding what everything is about. We understand that it can be difficult to maintain a consistent colour scheme. It’s because the colour liked by one person may not be a similar thing to another. A tradeoff can always be found in colours. Some texts may look great in certain colours, and others not. Therefore, your key role is to maintain consistency. Use tips such as;
- Maintain having minimalistic colours.
- Avoid using dark or super bright colours on the site.
- High any meaningful information or keywords when necessary.
- Use the correct colour combination.
Readability is among the most treasured features on a good website. You’ll see most websites having words written in black ink on a white background. It’s a vital property for a website, especially the ones having enormous content. Using contrasting colours enhances the site’s readability, something liked by many readers. Black and white are considered the best colour scheme for displaying information. That’s why you should forever make sure that a colour scheme is applied to your site.
Comfortable user interface
The bridge acting between the system and the user is what we call the user interface. In other words, it’s where the user interacts with the site’s system. So, what do you think will happen if the user interface is wonderful? Definitely, the user would take longer on it. It’s the reason a website designer should ensure the user interface remains clear and fresh throughout. To do that, you can;
- Use the pay layout properly.
- Keep the user interface simple.
- Eliminate unnecessary information.
- Avoid infinite information scrolling.
- Be consistent in using fonts and colours.
Think about the user’s experience and try to make an intuitive thing- for example, metaphors can be used. You should also ask yourself questions like who are the users? Where is the interaction taking place? What are the activities taking place?
The TETO principle simply means Test Early and Test Often. It’s relevant that you apply it on your website because usability tests are good for offering insights on crucial issues relating to a given page and need to be sorted. Testing shouldn’t be too late, for odd reasons, or too little. Concerning the reasons for testing, please know that design decision is mostly local. That implies you can’t generally say that one layout is greater than another because analyzing from a specific point of view is necessary. You should consider the stakeholders, requirements, and the budget, among others. Consider the points below;
- Usability tests will always give meaningful outcomes. It’s where you’ll realize the issues you have or the major design flaws lacking on your site. Doesn’t that cause a good insight to your work?
- Never tire because testing is iterative- it’s a process for designing something, test it, have it fixed, and test again. Be sure of some problems gotten during the first round of testing, but other issues dismissed users.
- Steve Krug says it’s 100% better to test one user than none. Earlier testing to a single user is also better than 100 towards the end. Boehm’s first law also suggests that most errors are experienced during the time for design activities and requirements, and the later you remove them, the more expensive they’ll be.
We’re friends at conventions. Site elements won’t be boring with conventional design. Conventions are helpful in limiting the learning curve- the importance of finding out how things operate. Can you imagine what it would be like if all websites had varied RSS-feeds visual presentations? It’s the same thing with our usual life where people tend to apply a particular basic principle of how folders or data is organized or shop by placing products. That’s why, through conventions, a site owner can gain trust, reliability, proven credibility, and confidence from users. You should understand your users’ expectations-what they look for in your site navigation, search placement, and text structure.
Using visual language can help enhance effective communication. According to Marcus Aaron, there are three fundamental principles used in visual language- what’s seen on the screen by a user;
- Economize- Do more with a minimal number of visual elements and cues. The main things to put into consideration involve distinctiveness, clarity, simplicity, and emphasis. With distinctiveness, you should be able to distinguish among the features of relevant elements. Clarity involves defining all elements without ambiguity. Simplicity is about picking the only useful elements for communication, and emphasis talks about perceiving the most important elements.
- Organize- The user should get a clear conceptual structure with consistency. Organization requires vital aspects, including consistency, relationships, navigability, and screen layout. Elements need to have the same conventions.
- Communicate- What you present should match the user’s capabilities. Successful communication is achieved when the user interface is kept in balance legibility, typography, readability, colour, texture, multiple views, and symbolism.
No fear of the white space
Despite the white space reducing the cognitive load for visitors, it simplifies the information on the screen. That’s why it’s challenging to overestimate a white space’s importance. You’ll find that when a new site visitor gets to a design layout, they begin by scanning the page and partitioning the content area into information that’s digestible. If you get complex structures, it can be difficult to read, analyze, work with, or scan. But with the option of separating the design segments using the white space or a visible line makes it look better. Hierarchical structures can reduce complexity, according to Simon’s law. If you can provide your users with a better visual hierarchy sense, your content will be easily perceived.
Ensure effective writing
The web is not like print. Therefore, it’s necessary to adjust your writing styles to suit a user’s preference and habits of browsing. You’ll realize that most people would ignore professional writing. Others won’t dare reading long information blocks lacking pictures or images and bolded keywords or in italics. Even exaggerated language may be skipped. Furthermore, strive at talking business- for example, don’t use clever or cute names, company-specific names, unpopular technical names, and marketing induced names. A good example is advising clients to ‘sign up’ instead of ‘start now’ when describing a service and would like them to form accounts. Effective writing can be achieved through the points mentioned below;
- Use scannable layout- Seen through using bullet listings that break the uniform text flow block and have several heading levels. It would help if you also learned to categorize the content.
- Keep your phrases short and concise- go straight to the point.
- Your language should remain plain and objective- Promotional texts don’t have to look like adverts. Provide reasonable and objective reasons for your users to cunt on your service and not leave your website.
Focus on users’ attention
On a website, you’ll find both dynamic and static content. You’ll realize that some user interface aspects are more appealing than others. For example, images are more attractive as compared to text, which is similar to bolded sentences that are seen more than plain ones. You should understand how the human eye is a highly non-linear tool making web users simply recognizing patterns, motions, and edges. It’s the reason why video-based adverts destruct more and are annoying.
However, from the marketing point of view, they fulfil their task of capturing a user’s attention. The human eye mainly uses the focus principle. Notice how the word ‘free’ is very attractive and directly visible to users. It’s also calming and provides information. A user would want to find out more about this ‘free’ item. You can move your site visitors from one point to another with no thoughts of what’s to be done. Do you know how? Well, by taking their attention to a specific area using moderate visual elements. If your site visitors will have fewer questions to ask, it means they’ve got a better orientation sense, which means they’ll develop more trust in the company as presented by your site. In short, visitors having fewer thoughts behind the scenes have a better experience. Isn’t that the usability aims to start with?
Avoid getting users in too many thoughts
The first law of usability, as per Krug, say that your web page should be self-explanatory. Create a site that doesn’t have question marks at all- users should make conscious decisions, putting in mind the pros and cons plus alternatives. You can imagine how hard it’d be for users to begin understanding how your system works or how to move from one area to the next, maybe because the architecture and navigation aren’t proper. But if the structure is clear and links are easy to recognize, a visitor an easily find their path or what they need. Try as much as possible not to make users struggle to understand what your page is about. Reduce the number of question marks to zero. Visitors should grab the idea behind your system working. After that, it’s now time to tell the need for your system and ways through which they can gain from it. Be warned that most people won’t stay on your website if there’s no way around it as they intend.
The above discussion is about the major website design principles. Implementing them can help come up with a user-friendly and functional website. Without any of them and many more that we didn’t talk about, it can be daunting to create a great and intuitive site. Don’t forget that a usability and friendly website will always be among the winners in this competitive field. This being a dream of every website owner, why can’t you apply the principles to make a better site for your visitors?