Our Principles of Effective Web Design
A good website design should work to portray the business objectives/message but also engage the audience. There are many factors that come in to play when designing a website, a set of heuristics to consider that provide the basis of good design. Good design is the responsibility of both the UI and UX designers, to find out more about the difference between them – read our recent blog post explaining all here. We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 principles of effective web design that should be focused on when designing a website, although there are a lot more principles, we consider these 5 the most important.
We’ve all heard of the saying ‘less is more,’ and with website design, it truly is effective. The simplicity of design is aimed to not make the user think too hard about what they’re seeing and what they need to do – specifically when considering the user experience. The combination of colour, typefaces and imagery need to be in sync with one another and not confuse the user. Of course, simplistic doesn’t just simply mean placing content on the page without thought, it represents an innovate design that isn’t distracting.
Extending upon simplicity, the visual hierarchy means organising all website elements so the most important is the most prominent piece of information the user will see first or navigate towards. When designing a website, it is important to understand what you want the visitor to do and so it’s effective to design around that. An example, if a company offers a service package as the selling point of their business, it’s typical to portray this on the homepage as the first thing the user see’s usually in the form of a button to navigate to more information.
One of the biggest reasons visitor’s leave a website out of frustration is navigation, if a user cannot find what they need quickly and efficiently, they’ll leave and go elsewhere to find what they need. It should be consistent throughout the pages, for example, providing breadcrumbs to navigation back to where a user has come from.
People are impatient, with the increased accessibility to the internet users often expect almost instant load times. Typically, any longer than a couple of seconds and users will leave and so you must optimise your site throughout design. One of the most effective ways is to optimise your images, there is no need to have large, high resolution images when you can reduce the size with no visual effect.
The average user checks their phone around 47 times a day, often searching for products/services and so it’s important that any design is responsive. By adjusting the layout for different devices, the user has the same experience as if they were using a desktop or laptop.
There are many other factors to consider when designing and developing a site but these 5 should provide the basis for any website. We believe these are the most important and have the greatest effect on the user’s interaction process with the site. Every design methodology is different and there is no route to follow when considering these factors, a website may be simple and easily navigable but can be designed in a number of different ways.
Here at Square Media, we have experienced graphic designers who can design a fresh website or re-brand your current website and have worked on both small and large projects. If you’re looking to get your business a website design, you can view our ‘Web Design’ service here. Alternatively, if you’ve got a design and want to turn it into a functioning website, our developers can create simple blog/portfolio sites or large, complex e-commerce sites – check out our development services here.