Web Design Guidelines
Good web design involves more than an aesthetically pleasing appearance. In fact, a range of professionals with different areas of expertise are engaged in each major decision – when it is done right.
Web design can be deceptively difficult, as it involves achieving a design that is both usable and pleasing, delivers information and builds brand, is technically sound and visually coherent.
Like the phrase ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, effective web design is judged by the users of the website and not the website owners. There are many factors that affect the usability of a website, and it is not just about form (how good it looks), but also function (how easy is it to use).
Good web design doesn’t just appear out of nowhere, there are many aspects of design that come together to achieve this.
Here I have outlined the most basic principles of good web design to address what we consider to be the most critical points in a creating a site that brings in high numbers of conversions.
People on the web tend to want information quickly, so it is important to communicate clearly, and make your information easy to read and digest. Some effective tactics to include in your web design include: organizing information using headlines and sub headlines, using bullet points instead of long windy sentences.
2. It should be easier to return to home page
When visitors navigate through a website, they need an easy way to get back to the home page. For instance, they may want to start a new browse session or get back to perform another search. You should make it possible for visitors to be redirected back to the home page when they tap the logo at the top of the web page.
3. Place Calls to Action Where Visitors Can Easily View Them
Place calls-to-action keys strategically where user can easily see them. When users get to your site, they normally have a specific task to accomplish. They can have easier time completing tasks on websites that display calls-to-action keys (such as make payment, find an agent or log in) in the main body.
Proximity creates relationship between elements. It provides a focal point. Proximity doesn’t mean that elements have to be placed together, it means they should be visually connected in some way.
Proximity for design purposes means that similar or related elements should be grouped together, while those that are unrelated or dissimilar should be separated. The physical relationships and spaces between web design elements create a level of emphasis, and include other factors such as isolation, similarity, eye movement and direction, continuance, and persistence of vision.
5. Make It User Friendly
Nowadays people are accessing sites using multiple devices with different screen sizes, so it is vital to make you site friendly to search devices. If your site is not friendly to search devices, you can either rebuild it using a responsive layout (this one of the most current web design principles) so as to make it adjustable to different screen sizes
6. Visual Elements Placed to Focus User Attention
The exact placement of visual elements is a major factor in a successful web design. All design features create an open, inviting path to conversions. Design elements can be explicit, such as arrows, or very subtle. These design elements act as cues that focus visitor attention exactly where it needs to go. Giving the eyes only one design element on which to focus and carefully positioning calls to action are critical factors that must be carefully planned and executed to result in high numbers of conversions.
7. Choose Right Colors according to business nature
Make sure that the color combination you pick are pleasant to look and according to nature of business. Proper use of colors improve the user experience. Some color can strain user’s eyes thus making it harder for them to navigate. Contrasting colors are good for the body text and background because they make reading much easier. Complementary ones create a perfect balance.
As a general principle, you should avoid placing light colored text on dark background. You website background’s color should be a bit lighter than text to so as to make it more readable.
8. “F” PATTERN DESIGN
Eye tracking studies have identified that people scan computer screens in an “F” pattern. Most of what people see is in the top and left of the screen and the right side of the screen is rarely seen. Rather than trying to force the viewer’s visual flow, effectively designed websites will work with a reader’s natural behavior and display information in order of importance (left to right, and top to bottom).
9. Make Site Search Bar Visible
Users looking for particular information normally turn to search bar – so search bar should be clearly visible. You should position the search bar at the top of your home page.
10. Repetition/ Visual consistency
Repetition strengthens a design by tying together individual elements. It helps to create association and consistency. Repetition can create rhythm (a feeling of organized movement).
Visual consistency refers to the consistent use of the visual design elements discussed in this Unit, such as color and typography as well as spatial layout. Fonts should be applied consistently for heading and body text styles, sizes and color.
Screen shot from: CU Solution Planning Pro.
Front-end Creation is an efficient site needs a lot more than just information gathering and developing. It should be easily accessible, visually appealing, engaging and easier to use. The application of Web design Principles by a professional web designer can resolve several issues that are obstacles to the success of your online business.