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Rules of design to make your website look more professional

Creating a website with the right design that makes it efficient and visually appealing takes a lot of skill and experience. Too many site owners make common design mistakes that make their websites clunky, ugly, and useless to their visitors. Whether you use your website to find clients, sell products, or publish content, obeying good web design rules is a must for success. So we thought we’d give you a peek at what we believe your website should have in order to avoid the pitfall of a boring or inefficient website (Without getting too technical).

Here are the three rules of great web design that every business owner should follow and have in order to succeed in the highly competitive internet marketplace. These are some simple but most important best practices that we use to ensure our clients have a website that is effective, professional, and bound to attract and keep more visitors.

 

Easy, Intuitive Navigation

 

The first thing most people will look for on your website is your logo and navigation bar, so we need to make sure they are obvious and appealing. It’s important that your main navigation menu is front and center, right near the top of the page where it can be found at a glance. By using intuitive titles and categories to organise the links in your navigation bar; most websites have, at a minimum, links to their homepage, about page, contact information, and archives. Making sure your menu bar stays in the same spot throughout your whole website (Whether this is fixed or sticky) so your visitors can access any part of your site no matter what page they’re on. The same is true for logo. They should always link back to your home page when clicked and stay in the same place on every page of your site. Following these practices will give your website a cohesive, appealing look and help visitors quickly find the information they need.

 

As we thrive for more user friendly web experiences we must remove all irrelevant clutter and provide customers with a simple to use navigation along with eye catching and engaging content.

 

Readable Text

 

The second most important visual aspect of your website is text, which should always be clear, easily readable, and not cause any eye strain. This might seem like common sense, but, in practice many websites fail in this area. All too commonly, websites use text that is too bright or too small, choose font colours that blend in with the background, or use fonts that are obnoxious to read. As a general rule, you should avoid using black or other dark colours for your site’s background because people read dark text on white background faster and easier than light text on dark background. White, yellow, and light-coloured text is simply too bright and glaring to read easily on a screen. Using black or another dark colour with a pale or white background creates contrast that makes text easy to read with little strain. Always choose a font that is easy to read and avoid artistic, loopy, or unprofessional fonts, especially for your main content (if you’re going to use them, it’s best to save the creative fonts for your titles and banners).

We’re the first to admit that sometimes we do need to make exceptions to this advice to make websites in keeping with client’s branding (Nothing is ever to simple)

 

The product page on this website provides users with only essential information so that they can promptly purchase their desired shoe size. Other relevant information about the product features can be found lower down the page if users wish to get more engaged with the brand. Basic sans serif font use in various sizes and styles ensures that customers can differentiate between information, size selection and the ever so important “Add to Cart” button.

 

Simple, Uncluttered Design

 

No matter how vibrant or creative you want your website to be, you want to avoid stuffing it too full of banners, columns, ads, and photos. Simpler isn’t always better, but it’s a great place to start. You want to make sure there is a clear, coherent visual layout that will bring your visitors through your website in a logical and intuitive manner. This means sticking to a colour scheme in order to create a cohesive visual design for your site. Make sure your photos, banners, font colours, etc. work in harmony with the colour scheme, the purpose of your website and marketing.

If you use ads, photos, and other graphics, make sure they add to rather than take away from your site’s flow and visual appeal – use images efficiently. Based on the goals and purpose of your website, figure out where you want to direct your visitors and make sure that it’s easy and obvious for visitors to navigate to those parts of your site. Make sure to leave open “white space” so your site doesn’t seem too crowded, and don’t clutter your sidebars with too many ads or content feeds.

 

Unclutted, when the user is attracted to a design of shoe, with a simple hover of the mouse they can display important product information such as the product title and price.

 

Conclusion

 

Every website has a different look and feel, but all good websites must be organised and good looking to succeed. You can see how these universal web design principles are implemented on any popular, successful website you visit. If you stick with a colour scheme, provide intuitive navigation bars and a have a tidy design, then your website will immediately seem trustworthy and professional.

Make sure that when your website is built it comes with a content management system that enables you to maintain the look and feel or your website without much effort, as the content you create will automatically “fit in” with the design and layout ensuring you get a worthwhile investment and longevity in your website.

 

Andrew K

A multidisciplinary designer specialising in E-commerce and UX who loves every stage of the online design process.

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