The web contains over five billion indexed web pages. There are millions of websites, all with unique designs and purposes.
It can be challenging to stand out in such a crowded space. But, what can we learn from these sites to improve web design and make sites more attractive?
Web design is critical in accomplishing communication goals with your online audience. The design affects the performance of the site and its appeal to visitors. Here are seven web design tips to help you get started on creating an attractive website.
Color is an essential element when it comes to web design. In most cases, the color choices are dictated by the brand’s theme and voice. Although it is crucial to portray brand identity using colors, keep in mind that the combination of colors makes a significant impact on the site’s overall appeal.
If the brand is represented using many colors, choose at most three of them to base the color palette.
Choose different shades of light or dark colors to build a general background. Use a different set of contrasting hues to bring out and highlight distinct features.
Many professional websites use a monochromatic color design such as shades of dark and grey. The designer then spices up some features with a splash of vibrant color, though in a subtle way.
The important thing is to learn and apply the psychology of color in your design. Use color to evoke certain feelings or actions.
However, be keen not to overload your color design. Overuse of colors can easily change a site’s look from appealing to chaotic.
Also, be careful when experimenting with different colors; it is challenging to restore credibility after a theme changes once the site has gone live.
Modern interface designs are less focused on extravagance and more on minimalism. A minimalistic design follows the notion or philosophy of “less is more.”
To keep the attention of visitors on the essential details, interface designers strip away all irrelevant features, leaving only the bare minimum. Many developers will call this removing clutter (unnecessary features).
Such a design not only keeps a narrow focus of attention on the site but also makes the site seem more attractive and professional.
Clutter is not necessarily bad. But visually, it might make the site appear shouty and a bit chaotic. Visitors only take one glace to make out what a website is about. With too much clutter, that becomes difficult.
A minimalistic design means you’ll have a lot of white spaces too. White spaces direct the user’s attention and distinctly separates different features. It also improves readability and makes the site look less crowded.
An excellent example of minimalist web design that has worked for decades is Google’s search homepage. Despite being the most powerful search engine, the interface design is incredibly modest. The only features you get are a search bar, a hidden menu, one image, and a button.
Typography is a broad topic when it comes to text presentation. There is a lot more to typography than the font characteristics. It is a way to communicate and make text pleasant and easy to read.
For web design, let’s look at some of the essential tips that should improve the user’s reading experience.
Don’t use more than three types of fonts on your site. With too many types, every font fights for the reader’s attention. When using different fonts, the transition should be harmonious in a way that they complement each other.
It’s also important to use standard fonts with clearly distinguishable letters and symbols.
The length of text lines profoundly affects readability. For mobile devices, the maximum range should be 30-40 characters per line.
With larger screens, the length can go up to 60 characters per line. Shorter lines are more compact and easier to read.
With such a wide variety of devices with web access, page scaling on different screen sizes is an important consideration. Use a font type that maintains legibility even when magnified or diminished. For instance, the cursive text is often hard to read on a small scale.
Many readers find it easier to skim through text when both caps are used. Under no circumstances should you use all caps unless it’s absolutely necessary. It is conspicuous, tedious to read, and visually repelling.
Ensure that there is a high contrast hue between the background color and the text color for maximum visibility. About a 4:1 contrast ratio is a good start. Also, avoid blinking or flickering colored text that could cause seizure attacks on some individual.
Try and unify all the elements, graphics, text, and content into a harmonious design. The goal is to maintain design consistency throughout the site.
A design can look amazing but still lack consistency. The reason why consistency is so important is that it brings out professionalism in design. The site also comes together to communicate a universal message.
For starters, all the pages should have a common layout, theme, color scheme, and textual features.
Secondly, and this could be a bit more challenging to implement, all the visual elements have to be synchronized. The text has to match with the graphics, the colors with the theme; even the color, size, and shapes of buttons and icons have to reflect the underlying design scheme.
You could come up with a great choice of a color palette, but the rest of the design simply fails to match. When this happens, even with other carefully selected features, the design quickly falls apart.
On average, 49% of website visitors leave after only viewing one page. This is known as bounce rate. Web analysts attribute high bounce rates to poor navigation.
Many visitors get frustrated when they don’t find whatever they are looking for on the first page. Since you can’t have everything on the landing page or home page, the only solution is to make it easy to find everything else from there.
The only way to do this is to locate every feature where the average internet user expects to find it. Every element should be intuitive and also respond in the same way that the user expects.
A good way around this is to have tree navigational menu at the top of the home page. Many users immediately look for a drop-down menu, a hamburger, or grid icon to reveal navigation options without leaving the home page.
From the home page, the user should easily be guided to all other pages on the site. The home page should also tell the user what the site is about and all the things that they can do there at a glance. There is simply no time to teach the visitors anything new.
The goal is to make the site feel familiar. But that does not necessarily mean conforming to conventional designs. You can still have fun with your design and share a unique experience as long as everything stays organized and within reach.
It may not seem like it, but this is one of the most crucial web design tips to make attractive websites. Ads are a terrible sight on a professional web.
There are several different ways to earn revenue from a site other than ads, while still maintaining a flawless design.
The reason why ads, which will most likely be banner ads or pop ads, are bad for design is that you have no control over how they are designed. The advertiser is at liberty to select random ads, with random colors and images, without considering how they will merge with the page visually.
Apart from the design conflict, ads may also shift the user’s attention from your content. Besides, ads have a bad press, and a majority of users either block the ads or leave the site altogether.
Multimedia has become popular in enriching web content to attract readers and viewers. Many websites focus on attracting visitors to the content on the landing page. This is where you’ll find introductory videos, stunning imaging, and captivating texts.
The only way to keep visitors engaged is to combine eye-catching pictures and other media elements with text. The idea is to have less text and about 80% more images and color.
However, go easy on animated features and auto-playing videos. Some devices are not well equipped to handle these particular media formats. Plus, some people may find auto-playing media annoying, especially if the sequence cannot be paused or stopped.
These seven tips do not limit the principles of attractive web design. Many other factors, such as usability, loading speed, and responsiveness also comes into play.
Mastery of web design is an art that requires an eye for detail, creativity, imagination, and a will for experimentation.
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