Basic Website Design Principles

When designing your website, it’s best to learn from the mistakes and successes of those who’ve gone before. Countless others have toiled on creating effective sites that communicate clearly and capture whatever results are desired.

Map pins float above city scape and network connection conceptTo start off, you need to know what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s impossible to design a site without know why you’re doing it. Your focus must be on what kinds of users you want to attract, and what you want to provide for them.

Some websites are set up to just communicate information. Others are online stores designed to sell products or services. You might be looking to entertain visitors, or provide a place for people to get together and discuss certain topics. The kind of environment you’re looking to create will help dictate how you design the site.

Branding Your Website

Create an identity or brand for your site. Pick out consistent colors, layouts, logos, fonts, backgrounds even navigation menus for all the pages. You even want the writing on the site to have the same voice. This will make the whole website feel well-composed and professional, leaving a good impression on anyone who visits.

Keep the Design Simple

Always keep things are simple as possible. The last thing you want is for your site to look busy. Visitors can easily become overwhelmed by layouts crammed with too much information. They’ll look elsewhere, and your site won’t get much repeat traffic. Instead, leave plenty of margin around text, images, or whatever else and don’t be afraid to use white space in your web design. Of course, you can go overboard in trying to be clean and simple, so don’t be minimalistic to the point of eliminating valuable elements.

Put important information where it can be found easily. This includes giving visitors a way to contact you, because hearing from customers or the public can be golden. If you’re selling products on an ecommerce website, make the process of buying simple to find and use. Burying information will discourage people, causing them to leave.

Images are Key in Good Web Design

Use images. Sites with just text are boring to visit. Adding dynamic images, whether they’re photos, professional illustrations or even just creative logos, provides considerable interest. Imagine buying cereal where the box just had plain text on it. You can’t, because cereal makers understand the importance of making things attractive through creative design. Go with the highest resolution for images possible, without making the site load slowly.

Always remember that people will see the very top of your website first. You have that one chance to make a positive impression and give first-time visitors are reason to scroll down. Create a hook of some sort to get people to stick around. Also, remember that we read from left to right, so put the most compelling and vital info at the top left corner of your landing page, which is like putting your best foot forward.

There are many other vital website design principles, but these will get you started in the right direction.