Websites are by far and away one of the most effective tools that you can use to communicate just about anything, whether it be a brand, a collection of work, or even an online shopping experience.
Today websites allow you to let your creativity run wild, and I always want designers to experiment and to push the boundaries of what you can produce. However, regardless of what creative path a designer chooses to follow when it comes to true branding, it’s super important to make a site that stands out. So today, we’re looking at five tips and design principles to keep in mind when designing a new website.
Regardless of the type of website, you plan to create, a portfolio, a landing page, a personal blog, or a magazine-style site, you can apply these design principles to bring your website’s design to a level closer to enhanced readability and user experience. This will get you on your way to getting that professional-looking Web site; fast!
1. Keep It Simple
So the first thing to keep in mind here is font choice. According to Masters of Digital Geelong, when designing websites intended for a general audience, one should use sans serif fonts such as Roboto, Open Sans, Proxima Nova, Arial, or Helvetica and not Times New Romans or Playfair Display. This is really because sans serif fonts are easy on eyes, more recognizable, and therefore simpler to read. And that is what you want for your audience. You should also limit yourself to a max of three different font types for your entire website, and you should try and use a minimum font size of 16, which is generally considered the easiest for online reading.
Finally, don’t put too much text on any given page. There are far too many examples of websites with big chunks of text throughout, and it just makes for more work for your audience. Thus try to limit the amount of text on the page and use fonts that are going to make life simpler for your audience.
2. Make Your Navigation Seamless
It’s not the visual design of a Web site that determines its success or its failure. Rather, it’s the usability.
Remember, you’re not the person who’s clicking the mouse. It’s the visitor on your page. So if they can’t find something on your website and might as well not even exist. So when you’re designing a website, a really helpful tip is to ask friends and family members to test your site’s navigation so that they can give you feedback on usability. This will help you ensure that the user experience is as seamless as possible. There’s a three-click rule that should apply to all websites, and that is the user should be able to find what they’re looking for within three clicks.
It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s absolutely true. Don’t make navigating a web site hard work for your audience. Otherwise, they’re not sticking around.
3. The Color Palette
So for this tip, you want to be really intentional about the colors you’re selecting to represent the different elements on your website, whether that be the background navigation menu or even the fonts used to read. Remember that complementary colors help create a balanced and visually appealing website. And there are even online tools that are worthwhile checking out, which help in selecting a range of colors that fit into specific, visually appealing color palettes.
Additionally, make sure you use contrasting colors for your text and for the background. So that’s really easy for your audience to read the information that you’re presenting to them. And vibrant colors whilst okay in some areas should be used sparingly, perhaps only for buttons and call to actions. Finally, don’t be afraid of negative whitespace. It will give your website a modern and uncluttered look, which is definitely something worth considering when designing a website.
4. Page Load Time
Everybody hates a web site that takes too long to load, and more often than not, on a website that is taking too long to load, we just click away. As this post is intended for website design, I won’t be diving too much into the depths of website optimization, but among all the website speed optimization tips you’ll get from an expert, the most important advice for a website to have a faster response time is to avoid excessively large images. We might be tempted to upload our images as high resolution as we can get them so that we can have the best quality images possible. But this will lead to longgggg load time.
So tools such as tiny jpeg or tinypng.com are really helpful and easy ways to reduce the file sizes of your images without losing much discernible quality.
5. Optimized for Mobile
Just about everyone is using their phone to browse the internet these days. And if you really want to tap into the massive opportunities of mobile search, then you really do need to prioritize optimizing your web site so that it looks good on a mobile device. If you are into web development of space, then you are probably already familiar with WordPress and similar content management systems, but for those who aren’t, WordPress is a super awesome, feature-rich and extensible CMS that lets you build mobile responsive websites without having you to write a single line of code.
For web developers, WordPress brings them the ability to realize their dream website design by using its easy to understand the templating system. On top of that, apart from already providing all its users with thousands upon thousands of free, responsive website templates, WordPress ecosystem is flooded with extensions that bring you drag-and-drop website design capability. A few of the prominent names in the plug-in ecosystem that are coupled with drag-and-drop functionality are Elementor, HeroCSS, etc.
With this platform, you can go crazy and make the templates look nothing like they originally did, which gives you lots of flexibility and is ideal for those of us wanting a little bit more freedom.
So that’s it—five super easy tips to keep in mind when designing your own website.