We all know, first impressions are important. And when it comes to websites, first impressions can make or break a user’s experience.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure your website is designed for both exceptional usability and visual appeal. But how do you achieve that balance?
Many factors contribute to good web design, but in general, the following nine guidelines can help you create an effective website.
1. Make sure your website has a clear purpose.
2. Keep your design simple and uncluttered.
3. Use easy-to-read fonts and ample white space.
4. Make sure your website is easy to navigate.
5. Use high-quality visuals (images, videos, etc.).
6. Use calls to action to encourage visitors to take desired actions.
7. Optimise your website for search engines (SEO).
8. Make sure your website is responsive (works on all devices).
9. Test your website regularly and make improvements as needed.
Following these guidelines can help you create an effective website that meets the needs of both users and search engines alike!
The 9 Guidelines.
1. The site should be easy to use.
The design should be easy to understand and use. Users should be able to find what they are looking for easily and quickly. All the important information should be visible on the main page and the navigation should be simple.
2. The site should be visually appealing.
The site should have a clean and professional look. The colours, layout, visual hierarchy and images should all work together to create an aesthetically pleasing overall design.
3. The site should be easy to navigate.
The navigation should be simple and easy to understand. Users should be able to find their way around the site easily and without confusion.
4. The site should have relevant and informative content.
The content of the site should be relevant and informative. It should provide value to the user and help them achieve their goals.
5. The site should be well-organised.
The site’s content should be well-organised. Information should be easy to find and structured logically.
6. The site’s functionality should be flawless.
All the features of the site should work correctly and as intended. There should be no broken links or errors on the pages of the site.
7. The site should load quickly.
The pages of the site should load quickly and without delay. Users should not have to wait long for the pages to load.
8. Responsive Design.
The sites should be developed using responsive design techniques so that they can be accessed on different devices and screen sizes.
9. Security & Privacy.
The site must follow internet best practices for security and privacy.
Best Practices for Web Design.
What makes a good website design? That’s a loaded question with many answers. But we can narrow it down to 9 essential guidelines for exceptional Web Design & Usability.
The layout of your website should be easy to understand and use. It should be intuitive and logical. Visitors should be able to find what they’re looking for easily, without having to search for it.
Your website should have a clean, professional design that is pleasing to the eye. The overall look of the site should be consistent with a coherent colour scheme and typography. All the elements on the page should work together to create a unified whole.
Your website should be easy to use and navigate. All the links on your site should work and they should all lead where they’re supposed to lead. Your site should also load quickly and be responsive on all devices.
4.”Call to Action”.
Your website should have a clear “call to action” — a button or link that encourages visitors to take some desired action, such as subscribing to your newsletter or making a purchase. The “call to action” should be prominently displayed and easy to find.
5.” Above the Fold”.
The most important content on your website — the content you want visitors to see first — should be “above the fold”, meaning it appears on the screen without having to scroll down. This is especially important on mobile devices, where people are more likely than ever to abandon a site if they have to scroll down just to see what it’s about.
An effective website design makes use of “white space” or negative space — areas of the page that are left blank, intentionally free of any text or images. White space helps break up content into manageable chunks, makes pages easier on the eye and can even make pages seem more spacious and less crowded overall. So don’t be afraid of using some space on your web pages!
7.”Less Is More”
A good rule of thumb for website design is “less is more.” In other words, simplicity is usually best. Visitors shouldn’t have to sift through layers of complicated information or navigation menus just to find what they’re looking for. Everything should be as straightforward as possible. This rule also applies to things like pop-ups and other forms of advertising. Too many can be intrusive and annoying, driving visitors away from your site instead of enticing them further in. Keep it simple!
Best Practices for Usability.
There are endless debates on what constitutes good web design and usability. However, there are some common Guidelines & Best Practices that most experts agree on.
1. Keep it Simple.
The most important thing to remember is to KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Not every website needs to be flashy or have 1001 features. Simplicity is often the key to good design. Stick to the basics and focus on delivering a good user experience.
2. Make it Easy to Use.
Your website should be easy to use and navigate. Visitors should be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. Use clear and concise text, easy-to-click links and well-organised content.
3. Optimise for Mobile.
With over 60% of web traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s important to make sure your website is optimised for mobile. This means having a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes and providing a mobile-friendly user experience.
4. Use Good Visual Design.
Visual design is an important part of web design. It includes things like the layout, colours, typography, images, and whitespace. Good visual design can help improve the look and feel of your website, as well as the user experience.
5. Use Available Technologies Wisely.
There are many technologies available for use in web design, such as HTML5, CSS3, and jQuery. Use these technologies wisely to improve the functionality and usability of your website, while keeping the code clean and well-organised.
6. Make it Accessible.
Accessibility is important for all users, but especially those with disabilities, who may need assistance using your website. Follow WCAG guidelines to ensure your website can be used by everyone, regardless of ability or disability.
Funnel all decisions through the following two questions: Will this decision make my site more valuable or compelling for my ideal customer/visitor? If not – don’t do it! Or – Is there another way I can achieve the same result without adding clutter or complexity? If so – do that instead! Adding value is paramount – if you want people to buy from you – give them a reason! Ideally, there are several reasons!
7. Use whitespace effectively.
Whitespace or negative space is the area on a page that doesn’t contain any content or graphics. Though it may seem like wasted space, whitespace is an important part of web design. When used effectively, whitespace can help to create a feeling of openness and relaxation, making it easier for visitors to read and digest the content on a page.
8. Consolidate calls to action.
Use typography to create a hierarchy. Choose colours wisely and optimise for mobile thoroughly.
Tips for Creating an Exceptional User Experience.
No matter what kind of website you’re creating, the goal is always the same: to create a positive user experience that encourages visitors to take the action you want them to take. To do that, you need to design a site that is both visually appealing and easy to use.
Here are 6 guidelines and best practices for creating an exceptional user experience.
1. Use whitespace effectively.
Whitespace or negative space is the area between elements on your page. It’s important to use whitespace effectively because it can help direct a user’s eye to the most important information on your page. Too little whitespace will make your page feel cluttered and difficult to navigate, while too much whitespace will make your page feel unfinished.
2. Keep your pages short and scannable.
Most users don’t read web pages word for word, they scan them, looking for the information they need. To make your pages easy to scan, keep your paragraphs short (no more than 3-4 sentences) and use headers and subheaders to break up the text. You should also use bullet points or numbering when possible.
3. Use visuals effectively.
Visuals are a great way to break up text and add interest to your page. However, it’s important to use visuals effectively, so that they complement rather than clutter your page. When choosing visuals, be sure to consider both quality and relevance. Only choose visuals that are high-quality and add value to your content.
4. Make sure your links work.
All the links on your website should work properly. If one link is broken, it can damage your credibility in the eyes of users. Check all of your links regularly to ensure that they are working correctly and fix any broken links as soon as possible.
5. Use fonts wisely.
The fonts you use on your website should be easy to read. Web users generally prefer simple, sans serif fonts such as Arial or Verdana. When choosing fonts, also consider how many types of fonts you’re using on each page. Using too many font types can make your page look cluttered and difficult to read. Try to limit yourself to two or three different font types per page at most.
6. Pay attention to colour schemes.
Colour can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of your website, so it’s important to choose a colour scheme that reflects the personality of your brand. When choosing colours for your website, keep in mind both the psychology of colour and how colours will look when viewed on both desktops and mobile devices. In general, it’s best to stick with a limited colour palette: two or three colours should be sufficient.
In conclusion, following these guidelines will help you design web pages that are both visually appealing and easy to use. Creating a good user experience should be your top priority, as it will keep visitors coming back to your site. By paying attention to detail and staying up-to-date with current trends, you can create a website that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional.