If you have a website, whether for a business or personal, you probably know that web design can get complicated. There are a lot of factors at play, and sometimes it seems as though these elements just don’t work as well together as we would like.
On the other hand, once you reach a position of balance, combining good design, excellent UI, and beautiful aesthetics, your website will be a source of pride and joy.
So what goes into finding that careful balance?
What Is Good Web Design?
A well-designed website is one that accomplishes its intended purpose while engaging the visitor. So if you have a business website, the intended purpose may be to sell products. If your site allows your customers to do so, while also enticing them to spend more time on the site and invest more in your products, you could say that the site is well-designed.
A good website:
- Enhances engagement
- Is easy to use
- Encourages the visitor to spend more time on the site and visit more pages on-site
- Provides all necessary information
- Is easy to navigate
- Is appealing to look at
- Is accessible to all
Your individual needs will differ depending on the purpose of the site, but all of the above apply to any site design.
So what factors do you need for a well-designed site?
What Does Your Website Need?
Regardless of your niche, market, or purpose, your site has certain areas that need attention.
Here’s a quick run-down, and then we’ll get into the specifics of each section.
- Ease of use
- Simple layout
- Adequate spacing and use of negative space.
- Attractive, unique visuals
- Legible fonts and colors
Designing The User Experience
To create the best possible UX, focus needs to be on functionality, rather than the purely visual aspect of the site. A site that looks pretty but which is difficult to use or which takes a long time to load is not good web design.
Many web designers prize simplicity of design, because simple is usually best when it comes to user interface and UX. A simple web design highlights the information that is most important, and keeps the overall site from looking too cluttered.
It keeps the viewer on-track, keeping them from getting distracted. This also makes it better for the business, too.
Make sure to include necessary features in your design, but don’t go overboard and put in extraneous features simply because they look cool. A search function is typical for a site and is likely to be used frequently, so it needs to be designed well and work properly. Gimmicks and games, on the other hand, are more likely to just get in the way and bog down your site.
Ensure that your site is easy to navigate, and that important information is readily available. This may include things like contact information in the footer, or even the logo of your company in the top left corner, to make sure the page is readily identifiable. There are different ways you can arrange this though, depending on your business niche. Logos for financial companies will look better at the top left of the webpage whereas a florist’s logo design would look better in the center as attract the visitors.
Design the flow of your web pages in a way that makes sense. It may be a good idea to limit the number of pages that you have on your site; consider running a blog alongside the site, which you can use to further develop points of interest and include SEO content.
Layout and Spacing
Along with simplicity being a good decision for UX and UI, it contributes to a layout that makes sense for your site.
The layout for your site should focus on the important information. For instance, consider what you want your visitor to focus on. That content, whether it is visual, written, video, or a combination, should go above the fold on your homepage, drawing the viewer in.
Don’t crowd your layout with too many elements, and make sure to allow plenty of negative space around each individual element, so they can breathe. Crowded sites tend to turn people off, and make it more difficult for your customer to find what they need.
Visuals and Aesthetics
It’s true that usability is a more important concern than aesthetic appeal, but that doesn’t mean that your visuals don’t matter!
This is especially so, since your choices in colors, fonts, and graphics can make your content more readable and user-friendly — or do the exact opposite.
Choose background colors and font colors that are easy on the eyes and which can be easily read.
Visuals are a great way to convey information and keep the interest of your viewer. So brief videos or images like infographics are definitely recommended, along with well-written content. Much of the content on the web is either in video format or in articles that are structured as lists, so keep in mind that your audience is likely expecting to skim information, rather than reading long, in-depth articles.
The accuracy, reliability, and visual appeal of the content you publish is also an important factor in building a good website.
Take Your Web Design To The Next Level
Many sites these days focus on staying on-trend with their style rather than promoting good web design. But even though it can seem complicated, it isn’t really that hard to make all the pieces come together and create a site that you can be proud of.
By paying attention to everything from the layout and loading time to the content and visuals, you can ensure a good user experience and an excellent design.
When not working on website projects, Cynthia Adam loves to write about web design, web development and how to market them. Her writing aims to ease the process of web design and web development for other website owners.