Principles of effective design
Whilst good websites come in all shapes and sizes, there are some common principles of web design that always need to be employed. You don’t always need to be an expert either—a few simple, basic rules can give you a solid foundation from which to build a unique and usable site that can perform on every level, and here are just a few of those principles that you need to remember:
Simplicity is key. Your users don’t want to be hunting around to find the information they’re looking for, and that means clean, simple navigation is the only option. Keep menus easy to view and understand with all applicable pages clearly displayed—if visitors have to start playing detective in order to find what they’re after they’ll soon look elsewhere.
Get the content right. As well as producing great content that offers value to readers, the layout and how you position your text can make all the difference. It needs to be easy to scan and digest so be concise with your language and break text up however you can—sub-headings, columns and bullet points (ahem) are ideal.
Communicate effectively. Don’t bombard your readers with too much information or OTT features, and make sure to consider things like colour, typography and readability too. Don’t use more than 3 fonts on a page, for example, and always use white space to its full effect—this single aspect can transform your site and can ensure readers will instantly see what you’re trying to show them, with minimalism being a key trend and one you really need to take advantage of.
Attract attention rather than distract. All of the previous points can help ensure you’re drawing the eye to all the right places, but it’s worth making doubly certain that you’re doing it right—layout and simplicity is vital and always make sure you’re directing attention to the value-driven information, and never distract visitors with complex web design features that won’t bring any benefit to the conversion potential.
Got that? Then get out there and get designing! (Or get the experts to help…)