6 Rules for Good Web Design

What makes a good website? You know when a website looks professional and well designed, but it's less obvious what exactly makes it good. It takes practice and learning some base principles to design a great website. 

Web design is like anything else, playing music or painting. You know what's good when you see it. Let's demystify why good design is good with these quick tips.

Keep Your Design Simple

When designing a website, it's best to keep things simple. Having too many elements on the page is distracting to your visitors. With a clean and simple design, users enjoy using your website more and they'll have an easier time finding what they need.

Your design should keep the site's purpose in mind, and not have unnecessary design elements that take visitors away from that main purpose. 

Your homepage is probably used to give quick overview of your company. Your blog posts should be of sharing information related to your business, and possibly helping to drive sales.

It's important to keep these purposes in mind when designing each part of the website.

Consistency is Key

darts consistently on target

An important design principle, in general, is keeping things consistent. You should pick a few typefaces, font sizes, and colors that you use consistently as a part of your branding. 

Elements on your pages should be designed with a similar style, making sure things like borders, shadows, and sizing are consistent. It's also important to keep your styling consistent across each page Inconsistency in your design make it look

High Quality Images

professional photographer using dslr camera

Imagery plays a big role in good web design and making your website look good. Your site should use high-quality professional photos.

If you don't already have appropriate images to use, stock photos work great. Unsplash is a good place to find free stock photos. Shutterstock is a paid site for stock photos with a much larger library and a wide variety of photos.

As far as other graphics on your site such as illustrations, it's best to have a graphic designer take your ideas and make unique designs for your site.

A graphic designer can ensure you get professional quality graphics that match your specific needs and keep them in line with your existing branding.

Easy to Use Navigation

navigation app on smartphone

From a usability standpoint, navigation is an important part of web design. Every page of your website should be easy to get to. In general, it's a good idea to make sure every page on your site can be found within 3 clicks.

Two of the most common places to place links to important pages are the header and the footer. 

The header, sometimes known as a navbar, is found at the top of the page, and contains the site's logo and links to the most important pages. It's common to link to pages like sign up, log in, and additional information like a blog or services pages here. The footer contains other important links, such as the contact page, terms, and privacy pages.

Once again, you have to take into consideration the purpose of the site. What links should go where differs depending on what the site is for.

Mobile Friendliness

mobile friendly web design on a smartphone

Mobile devices account for more half and growing of web traffic. it's important that your website is just as easy to use on smartphones as it is on a desktop computer. It's no longer optional for your web design to be mobile-friendly.

The most common way to make a website mobile friendly is with responsive design. With responsive design, the same web page is styled for ease of use on any device. With techniques such as media queries, different styles can be applied for different screen sizes, making your site easy to use across all devices.

Communication

man speaking to an audience

Notice how easy it is to read through this blog post? The way you phrase ideas and break them down is also important for web design. Let's go over how to get this done.

Keep your paragraphs short, adding a line break after every 1-3 sentences. Large blocks of text are more difficult to read, and it's more likely your visitors will skim over them, missing what you're trying to say.

You should try to keep your vocabulary simple. Simple writing is better writing. It's best to stay at a grade school reading level. Using too much jargon or longer words makes your content harder to read, even for an educated audience.

Your content should be broken down with headings and subheadings. No matter how clear and concise your writing, people are going to skim through to find the information they're looking for. Organizing content with headings helps visitors easily get what they need.

Conclusion

Good web design follows many of the same principles as any kind of design. To design a good website, these principles must be learned and practiced.

We hope this short overview has been helpful in better understanding web design. If you'd like us to build you a beautifully designed website, let's get in touch.

Bidwell Websites is a web design agency based out of Chico, California. We take pride in building great websites that will impress your customers and help your business to grow.
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