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8 Principles of Good Website Design

A business needs an effective website and this calls for good website design. A well-designed website is the key to attracting visitors who would be customers for your business. We will tell you all you want to know about good website design in this article.

You would want a great website for your business, and we will tell you exactly how to do it. We are an experienced B2B website design agency who understand what customers look for when they visit a website.

We will tell you how to go about designing a great website by outlining eight principles of good website design. Read on to know all about these principles and how to apply them in website design.


Website Purpose

The website you create should be designed keeping in mind the user. Before starting the design, it is required to decide the purpose of the website. From our experience, most websites either are made to educate, inform, or persuade visitors.

The website purpose can be summed up under one of the following. This is the purpose you must keep in mind while designing the website.

  • The website should outline your expertise, experience or competence in this field.
  • It must let the users know your reputation in this sector.
  • The ultimate objective of the website should be to generate leads for the business.
  • The website can also offer support to users.

Simplistic Design

From our experience, we know simplicity is the secret of a good website. A good website need not have complex design elements. Users prefer something that is simple and yet attracts the eye. The things to keep in mind when it comes to simplistic design are:

  • Colour: The colour of the website must be in line with the brand. The colours chosen should be eye catching and not too bright. Ideally, we advise that you do not use more than 5 colours. Use colours that complement each other and make browsing a pleasant experience.
  • Font: The font should be clearly visible on all devices. Avoid using more than 2 or 3 fonts. We strongly suggest you use your brand font on the website.
  • Images: Attractive images help to catch the user’s attention. We suggest you select images not at random, but that has some relation to your brand. The images should convey the brand message. Use a combination of photos, infographics, and illustrations to create the best effect.

Website Navigation

Users expect seamless navigation on the website. We suggest you don’t make them search around for how to move to the next page. Organise your website logically making it easy for users to find what they want.

Your website navigation should be intuitive. Information should flow logically. This is the best way of making the user stay on the site and browse all your content.

There are four types of website navigation:

  • Primary, which is at the top of the page.
  • Top bar is a good way to keep the menu on the screen at all times in the form of a bar.
  • Footers at the bottom of the page should also have the menu so the user need not go back to the top to navigate.
  • Sidebar or at the left (or right side) makes browsing convenient. It does not make the user go up and down searching for the navigation.

F-Shaped Pattern Reading

We want to share with you something very important when it comes to website design. This is how a user browses through a website. It is known as F-shaped pattern reading. The F-shaped pattern is followed by users when they start reading a website. They start from the left and then move to the right. They start from the top and move to the bottom.

We suggest you design your website so that information is arranged keeping in mind the F-shaped pattern reading that people follow. The top left of the page is where the visitor would start. Place important content at this place. We suggest you add a CTA in the form of an image or link at this position.

Pages that follow the F-shaped pattern are easier for users to read. Keep this principle in mind while designing a page that is heavy on text.

Visual Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy refers to the hierarchy of arrangements of all visual elements of the webpage. Following this hierarchy makes it easy to engage with site visitors. We will tell you how to use this visual hierarchy in the most effective way while designing your website.

Let’s look at the elements in the visual hierarchy to understand how to use them effectively.

  • Size: The size of text and images play an important role in attracting attention. A large headline text is easily noticeable. Similarly, larger images would definitely be seen.
  • Colour: If you have two colours on a webpage, you can use a dark colour to highlight important content. The use of colour helps to make text stand out.
  • Contrast: There must be a contrast between elements of a webpage. This makes the page look more attractive for the user.
  • Typography: The use of fonts and font sizes help to attract readers. Select a font that is comfortable to read and be consistent in font usage.
  • Whitespace: This refers to the blank or white space on a page. Cramming your page with text and images can overwhelm a visitor. Whitespace creates a pleasing impact and actually helps to focus attention to content.
  • Texture: A design that uses texture can help in focusing on certain elements on the page. This is a great way to focus on key elements on the page.
  • Style: Here, the style refers to design aesthetics. Eg: Flat style, retro style, etc. Select a style relevant to the content and in line with your brand image.

Using a structured visual hierarchy helps to create an immersive experience for users. They would enjoy viewing your site and would want to return for more.

Website Content

Content is king is an old saying that is true. All other design elements are supporting actors, content is the hero of your website. From our experience, we suggest you create content that is unique and value-adding for readers.

The language must be simple and easy to understand. Avoid lengthy sentences and long paragraphs. Use bullet points to make it easy to read. Most importantly, the content needs to inform, educate, as well as persuade visitors.

Use content effectively to draw in traffic. Remember, Google rewards websites with unique and engaging content. We advise you to create quality content and keep adding to your content regularly. This will help your website rank higher on Google getting more visitors.

The different types of content you can use are:

  • Blog posts: A blog post has content presented informally. It can have tips, suggestions, opinions, lessons, etc.
  • Articles: They convey information formally and are usually scholarly in nature.
  • Infographics: It is a great way to present information graphically to hold the attention of users.
  • Images: Graphics and photos are used to grab attention.
  • Videos: More and more people today want video content that is engaging and visually pleasing. Adding videos is a great way to attract visitors.

Fast Load times

Studies clearly show that if a page does not load within 3 seconds, they are likely to leave the website. It is very important to ensure the page loads fast. Here are issues that affect load times:

  • Unoptimized images can slow down page loading. So, optimise all images.
  • Problems with JavaScript can affect page speed. An audit of JavaScripts will help you solve issues.
  • Too much flash content can slow down the page, it’s no longer cool.
  • Too many HTTP requests can also slow the page.
  • Unclean coding slows down a website and calls for a cleanup.
  • Too many ads are not only irritating for users but slow your website.
  • Bad hosting slows your website, consider changing your hosting company to improve loading times.

Mobile Friendly Design

Studies show 90% of the global population use mobile devices to access the internet. You must know a website looks different on the mobile as compared to a laptop. You need to design your website to make it mobile friendly.

The website must display properly on a mobile without images getting distorted or text positions changing. The design needs to be responsive, i.e.: it must change depending on the device used to access the internet.

We cannot underscore the importance of a mobile-friendly design. It ensures you get the same traffic and engagement, irrespective of the device used by customers to visit your website. This is the best way to establish credibility.

In Conclusion

We listed 8 principles to help you design a great website. Following these principles will help you create a website that can attract visitors. Let your website be simple, have useful content, and be easy to use. This will help in increasing traffic.

Working with Intuit will help you design a great website. We are an Umbraco agency and working with us will allow you to manage your website effectively to get the best results.

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