Proper web design is like fashion – just because you CAN put bright red, pink, and yellow together doesn’t mean that you SHOULD.
Internet users are very picky and mostly in a hurry to find information. If your website is very cluttered or very confusing, it doesn’t even matter if you have the information they want or not. People have a lot on their minds and if they can’t immediately see what they’re looking for on your website, they will leave and find the next best thing. Proper web design is very important if you want people to stay on your website.
What does proper web design look like?
There are millions of ways you can design a website. Some of the designs will look better than others. Here are some guidelines you can follow for proper web design:
Start the design offscreen
Beginning the design process on paper or a whiteboard might be a good idea. Find some inspiration for colour palettes in nature.
Above the fold is old
There is no need to design your website’s home page to fit on a computer’s screen anymore. Experiment with longer home pages.
Mobile responsiveness is not optional
More people access the internet from their smartphones than with computers, and the numbers just keep increasing. Having a mobile responsive site is very important – it makes you look more professional and doesn’t irritate your visitors.
Use white spaces
It’s not necessary to fill every single centimetre of your site with something. Empty spaces are good – it keeps the website clean and tidy.
Don’t use side bars
It’s very old-fashioned to use sidebars on your website. Rather build longer pages, allowing people to scroll through them.
Use larger text
Larger font sizes have the ability to grab the visitors’ attention and focus it where you want it to be. This also makes it easier for people using their mobile devices to read the text on your site.
Pick a three-colour palette
And stick to it! Choose one of the colours to be your “action colour” – use it wherever you require an action from the visitor.
Create a style guide
Once you decided which colours and fonts you will be using on your website, create a style guide to document it. This guide can be a reference to anyone that needs to work on the site after you did. Consistency is key!
You don’t want your visitors hanging around on your website with no idea where to click. People don’t like concentrating too much while navigating a website. You want to make the next clicks as obvious as possible.
It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice. – Steve Krug, Information Architect
Use high quality images
The higher the quality of the images, the more professional your site will look. Don’t overdo it, however, you don’t want to end up with a website that takes forever to load and uses all of your visitors’ data.
Check your loading time
Speaking of not using images that are too large, you should also check the loading time of your website. It can influence the bounce rate if it takes too long to load – people are impatient and don’t like waiting.