They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Likewise, effective web design is something that can only be judged by website visitors and users rather than its owners. There are a variety of factors that have an impact on a website’s usability. The design of your website is not solely based on form i.e. how good it comes off, but its function, which means how easy it is to use, can also make a huge difference. Websites that lack an effective web design tend to perform poorly as they have low time on website, high bounce rates, low conversations and low pages per visit. This is primarily because they don’t incorporate the top principles of effective web design.
Here are the essential and best principles that make a website easy to use, aesthetically pleasing, effective and engaging:
Purpose: Good web design is one that cater to the needs of its users. Are your visitors seeking entertainment, information, other interaction or just wish to transact with your business? There should be a clear purpose for every page of the website and it should fulfil a specific need of your users in the most effective way possible.
Communication: These days, when people go online, they want to obtain information in a matter of seconds and minutes. Therefore, it is crucial that a website communicates clearly and makes the information easy to digest and read. Some tactics for effective web design include the use of headlines and sub-headlines and using bullets for listing information rather than using long sentences.
Colours: A good colour palette can go a long way in offering users a better and enhanced experience. You can create harmony and balance with complementary colours. Reading becomes easier on the eye with the use of contrasting colours for the background and text. You can create emotions with vibrant colours, but they should be used sparingly like for call to actions. Likewise, you can also give the website an uncluttered and modern look with white/negative space.
Images: A picture is worth a thousand words and selecting the right ones for your website can aid in connecting with your audience and brand positioning. If you don’t have high quality cameras handy, you can think about purchasing stock photos to give your website a solid boost. Also, you should give some thought to incorporating graphics, video and infographics as they are even better at communicating than even the most well-written text. Oakley sunglasses are a great example of a company that does this well, with sharp graphics and images to complement their brand and make them very distinctive.
Navigation: Navigation is all about how easy it is for visitors to move around your website and take the desired action. There are some useful tactics that can be used for effective navigation include using bread crumbs, a logical page hierarchy, following the ‘three click rule’ (users will be able to get the desired information in three clicks) and designing clickable buttons. Content should also be arranged in order on the website rather than haphazardly as this will make it appear messy and make navigation difficult. It is better to use boxes, columns and sections that give a balanced appearance.