Is your business launching a website? Is it time to get into eCommerce and branch out beyond a brick-and-mortar setup?
That’s great, but you can’t simply launch a barebones website. Have a plan and work on intuitive web design. Keep in mind that a good design boosts SEO, attracts visitors, and directs people to explore further.
Don’t know the basic principles of web design? We’re here to walk you through it. Read our guide below to get started:
1. Responsive Design
A majority of people browse the Web using their smartphones and nothing else. Yes, there are more people on smartphones than there are using a desktop or laptop. Your web design has to cater to these users.
However, the problem is that smartphones come in a multitude of sizes. Address this by using a responsive design, which alters your site’s presentation and layout depending on the user’s device. Platforms like WordPress can do this for you automatically.
Keep in mind, they only alter the layout and menus. You still have to do some work too. Start by restructuring blog posts, using short paragraphs so that they don’t look like a big wall of text when viewed on a smartphone.
2. Pick Base Colors
Don’t go wild with the colors. Avoid a psychedelic design that prioritizes a rainbow of colors. Instead, pick two to three as your base colors.
Avoid picking colors randomly. You have to keep a few things in mind.
First, understand color psychology and how it works in the business landscape. Colors can evoke certain emotions or opinions. For example, yellow can evoke joy and it’s worked a lot for McDonald’s!
3. Take Advantage of Negative Space
One of the essential principles of web design is to avoid clutter. Don’t fill every white space with text, images, or ads. Leave some negative space to let your website breathe.
Keeping some negative space can also let other elements stand out.
Use the space to draw people’s attention to something, like a product photo or a subscription button. Let the negative space and visible elements of your website work in tandem to funnel people’s attention. We’ll talk about guiding people to your CTA a bit more in-depth down below.
4. Simple and Intuitive Navigation
Follow these steps to learn how to make a website look professional. First, go to your site.
Check how long it takes for you to find a blog post you uploaded some time ago.
Found it? Now time how long it takes to get back to the homepage or the contact page. If it took more than a few seconds, there’s something wrong with your site’s navigation structure.
It shouldn’t be hard to go back to a specific page or find a specific post. Keep navigation simple and intuitive.
You can achieve this by following a few industry standards, like keeping menus easy to read and always visible. Avoid using too many drop-down menus to navigate the site and always make it clear which are anchor texts for links.
Use plugins and tools to implement quality-of-life features too. Make it possible for viewers to instantly go back to the top of the page, and don’t put splash pages that add steps to access a page. Make the checkout procedure fit into one to two pages, ensuring they don’t lose interest before finishing a transaction.
5. Clear, Guiding Call-to-Action
Your web design should be SEO-friendly but it should also help guide visitors to perform an action. Use clear images and clever design to navigate their attention to a Buy Now button or to a form to subscribe for newsletters.
Many designers prefer to place important Call-to-Action buttons above the fold. This refers to the section of a web page visible before you have to scroll down. It ensures people can subscribe, add to cart, or purchase before they have to explore the rest of the page.
However, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Add a few Call-to-Action options at the bottom too. Use colors, boxes, and typography to draw attention to these objects. However, don’t get too obnoxious to the point you’re adding a big red arrow to a Buy Now button.
6. Improve Typography
Font and typography matter. You want all the text on your site to look professional, clean, and readable. Avoid quirky choices like Comic Sans — they look unprofessional and severely dated.
Remember that most people browse the Web on their phones. Avoid using tiny text but make sure it’s not too big either. Always run a test on your site and check how it looks on a standard smartphone and on a desktop computer too.
Your choice of font can also inform visitors about the nature of your site and business. Serif fonts often embody a formal business atmosphere while a more casual business and blog could do better with sans serif
7. Hire a Professional
Don’t feel ashamed if it all seems too overwhelming or if you discovered your current web design has too many flaws. It’s not the end yet. You can still call professionals to help you out.
Yes, they can do the whole job for you but that’s not always the case. For some, they simply hire experts to audit their web design. Others call experts for consultation.
If you do need experts to walk you through the process from beginning to end, do it. It can save you time, money, and effort. You don’t want to design your site without some help.
Doing it all on your own can lead to significant flaws that may hurt your business. It’ll cost you more to fix these issues and don’t forget the biggest problem: you’re losing money each day spent on repairing your website.
Master the Principles of Web Design!
These are only some key principles of web design. Start here to make your website beautiful, functional, and profitable.
If you’re looking for advanced website design tips, we’ve got more in store for you. Read our other guides here to learn additional techniques and tricks to make your site look and function professionally!