10 simple tips for effective web design

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Nowadays, everybody can become a web designer. Many creatives, including SAE students, choose to design websites on their own. How to make conscious choices when designing a website? What are the most important website elements and how to use them efficiently? Finally, how to make a website clear, readable and engaging? This article introduces a set of basic rules that will help you to deal with the basic web designer’s problems.

Text and illustration by Joanna Wróblewska

Designing a website is pretty complex, so it is important to understand well the basics. Being visible online will make it easier to promote whatever you do. It might be also a great opportunity to impress your future employer, get feedback or create an online community. Just take a moment to learn about the basics and challenge yourself! There is no better experience than being proud of presenting your own professional creations to the world.

Getting started
Firstly, realize what are the crucial website elements: a two-dimensional space, a simple navigation, both “about” and “contact information” sections, a call to action, search, an informative footer, buttons, typefaces and images create a typical web layout. You should probably consider including each of those elements on your website to make it intuitive and inviting to all international users.

What do your viewers expect? No matter what the topic is, they will all search for impressive images, functionality, and clear calls-to-action. It means that every web designer will face this fact sooner or later. Maybe it is worth to take a pen and a piece of paper, and make a bunch of sketches before you really design a website? Some tips for web designers are truly timeless!

Tip 1: use grid based layouts
Placing elements of a website randomly can result in a poor and chaotic design, which will not draw users’ attention. Luckily, you can always choose to use the grid. A grid is a series of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines that allow to order elements on the website. It helps users to better understand the structure of a website and navigate it in an easy, logical way. A grid will allow you to arrange the website contents into sections, columns and boxes resulting in a more sustainable, appealing design.

Tip 2: learn about the F Pattern Layout
The F Pattern layout explores and reinforces natural experience of most website users. It is focused on a bunch of simple rules related to eye-tracking on the computer screen. You may want to choose it instead of searching for a more traditional visual flow.

Visitors start to explore a website from the top left corner, then they tend to scan the top of the site, after which they move down and explore the content from the left to the right sidebar. Base on that, we can conclude that the brand-mark and navigation are crucial for a website. Images receive the greatest level of attention, headlines came next. Texts are rather scanned quickly than read thoroughly. Remember, that this kind of layout is comfortable and reading it feels natural to most web-surfers.

Tip 3: focus on essential elements
A well-designed and simple logo, a clear tagline and several high-quality images are a must for a decent website design. Moreover, including a short description of your business and placing an easy-accessible contact information will make your website much more user-friendly. A balanced combination between such elements and a white space should allow you to draw users’ attention. Do not forget about the footer – many web-surfers will scroll down to find more information and enjoy clicking around.

Tip 4: simplify navigation
How easy is it for users to take action and move around your website? A ‘three click rule” will help you to design a simple and logical page hierarchy! It is all about designing a website in a way that all the desirable information in available to web-surfers within just three clicks. Burring information will not be helpful and can easily discourage your potential clients. In this case, “less is truly more”, so pay attention to how your navigation structure will influence the user experience.

Tip 5: use high-quality images
Using the right images is essential, since they are a part of visual culture and common intercultural language. A good image choice will allow you to connect with your target audience much quicker than you think. It is important to use optimized high-quality images taken by professionals or purchased from reliable photo stocks. At the same time, they should load fast – nowadays, nobody has patience to wait for longer than about five seconds!

Tip 6: pick right typefaces
Sans Serif typefaces are much easier to read on a computer screen. Preferably, you should choose to use them. Pay attention to the contrast between font sizes: make headlines strong and visible, align the text well. Above all, improve tracking, leading and kerning in the text. Apps like Typecast can help you in developing a professional-looking typographic palettes!

Tip 7: limit the color scheme
Sticking to the chosen limited color palette will make your website design much more readable and clear. The text should be always placed on a contrasted background, if you want it to be readable and accessible to your clients. Remember, that complementary colors almost always fit good together, while strong and vivid colors will create more tension and emotion in a design. Lots of white space will give your website a clean, modern look.

Tip 8: use white space
You should not underestimate the rule of the white space in web design. Creating enough space between sections, paragraphs, and boxes will give it some “breathing” room and improve the user experience. Controlling white space in the layout will keep web-surfers focused on content and navigate user flow.

Tip 9: place buttons
Buttons encourage people to take action. Adding well-designed, attractive buttons to your website will increase the number of submissions, subscriptions, and sendings. Think of making your buttons appealing and interactive. Let them change color, gradient or shade after clicking. The most popular calls to action are short and straight to the point, like “Sign Up”, “Request a Quote”, “Buy Now” and “Work With Us.”

Tip 10: be careful with sidebars
Sidebars have been a popular website element in the last years. Especially bloggers would use them efficiently. Nowadays, many companies decide to remove sidebars from their websites to let users focus on articles and call to action graphics. Some organizations claim, that removing a sidebar can increase the number of clicks up to 35%!

Summary
Designing a website using WordPress or Weebly might seem very easy. Yet, it is essential to understand how web-surfers navigate online content and what makes their experience easier. High-quality visual material, simple and readable navigation should be combined with good typography choices and clear call to action graphics. Applying the tips from this article will surely increase the chances of offering users a good website browsing experience, which in the long term might be truly beneficial for your business.

Learn more:
Simple Tips for Website Design
Web Design Tips for Everybody
Great Web Design Tips by Forbes

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49 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Good and very accurate article for designing with HTML and managing a web application in a most stylish ways. This information can help the designer and developers to perform any tricks without any alternative thinking.
    Also for building a short type of panel this can also help to rebuild the construction of a page.
    Thanks a lot.

  2. Avatar

    Great advice for designing the perfect web page. Limiting the color scheme is a good start because sometimes it can make a page more confusing than it’s worth to look at.

  3. Avatar

    These tips are very informative and useful. All tips are very good but 5-6 no. I like these tips because these are help to solve my problem. So thanks for sharing this post.

  4. Avatar

    Great information about web design. 10 Wonderful steps mentioned on the blog. But in that limit the color scheme is vert important to focus. Hope this blog will get more helpful for the web designers to develop an website.

  5. Avatar

    Thanks for sharing effective tips for web design. Web design always an important factor for any website. This post will help for better web design for more productivity. Thanks again for an informative article.

  6. Avatar

    Hey there,

    I just love your article about Web designing.You mentioned the #10 best steps or tips about Web designing.I
    just followed them and impact the #10 steps or tips as you say and i got many of positive results.

    Thanks a lot, man!

  7. Avatar

    Hey..!
    By reading your post I acquire much knowledge.
    Here I agree with your opinion and some advice.
    I will eagerly wait for your future post.

    Thanks for your great post!

  8. Avatar

    Thanks for sharing such a great piece of knowledge. Just found your website and very much impressed by this blog! Website Designing is not an easy task. I’ve been for Website Designing Company in Delhi| India. If anyone here could help me!

  9. Avatar

    Hi PAN,
    The guideline you have shared in the above article is the best guideline I have ever read on this topic, it will be helpful for me and those who want to design a quality website.
    Thank you.

  10. Avatar

    Hi PAN,
    As a web developer, I have learned a lot of thing by this article “10 simple tips for effective web design”, As per my knowledge these points are recommended by Google and some of this works as ranking factor for Google.

    Thanks for Sharing it.

  11. Avatar

    My sister wants to start a business, and I suggested she create a website for it to help market herself. Your article had some great tips for web design, and I liked how you said to make sure you have a well designed and simple logo to put on your website. The logo should be easy to remember, and I’ll be sure to share this with my sister to help her with her website design.

  12. Avatar

    Hi,
    An effective web design helps to lure more traffic to website as it much responsive then others also a mobile friendly web design is even bewtter as the google watches which website offer theses things.

  13. Avatar

    To make user friendly website frist focus on the webpages that you are creating and the content which should be unique.
    Also the loading speed of the website must be high on the system and mobile devices.
    Anybody would love to visit a website which loads in lightning speed.

  14. Avatar

    Using high-quality images is a great idea as it makes the website more attractive but the images should be properly optimized so it doesn’t affect the load time of the website. Also, the website navigation should be simple just like you said so that the users can easily navigate to the desired pages.

  15. Avatar

    I am glad you said to focus on essential elements on your website design. I need to get a website designed for my buisness. Thanks for the tips on effective website design.

  16. Avatar

    It is really a helpful blog to find some different source to add my knowledge. I came into aware of new professional blog and I am impressed with suggestions of author.

  17. Avatar

    Information stated in points is particularly easy to understand and it seems that it comes from valid sources. Thanks for this blog and looking forward to similar posts in the future.

  18. Avatar

    This is a very important article for making the web design tips and I think web design is one of the most important factors for the success of a website. I appreciate your work. Good thing there’s people like you that shares information like this.

  19. Avatar

    I am excited to read the post and happy that you have stated genuinely good information in this blog. Hope more good things will come in the future as well. Information stated in points is particularly easy to understand and it seems that it comes from valid sources…

  20. Avatar

    Hi
    This article is very useful for me and I think an effective web design tips more befit to generating the best website. I appreciate this post so keep sharing with us.

  21. Avatar

    Nowadays, web designing is in-demand. Anyone with knowledge of web designing can create a design for a website. But, having knowledge alone is not enough to create a good and responsive web design. It is important to know the basics of a good web design. Thank you for sharing this information!

  22. Avatar

    Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks .

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  23. Avatar

    It was a piece of very useful information. The way you described each point was easy to understand.
    Really a great post

    Thank You man for such a useful article

  24. Avatar

    Excellent tips for designing the ideal web page. The majority of people usually will just scan your website and not read it completely. The need of the hour is to make websites scan enchanting. Using these tips may just help do that.

  25. Avatar

    These are now real tips in real meaning. I found them really helpful and request to keep sharing such good stuff and tips for a designer like us. Thank you so much.

    Best wishes!

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