Basic 9 Principles of Good Web Design
While nowhere near as important as the content, design still plays a role in your website's performance. The way people see and perceive your website can make all the difference between being another blog or being a true beloved brand.
Website design is a huge and complex field completely different from digital marketing, but we will cover the basics that you must know in order to get the most results with the least effort.
Basics Of Web design
We will be going over the basic 9 principles of good web design. A lot of the time, your WordPress theme will handle these for you, but it's always good to know what to look at and how to choose the theme as well.
Good web design always caters to the needs of the user. Each page of your website needs to have a clear purpose, and to fulfill a specific need for your website users in the most effective way possible.
People on the web tend to want information quickly, so it is important to communicate clearly, and make your information easy to read and digest. Some effective tactics to include in your web design include: organizing information using headlines and sub headlines, and using bullet points instead of long windy sentences.
In general, Sans Serif fonts such as Arial and Verdana are easier to read online. Sans Serif fonts are contemporary looking fonts without decorative finishes. The ideal font size for reading easily online is 16px and sticks to a maximum of 3 typefaces in a maximum of 3 point sizes to keep your design streamlined.
A well thought out color palette can go a long way to enhance the user experience. Complementary colors create balance and harmony. Using contrasting colors for the text and background will make reading easier on the eye. Use vibrant colors sparingly, only to convey emotion. Use lots of white and empty space to achieve a modern look.
A picture can speak a thousand words. Choosing good images for your website can help with brand positioning and connecting with your audience. Use free or paid stock photos to improve the look of your website. Go with infographics, videos and graphics as often as possible, these are much more effective than just text.
Navigation is about how easy it is for people to take action and move around your website. Some tactics for effective navigation include a logical page hierarchy, designing clickable buttons, and following the 'three click rule', meaning users must be able to find the information they are looking for with three clicks or less.
Grid based layouts
Do not place content randomly on your web page, it can end up with a haphazard appearance that is messy. Grid based layouts arrange content into sections, columns and boxes that line up and feel balanced, which results in a better design.
The F Pattern design
Eye tracking studies have identified that people scan computer screens in an "F" pattern. Most of what people see is in the top and left of the screen and the right side of the screen is rarely seen. Rather than trying to force the viewer's visual flow, effectively designed websites will work with a reader's natural behavior and display information in order of importance. That means left to right, and top to bottom.
We access information online from all devices of all sizes, so it is important to consider if your website is mobile friendly. If your website is not mobile friendly, you can either rebuild it in a responsive layout (this means your website will adjust to different screen widths) or you can build a dedicated mobile site (a separate website optimized specifically for mobile users). Having a responsive site, however, is much better, since you only have one thing to worry about.
We will talk about the best WordPress themes in more depth later. However, if you are impatient and want to know the best theme that satisfies all the criteria above, you can take a look at Divi by Elegant Themes. It's the best theme I've ever used, it's both the simplest to use and provides the best look and feel for your website.