Clarity Above Everything
Good websites are self-explanatory and need minimal “cognitive effort” from users. This means that when a user lands on your website, they should be able to see its purpose almost immediately. There are several ways to achieve this:
- Creating well-structured navigation menus
- Crafting clear headlines
- Using taglines that align with the site’s purpose
- Designing a logo that reflects your site’s core message
Don’t reinvent the wheel. This does not mean you can’t be creative with your ideas. After all, creativity is what makes websites unique and recognizable.
However, some elements on a website should remain in their designated places.
Users have grown accustomed to these familiar design patterns. Altering them can only lead to confusion. Be creative when necessary, but stick to conventions when needed, such as:
- The site logo should almost always be in the top left corner of the site.
- Primary navigation should be at the top of the site.
- The search icon should resemble a magnifying glass.
Mobile Comes First
More than 50% of internet usage now comes from mobile users. Gone are the days of internet cafes and library visits for writing assignments. This means designing a responsive website that caters to all screen sizes is a priority.
There’s a high chance that over half of your audience will browse your website on their mobile phones. Therefore, you should consider adopting a “mobile-first” approach when designing your website.
Consistency Is Key
Maintaining a consistent look on your website is of utmost importance. A consistent approach ensures users have a familiar experience while browsing your website. This includes using the same styles, fonts, and colors across your entire website.
Always keep the primary navigation and footer in the same place throughout your website. This builds trust and authenticity for your website.
Knowing Your Audience
Understanding your target audience is crucial for determining the look and feel of your website. Is your website an e-commerce platform or a blog? Is it a site for selling computer parts or a news portal?
Ask yourself these questions when designing a website, as it will make it easier to choose specific typography and colors for the design. For example, a computer store might opt for a more modern font and color palette, while a news portal might stick to a more conservative approach.
Conduct user research before the design process. Making design decisions based on actual data is always better than guessing.
Designing a user-friendly website can be a daunting task, but with these tips, you will get there in no time.
We explored the importance of clarity, adherence to conventions, mobile-first design, consistency, and understanding your audience.
There isn’t a magical ‘one-size-fits-all’ rule for all websites. Embracing these principles will help you design better websites.