You know good design when you see it, but what exactly makes good website design? What do you as a web designer need to keep in mind in order to make sure your design is “good”? It’s easy to pinpoint a well designed website once it’s complete, but where do you start when you’re building a website from scratch? Let’s take a look at some important points a designer should keep in mind in order to make sure his/her design is a good one:
Proximity is one of the fundamentals of good website design. All elements that are related to one another must be placed within the same area. Human brain associates information it perceives based on proximity. A viewer will be able to categorize the information on your website better if elements that are related to each other are placed close to each other and vice versa – elements that are NOT related to each other should NOT be placed close to each other.
If you keep your website design organized with proximity principle in mind, you will help viewers to understand your website. If surfers can’t clearly comprehend information your website provides, they are less likely to read the content and respond to it. Disorganized information is also information that will be forgotten. Proximity helps keep information organized which can ultimately lead to engagement of the viewer.
To better understand proximity, take a look at any website and focus on your eyes. See how many different parts of the website your eyes will have to fall on in order to understand how the website is organized. If you can immediately recognize main areas of the website, such as:
- Header and Main Menu
- Sidebar with Additional Navigation
- Main Content Area
then the website is well organized and each part has elements that belong to it in good proximity. Some websites are more complex so there could be more than 3 areas to focus on, but it still should be easy to recognize them and be clear what their purpose is. If let’s say part of main menu is here but some important elements of it are at a totally different spot – that’s not a good website design.
Repetition is consistency. Well designed websites use many of the same elements throughout the site. Whether it’s the color scheme, the font, the way corners are rounded – having these elements repeated throughout the website ensures that the pages “belong” with each other. Consistent pages appear professional and trustworthy.
You can take the rule of repetition a step further and adjust the aspects of your design to your company logo. For example if your logo uses red and black font, have the website designed so titles are in red and articles in black font. Or if for example your logo contains what appears as X and Y axes of a graph, built your website with elements of X and Y graph axes integrated into the design. Just keep in mind that overdoing it with repetition is not good either.
Elements which are in alignment with each other appear cohesive to the eye. We have all seen websites with the text and/or graphic placed randomly within the layout. If you aim for good website design, you must never place anything arbitrarily. The connection between visual elements of your website must be apparent. That human brain naturally appreciates if items on a page layout are aligned.
Take a look at any website that naturally strikes you as well designed. You will notice that elements on it are aligned with each other. There usually is one main elements and several smaller ones that complement the main one. Those smaller elements will always be in alignment with the main element both horizontally and vertically.
Proper alignment adds to solidity of any web design. This principle of alignment applies in many other aspects of industrial production, not just web. You can see it in furniture, electronic devices, automotive designs, etc. Good website design needs proper alignment of elements the same way everything else does to be appealing.
Contrast makes design “interesting”. Two elements that are not the same should be distinguished from each other with the means of contrast. For example – title of your article should be significantly different from the text of the article itself. It could be different in more than one way, for example a title could be bold, while text is light, the size of title could be larger than the size of text and it also could be a different color form the text. Adding contrast to your design will help organize the content into easily navigable hierarchies.
If you’re going for contrast, go for a lot of contrast. Contrast will make the page more interesting and easily scannable. This is important as it helps the reader to understand how the information on the page is organized. If reader doesn’t have to work hard to figure this out, they are more likely to stay and read what you have to say.
Good Website Design
Proceeding were four of the most important aspects of good website design. Websites that follow these principles have cleaner, more professional look. Check it out for yourself – next time you stumble across a website that strikes you as well designed, remember these four principles and notice how they are an inconspicuous, but solid part of that website. Good web designers know it and follow it on every bit of design they are a part of. Now you know it too. Apply it to your websites and see your readership base grow and retain.
Incoming search terms:
- proximity websites
- websites with good repetition