Now that the word aesthetic has been thrown back and forth a lot lately, even in the web development industry, it is rather easy to drown in the new design rules. Nevertheless, there are web design rules that you should never ever break—no matter what. There are no compromises when it comes to the quality of your website. After all, you want your website to succeed, especially since design accounts for 94% of the initial impressions. Remember also that your nearest competitor is just one click away in the virtual world.
Web design rules to never break
Rule #1 – Navigation
Navigation is definitely a deal-breaker. If you want users to find the information they need, they should be in just three clicks or less. Ideally, your website is highly accessible, making it easy for the user to navigate and intuitive enough to know which button, tab, or link to click and go to.
The goal of web design is conversion. To convert, your site’s web design must convince them that they are in the right place to complete their transactions, for instance, if you are selling anything. This is dwell time or the time spent on the website until users perform the desired action. Oppositely, if the design confuses the users, they will leave your website immediately.
Rule #2 – Responsiveness
We entered the mobile-first and mobile-only digital world in 2018, and there was no going back then. Mobile users see a condensed version of your website; a useful approach is to push relevant details on this part. Today, responsive web design is also about consistent and synergized appearance and features regardless of the device or browser used.
This is also the reason why a careful assessment of what to include in the above-the-fold is a must. So that the users will see the most important features when they land on your website for the first time, regardless of the device they use.
Rule #3 – Visual hierarchy
Visual hierarchy, which refers to the intended order of how a user processes the information on a page, is an integral web design concept. Applying a concise visual hierarchy is a must. There are many ways to integrate visual hierarchy into your websites, such as employing various font sizes and colors. The first one pertains to the heading tags, whereby H1 is intended to be the biggest in size.
Take a look at the title of this blog post; it is the biggest on this page. It is because we want our readers to focus on the most important information, starting with the title. You might notice that the sizes become smaller as you scroll down. So aside from being visual cues, they help encourage the readers to engage with the content they are reading.
Rule #4 – Palette
Colors complete the visual appeal of your website. Of course, the palette should complement your brand guidelines. As a matter of fact, web development services should design your website based on brand colors to give your website a more well-thought-out look.
Gone are the days of excessive animation, blinking text, words on fire, and more. These designs are over the top and only contribute to the confusion of the website users. Yes, they are bold, but boldness does not equate to functionality. You want a visually appealing website that is highly utilizable.
To continue with Rule #3, colors also help in establishing a hierarchy. For example, call-to-action buttons typically stand out on any given page because of their colors. They may be in different colors, but they must not deviate from the brand palette. Otherwise, it will look too vivid and without a purpose.
Rule #5 – Font
Speaking of fonts, there are also rules to follow. For one, you should only use up to three different fonts. Using more than the said number will make your website look unstructured. It will feel unprofessional as well, so no visitor would want to do business with you. Most of the time, one central font is appropriate and convenient because you need to switch between fonts.
Font choices should be cohesive. Do not switch from sans serif to sans. When choosing fonts, make sure they are also appropriate to your industry. If you are a professional service such as a paralegal or accounting firm, do not use comic sans, for instance. Such fonts may not be able to convey the marketing message that you are pursuing. This will make your website feel childlike too.
Rule #6 – CTA
If a user visits your website and gets confused about what to do next, you might fall short of proper CTAs. This is a disservice to your business because the CTA serves as the website’s selling point. While CTA buttons target driving engagement on the page, conversion is the ultimate goal.
It is completely up to the web designer where to put the CTA button on the website. The designer knows where to place it optimally, somewhere that it figures prominently without overwhelming the other elements on the page. The rule is to never forget to put a CTA button, even if it is at the bottom of the page. This is much better than not having a CTA button at all.
Rule #7 – Business NAP
Most importantly, a web design that works showcases the business name, address, and phone number (NAP). This is the contact information of your business. Yes, there is a contact page where you can put all this information. Nonetheless, this can also be integrated into the template so it will be shown on all pages.
Please do not forget that users go to your website to know how they may contact you. If your website does not include the information, they will look elsewhere to find this information or your competitor’s. What’s more, the information found on your website tends to be more trustworthy than what they may find elsewhere. So make sure that the contact details are up-to-date and working.
These are some of the most important web design rules to follow and never break. The goal is to provide your visitors with the most seamless experience possible. So it is your responsibility to make your web design uncomplicated.
As a web design and development company, Optimind understands that you never mess with defaults. So we implement these web design rules. Call us to understand more about our web design process. We can help build a well-designed website that converts!