Designing websites with great user experience are increasingly becoming a challenging task as UX standard is steadily getting higher. Creating a highly functional and reliable design is no longer enough, there are also aesthetic requirements to make the website beautiful and look-wise superb. For web designers, we are going to introduce here 7 killer principles to allow how fidelity user experience along with great aesthetics.
1. Make sure basics are alright
First of all, your web design maneuvers need to be perfect in basics. Here below we discuss the basic design elements that you need to take care.
- Shape: Who said in web pages the used shapes always have to be square or rectangular? No, there is no steadfast rule for this. From discreet geometric shapes to abstract ones, you can incorporate any shape as per the overall design.
- Texture: Texture is for creating a sense of touchable surface on the screen. You can create natural textures or artificial textures as per your need. A texture is good as long as it looks beautiful and helps to make the displayed content look beautiful.
- Direction: Direction is a web design element used for movement or motion. Now when your design directs the user attention from one visual element to other in the way you wanted it, you created the right direction.
- Color: Color is what makes a website lively and give it context. Besides creative burst color also helps to create the right mood for the user.
2. Visual hierarchy
Visual hierarchy refers to the order according to which our eye or visual attention catches one thing after another. If you have a preconceived notion as how to direct the user to various places on the web page, through visual hierarchy you can do that. There are two distinct ways a visual hierarchy can be created. Let us have a look at them.
- Size hierarchy: This hierarchy visually set priorities among different sizes of contents.
- Content hierarchy: Through content hierarchy, you can prioritize contents as per importance and grab attention.
3. Color, typography, and images
Any website design has three visually captivating elements on the surface. These are color, typeface, and images. Maintaining the perfect balance among these three design elements helps to create a design that stands out in aesthetics and in driving engagement. Let us have a look at these 3 elements separately.
- Color: It is very probable that you have already heard about ‘color psychology’. Yes, it refers to the psychological implication of each color. Every color has a mood and you need to pick your colors as per the message to convey, business type and audience. You can use complementary colors to create more balance in visual. On the other hand, by creating contrast through opposing colors or through contrasting background and foreground text you can give prominence to contents.
- Typeface: Typeface besides allowing balance and contrast in the web design should always enhance readability. But, typeface should not distract attention as a separate element. An ideal typeface draws attention to see the content, not to look at itself.
- Images: Images are helpful to set the mood and create a sense of belongingness for your brand. Images must be high quality, least distracting, coherent with the brand message and thoroughly contextual.
4. Using negative space
A lot of blank space around web page contents has become a common trend these days. Can you guess, why? Well, thanks to the majority of mobile web users, the clean and visually optimized interface has become now a criterion. A lot of white or negative space around contents gives the eyes enough breath to settle, relax and concentrate. While clutter is a strict n-no in modern web design, negative space is a must for almost all websites.
5. Navigation friendly design
Intuitive navigation solves the most important problem for your visitor which is nothing but finding the needful in the quickest time. How can you make a navigation-friendly design? Let us have a look at some of the ways.
- Keep your primary navigation structure simple and conventional. Place it somewhere on top of your page and also provide navigation in the footer.
- By using breadcrumbs across the pages you show them navigation path.
- Through a search box at the top allow searching for contents.
- Responsively design navigation buttons to be mobile tap friendly.
6. Visual Communication
These days, most visitors scan a web page before taking a deeper look at anything. So, you need to communicate them instantly and there comes the role of visual communication. Visual communication can be incorporated in the following ways.
- Organize: An organized and consistent content layout with structured contents showcasing key points can easily grab attention to the areas users are interested with.
- Minimize: Through minimizing visual elements a clutter free layout can be created that can easily grab attention.
- Communicate: With the proper balance of all visual elements, the UI should instantly communicate the message to the user.
7. Regular testing
Finally, it is the testing of your web design that validates the effectiveness. Actually, web design is a continuous trying and testing job requiring frequent setups and adjustments to achieve perfection. You not only have to test your design early but also has to design quite often. This design principle is rightly referred as Test Early and Test Often or ‘TETO’ by designers. Let us describe here two most important aspects of this principle.
If you test at the early stage of a project just with one user, it would be more effective than testing the app nearing completion with 50+ users. Early testing would save you the time and money in undoing and redo many things and secondly, will help driving traffic and user acquisition from the early stage.
Designers need to test again and again to keep checking things at every milestone. Testing is an iterative process demanding testing after every significant step is completed. Testing often helps to solve many problems before they become bigger.
These principles only represent the latest concerning areas that still majority of web designers need to address. Obviously, there are other principles that equally deserves to be discussed.
Keval Padia is a Founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing web application development and mobile game development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lure him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.