The Most Important Web Design Elements
There are a lot of different elements that go into web design, and failing to use these elements properly can be detrimental to your site.
Using the proper web design elements can make a huge difference for your website, increasing traffic and keeping people on the site for longer. Nobody likes a confusing or complicated website, and it should be a breeze to navigate through and a pleasure to look at.
Luckily, there are some very simple things you can do to give your site the boost it needs.
Here are the most important web design elements to employ if you want your website to stand out from the crowd.
One of the most important aspects of any website is the colour scheme. It’s not something everyone will notice right away, but to the subconscious mind, it can make or break your browsing experience.
Use too many colours and your website is going to be hard on the eyes. Use too little and it comes off as boring, or uninventive. The trick is to use a few complementary colours rather than a lot of colours simply to make the website vibrant.
Use colours that complement your business and take into account how they work with the whitespace around your site. Even if you only use two or three colours throughout, this will make your site look more uniform and professional.
From font to font size, typography is another very important design element. You want your website to be easy to read, and you want to draw your visitors’ eyes to all the right places. Good typography is the way to do it.
You should not only strive for a readable font, but a unique one. Some companies are instantly recognizable through their fonts, and because of it some people will instantly think of your website or company whenever they see that font. The more you get people thinking of you, the better.
The worst sites are cluttered and messy. Not every square inch of your site needs to be filled with an image or text; in fact, it would be a mistake to try and force it.
Simple is often better. Companies like Apple have capitalized on this to great effect with their heavy use of white space in everything they do. The Google home page is another great example, where everything around the search bar and the Google logo is white, leading the customers’ eyes right where they need to go.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to just make everything white, but using white space properly will lead the eyes to the places that aren’t white. Colour or text will stand out much better, and tell the visitor where to look.
While not necessarily a visual design element, following SEO practices is an important element in the designing of any website today. If you’re not implementing SEO-elements into your website, it’s something to consider.
SEO means search engine optimised. That’s words and phrases that are Googled/searched more frequently, including the text on the site itself down to the meta tags and alt tags. Getting into the nitty-gritty of SEO can be a little time consuming, but even just familiarizing yourself with the basics will help you drive traffic to your website.
You should always consider what’s best for the visitor when designing a web page, and this starts with making the site easy to navigate. How you do this depends entirely on your website, as there are a few ways to accomplish it.
Some choose to put their navigation menus at the top of the site in a row, and some use a ‘burger’, or drop-down menu: those three little horizontal lines that open up menu options when clicked or tapped. These work well for mobile, but they hide your navigation menu entirely when not in use which can lead to confusion or missed opportunities for new visitors.
Always help guide the visitor through your site, and make everything’s place obvious. Use directional arrows, in-text links, a ‘back to the top’ button for those long-scrolling pages, and anything else that can help give visitors an easy experience. Guaranteed they’ll stay longer and have a good look around if it’s easy to do.
Optimise for Speed
If your website isn’t fast to load and fast to navigate, people won’t be willing to give it the time of day. Ultimately, a lot of speed comes down to the design of the site and how you set it up.
Some simple things you can do to speed your site up is optimise all photos that you put on the site, using a CDN, and hosting your site through a dedicated server or shared hosting. Do some research into your hosts before making a choice, as some are definitely faster than others.
You’ll also want to keep plugin use to a minimum and think about implementing website caching if you’ve got a high level of traffic. A cached page doesn’t send database requests when each new person visits, meaning a much faster load time.
The Importance of Web Design Elements
A well-designed website will make all the difference in the world for you, whether you’re running a business, a portfolio site, or anything in-between. The more research and learning you do into web design elements, the more prepared you’ll be to wow your visitors and bring more traffic in. There are even plenty of eager website design agency workers who would be happy to make your website everything it can be.
Take into account all the web design elements you’ve learned here, and make that website the best it can be!
For more articles like this, check out the other stories on our blog. Feel free to contact us with any comments, questions, or concerns. We’d be happy to hear them.