One of the great thing about building a website is that you’re not alone. Of course you will probably have a web design company to help you through the process and if you’re designing a business website then you’ll also have the rest of your company to help you – but even without these things you have a large community of designers, coders and webmasters who have gone before you. You aren’t treading uncharted territory here and there are a ton of resources to learn for which makes the process much easier.
From all these discussions regarding design, you might come across certain ‘design principles’ that act as ultimate truths when it comes to design of all kinds. These are the rules established by those gone before and it pays to listen to them if you want to create a website that will be elegant and effective. Here are some of the principles to consider.
Communicate Don’t Decorate
This is a great little saying to keep in mind if you’re creating a business website that can help you to stay focussed and keep your website focussed as a result. Essentially this means that you shouldn’t include any design element in your site unless it has a clear purpose in your web design. In other words, there’s no point having a flamboyant flower in the corner of your page if it doesn’t say something about your business or in some way help draw focus to a key aspect of that page. Make sure that everything on your page communicates something – if it doesn’t, cut it.
KISS means ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’ and is related closely to the above point. The more simple your design is, the more elegant it will be and the more versatile. By keeping your web design simple you will help it to load more quickly and avoid it looking cluttered.
Space is a highly important element to consider in your web design. While space can be defined as a ‘lack’ of design, you should consider it as a crucial tool in its own right that can be used to open your pages up and make them feel less claustrophobic. It’s also very useful for creating contrast and directing the gaze where you want it
If you’re the kind to read design theory literature, then you may have come across Alex White who wrote that ‘visual unity’ is the ‘main goal’ of all graphic design. In other words, this essentially means that all your elements should be in agreement so that nothing stands out awkwardly on the page – have a colour scheme and stick to it and carry elements across between your individual aspects. That doesn’t mean that things can’t stand out though or be varied – just that they mustn’t look ‘out of place’ in doing so.
The hierarchy is the order of elements that you want to lead the viewer through. This is very important when putting together a website as you want to draw your viewer’s attention to the most important parts of your site before you lose their interest.
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2013/04/23/07/59/meeting-106591_150.jpg
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2013/02/15/10/10/silhouettes-81830_150.jpg
An internet marketing consultant, Mike K loves to share his thoughts about web site design and other related aspects on his blog. He considers it a key feature, which helps the organization to get noticed on the web. In his spare time, he likes to play video games with his kids.