Website Design: 9 Guidelines to Follow and Best Software
Back in the day, website design was a complex process that required hardcore coders to make and use the codes for design, but not anymore.
However, in a world where people have 1.8 million websites, that you can land on, you need to make sure that your website is not just a pretty color scheme.
Making a website is not just about color schemes, logo design, or putting a GIF in the middle of your page.
It is much more than that.
Learn more to find out the 9 guidelines you need to follow to create an effective webpage and the best software you can use to design your webpage.
Your website design should be designed for usability, how well your website is easy to use, or a user-friendly website and user experience, UX.
Moreover, how much your user enjoys interacting with your website is also important.
You can learn all these guidelines by spending years studying the principles, but we have gathered all the basic principles you need to follow to create an effective website design.
But first, let us learn why a good website design is important?
Importance of a Good Website Design
When you start developing a website, it is important to learn the impact. It will create on your users and your business.
The following are the 5 reasons why a good website design is important.
1# It is the First Impression
When your audience visits your website, it gives them the first impressions of your business or brand.
They will judge your business or brand within seconds and in these few seconds, you would like to make a good impression with high-quality visuals on your web pages and even on social media.
If your website looks unappealing or outdated, the bounce rate will increase thus, leaving a negative impression on the minds of your users.
2# Aids your SEO strategy
A good website design, its elements, and practices affect how you publish your content.
Moreover, it affects how search engine bots crawl and index your website.
3# Sets the Impressions
People judge you on the basis of your website design and it gives your users an insight.
If you do not put any effort into your website, then your audience will certainly know it.
Websites are like customer service representatives.
If your website design is bright, modern, and inviting, then you will have more traffic, however, if it is outdated and unappealing, then users will bounce back more quickly.
4# Builds Trust
Your users are in search of the latest news and ideas, and if your website lacks them, then they will not build a truck relation with your website.
On the other hand, a professional website helps to build trust with your audience.
This trust will help your brand and your users will check your website even further.
5# Creates Consistency
Online web presence can help create consistency across your page, which will bring more leads and build up your brand.
You will have to be consistent with the style, layouts, and other design elements on your webpage.
However, if your website design is not consistent, it will increase the bounce rate to websites that are more professional.
Thus, building consistency keeps leads on your page and conversions down the line.
Learn more about Lead Generation here.
9 Website Design Guidelines
Now that you have understood the importance of a good website design, let’s move towards the 9 guidelines you need to follow for a website design.
These guidelines will help to create a professional website, to increase the traffic and user experience.
The appearance of your website is certainly important, however, most individuals do not come to visit your website to check how great your design is.
They want to see complete information, or to find the latest news they are looking for.
Therefore, elements that serve no functional purpose will overwhelm and make it difficult for your users to find what they are searching for.
From the perspective of usability and UX perspective, simplicity is your best friend.
However, if you have all the necessary page elements then it is hard to get simple.
You can use this principle in different forms like:
- Colors: Make sure to not use a lot of colors. According to the Handbook of Computer-Human Interactions, use 5 or fewer different colors in your website design
- Typefaces: The typefaces should be highly legible, nothing or artsy or minimal script fonts. For test colors, keep it minimal and make sure it contrasts with the background
- Graphics: Use them if they help complete a task or perform a specific function
2# Visual Hierarchy
More or less this principle is the same as simplicity.
Visual hierarchy means that you should arrange and organize website elements in a way that your users naturally move towards the most important elements first.
However, remember when it comes to optimizing for usability and UX, the goal is to lead your user to the desired action in a way that feels natural.
You can structure your website by adjusting the position, color, or size that your users are drawn to those elements first.
For instance, when you visit Spotify, you can few the main heading as “Get 3 months of Premium for Free”.
This effect or element draws your users and prompts actions.
Planning out navigation on your website is important to help users find what they are searching for.
In an ideal situation, your user should land on your site and not have to think about where to click next.
Moving from 1 point to the 2 should be effortless and frictionless.
You can use the following tips:
- Keep the structure of primary navigation simple
- Consider using breadcrumbs on every page except for the homepage so that your users remember their navigation tail
- Include a search bar on the top of your site
- Do not offer too many navigation options
- Include links within the page copy and make it clear where it leads to
- Try making a hierarchal structure for your website. Your home page to be on the top, and each linked from the previous forms of the next layer
After making your site’s main or top navigations, be consistent.
The labels and location of your navigation should be the same on every page.
Learn more about building amazing backlinks
In addition to keeping your navigation consistent, the look of your website should be the same all across the pages.
Backgrounds, color schemes, typefaces, and even the tone of your writing should be consistent.
This is crucial because it puts a positive effect on usability and UX.
You can, however, create different layouts for specific pages like landing pages, informational pages, etc.
By making sure to use these layouts, you will make it easy to understand by users what type of info they would find on a specific page.
According to Statista, 48% of page global views are from mobile devices.
Thus, to put it in simple words: your site should be compatible with different devices that your users are using to provide a great experience.
The words of tech: a responsive design.
A responsive design means that you invested in a highly flexible website structure.
Site content is automatically resized and reshuffled to fit the dimensions of the specific design your users are using.
You can accomplish this by using mobile-friendly HTML templates or creating a special mobile site.
Moreover, it is worth checking your website across different types of browsers.
In most cases, people often view their websites on one web browser, like Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or others.
However, you should open your website on each of the browsers and view how different elements of your website appears.
The goal of web accessibility is to make a website that anyone can use, including individuals with liabilities or limitations that may affect their browsing experience.
As a website designer, you should keep these things in mind while designing a website.
Just like responsiveness, accessibility is applicable to your entire website’s structure, page format, visuals, and both written and visual content.
According to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, WCAG, your website should follow the guidelines:
- Perceivable: Your users are aware of the content
- Understandable: The content and alerts are easy to understand
- Robust: Your website is usable across different types of technologies, devices, and browsers
- Operable: The functionality of your website should be possible in different ways
One of the biggest challenges while designing a webpage is to create a balance within your expectations.
Most of us are expert internet users. and there are certain conventions, we are accustomed to.
Such conventions are as follows:
- Placing the main navigation at the top or left side of a page
- Placing the logo at the top left or center of the page
- Making sure that the logo is clickable, as it brings back the user to the homepage
- Links and buttons to change color or appearance when you hover over them
- Using a shopping cart icon on an e-commerce site
- Ensuring image sliders have buttons so that users can click manually to rotate slides
While in some cases, to make their website more unique, individuals might not use the above.
However, it is a mistake and there is plenty of room for creativity within the constraints of it.
Making sure that you follow webs conventions leads your site to credibility.
In simple words. it increases the level of trust your site conveys to your users.
Thus, if you are striving to build a site to provide the best user experience, credibility goes a long way.
One method to increase credibility is to be clear and honest about the products or services you are selling.
Do not make your visitors dig through a lot of pages. Be up-front on your homepage and dedicate time explaining the value behind what to do.
Make sure to have a price page linked to the homepage.
Rather than forcing people to contact you, list your prices clearly on your website.
This makes your brand or business more trustworthy and legitimate.
By the end of the day, usability and user experience affect the preferences of the end-users.
After all, you are designing for them, isn’t it?
Thus, the final key point to improve the design of your website is to conduct user testing, gather feedback, and implement changes to what you have learned.
Moreover, you can have testers to test the usability of your website.
The following are a few tools you can use:
Website Grader This free tool evaluates your website on several factors like mobile, design, performance, SEO, and security.
This one tracks multiple domains under one account and uncovers insights about the performance of your site using 4 tools like a heat map, scroll map, overlay, and confetti.
This tool helps to create usability tests, even if you do not have HTML experience.
Website Design Software
A web design software helps to build the website you need, either by using a drag and drop editor or using a software platform.
In this section, we will focus on the best website design tools. These are the ones that are easy to use, contains supported web languages, and how easy the tools make it to upload the finished project.
Adobe Dreamweaver is an established app that allows you to code your website design, without too much knowledge of coding or programming.
This software utilizes a mix of visual editing and HTML editing, meaning it does not have a steep learning curve for most users.
In addition, this software gives you an existing ready-made template that lets you look at what you want, rather than trying to work around someone else’s design.
Moreover, it allows you to produce a responsive design without limiting the user experience.
However, if you are a more advanced user, then it provides multi-monitor support for windows.
It also supports Chromium Embedded Framework, CEF to work with HTML5 elements and CC grids.
Wix is more of a website builder than a coding platform, however, is a more popular online website creator.
It offers a range of plans and products. An excellent collection of 500 templates gives you a quick start.
Moreover, the drag-and-drop editor gives you all kinds of tools and features to explore.
Recently, they upgraded their software, which helps to increase the website speed and performance.
All the core edition functions are smartly designed and operate more like a native app than the average website builder.
Learn more about the website speed test here.
This one is an alternative tool to set up and design your website.
It is different from others as to is a content management system, CMS, and helps to set up a website in a matter of few minutes.
Moreover, many web hosting packages include a one-click install of WordPress from their control panel.
This is a user-friendly tool and you can use existing temples for your website, however, you will have to download and install free existing or WordPress Premium templates.
If you like to work with your own design, you can do so by using drag-and-drop functions, from a downloading design with an in-built framework.
This allows you to create a professional-looking website without having to learn coding or programming.
There are a number of free add-ons available to download and install, often a few clicks away.
This makes customizing your website easy and does not require professional skills.
Weebly is another online CMS tool for individuals who have no programming experience.
It provides easy-to-use drag and drops tools for creating a website and also lets you create online stores using existing templates to work within their user-friendly framework.
However, the templates are limited, but the designs are clean and professional-looking.
You can also personalize your designs, the themes are responsive, which means that they are optimized to work with mobile devices as well as built-in SEO, analytics, and the features of posting ads on Facebook.
Learn more about Facebook ads here.
We at Markfiniti aims at providing you the best SEO-friendly website which is highly responsive with smooth functioning with our team of professional designers and logo maker, that aim to make high quality logos, webpage designs, and much more.
We are a design company that provides an Easy-to-use and flexible development platform that is currently used on 35% of all websites!
Beyond our specialized expertise in web development, our entire staff is capable of the key zones that make your new site effective, SEO, the client experience (UX), and conversion rate optimization (CRO).
Feel free to contact us.