First impressions are powerful, especially when you're talking about website design. It's essential to consider this factor before you do anything else.
The look of the homepage will judge your site and the time it takes to load. After five seconds, the average user gets bored if they don't see something they like, so you have a few seconds to make an excellent first impression.
A good first impression will show that your site has an attractive design, an appealing colour scheme and valuable information presented in an easy-to-read format. A wrong first impression can be as simple as making it hard for a visitor to find your contact information or using too many flashy or distracting ads in the sidebar of your blog posts.
Good examples include:
a clean layout with plenty of white space around text blocks;
uncluttered images such as photos or logos;
straightforward navigation links so users can find information quickly; and,
Calls-to-action (CTAs) encourage visitors to act right now (e.g., sign up for our newsletter).
One of the essential elements to consider when designing a website is consistency. This means making sure that your typography, layout, design and content are consistent throughout the site. A consistent design helps users understand how to use the site and navigate it more easily. It also helps them to build trust in your brand.
When it comes to text, pay attention to font size, colour, type and style. Space between text, white space and overall readability are also critical elements in the web design world. And finally, don’t forget about text structure and visual hierarchy.
To begin with, you have to choose a clear hierarchy of your content: What is most important? What is less important? Think about where the eye will go first — usually at the top center of the page — and work from there.
The fonts you use should be easy to read and look good on Apple products and mobile devices. Make sure that your font has been designed for screen viewing; unique screen-friendly versions of fonts exist with slightly different proportions than their print counterparts. Also, keep in mind that not everyone will have the same fonts installed on their computer or mobile device; make sure that if a user doesn’t have your preferred font installed, his browser substitutes one that looks similar to the page doesn’t look off track.
Visual hierarchy refers to the order in which your users process the elements they see on a page. You can use different techniques, such as size and weight, to guide them through your site and help them understand what's most important. That's why mastering this concept is crucial for creating a compelling UX.
This article will explain visual hierarchy, why it matters for design, where you should use it on your site, and how you can master it using various techniques.
What Is Visual Hierarchy?
Let's start by defining visual hierarchy: It represents the relative importance of each element on a specific page based on its visual representation compared to other factors. The graphic scale ensures that users can effortlessly find their way around a page without getting overwhelmed or confused by too much information.
White space, or negative space
The purpose of white space is to give users a visual break. This can be achieved by adding margins, padding, and negative space (the distance between elements) to your design. One of the most common misconceptions about white space is that it limits what you can place on your website; however, eliminating the need for cramming too much into one page will help define your site’s hierarchy and focus. Think about where you want your audience’s attention to be directed and use white space to draw them in.
White space also has a psychological effect on users' perception of content quality. Research has shown that “people perceive websites with white space as having relevant content than those with less whitespace around text and images."
When designing a webpage, it's crucial to balance content and whitespace so that each element matches appropriately with its surroundings. A good rule of thumb is: that more whitespace equals more elegance regardless of the size or number of other stuff on the page.
Appropriate images and graphics
The images and graphics on your website should be directly related to the topic at hand. For example, if you have a website about cooking, it makes sense to have food images. If you run a website talking about skydiving, some great photos of people jumping out of planes will give your site more credibility.
The content’s quality also matters. It is essential that the image or graphic you choose is high resolution and not grainy or blurry. This gives your content more depth and increases viewer satisfaction.
Your image selection should not be limited to photos either; infographics are an excellent way to convey information visually and engagingly.
A site map--or at least straightforward navigation
Navigation is a wayfinding system. It helps people understand where they are and how they got there. It allows them to move around your website, and it helps them find the information they need to take action. Every page on your website should have these elements:
A site map—or at least straightforward navigation
A search function for those who know what they're looking for
Clear calls to action.
About Us information
The About Us section is a great place to share your story and tell customers who you are. This is your opportunity to give them a better sense of yourself and what you do.
Adding a photo can help bring the About Us section to life. Consider including one of yourself or your business location on this page.
In addition to telling customers about yourself, consider linking to your social media pages from here so they can connect with your company in other ways.
Contact information and social media links
The contact information should be easily accessible and include links to your social media profiles. Remember, people want to know that they can get in touch with you and that you are a legitimate business. Also, consider having an email address for the website that forwards to your email address, so you don’t have to give out your email address — this also looks more professional. You could also have a contact form where people can fill out the information about their query, and it gets sent directly to your email address.
There are many elements to consider when designing a website.
After all, the webmaster's job is to make the site appealing, usable, and informative to visitors. While there is no shortage of things that can be done to achieve this goal, discussion of those topics is beyond the scope of this article. Some examples of other design elements include body text size, font selections/styles/colours used for headings and body text, and the author's chosen method for implementing them via unique classes or inline styles.