9 Best Practices for Web Design & Usability

A web design refers to how the website appears on the internet. Unfortunately, it’s common to get stuck on visual elements when building or redesigning a website. 

With 94% of first impressions relying on web designing, creating a crafted website for your business is essential. Even the best website builder will not be able to deliver results without proper knowledge and understanding of the web page’s requirements.

how to design a website

Source: creativebloq.com

Website design guidelines for web development are something all businesses need to incorporate. Surely you’re wondering, “What types of website design are best for your business?” Luckily, we have all the answers.

Looking for Best Web Design Company? Check out Zensuggest’s list of Best Web Design Company.

What are Website Design Guidelines? 

Website design guidelines aim to provide a positive user experience by applying design principles. Designers can create compelling designs that meet and exceed user needs by adhering to intuitiveness, efficiency, and consistency regulations.

Source: goodfirms.co

The GoodFirms report shows that 73.1% of web designers believe a website’s inability to respond to visitors is the main reason they leave. A brand’s guidelines can help designers tailor dashboards to minimize cognitive load and readability. Several companies, including Microsoft, Apple, and Google, have established exemplary standards for customizing dashboards.

Furthermore, designers must consider the cultural context of users (e.g., color choice and text direction). Additionally, when designing mobile devices, it is crucial to balance brand consistency with the maximum use of limited screen space. As a result, designers often use images or icons to represent information on mobile devices.

What Are The 9 Best Practices for Designing a Website?

1. Select Easy-To-Read Typography

Typography is the arrangement and presentation of words on a page. As typography affects how we read text on a web page, it’s important to pick it carefully. Ideally, you want a typeface that is:

  1. Easy to read
  2. Easy to skim
  3. Accessible to all users
  4. Multi-device and multi-screen friendly

Easy-To-Read Typography Example

Source: 1000logos.net

As an example, you want it to match the look and feel of your brand. For example, the luxury fashion brand Coach has a simplified and more modern logo that looks easier to read on any screen, reflecting the company’s commitment to becoming more transparent and appealing to younger consumers.

2. Consider Your Brand’s Color Scheme

As with typography, color affects our understanding of and interaction with content and how we feel about it. So your color scheme must meet the same criteria as your website typography. 

The site should reinforce your brand, be easy to read and navigate, evoke emotion, and look good. Uber, for example, uses black and white to attract users’ attention.

Consider Your Brand's Color Scheme

Source: uber.com

3. Break Up Text With White Space

Whitespace is the negative space in any composition. It serves as a visual break as users process a website’s design or content, which is not just aesthetically pleasing. By minimizing distractions, whitespace facilitates focus, processing of information, and understanding.

A good example is Apple. Notice that whitespace doesn’t mean the absence of color or imagery. Instead, all the on-page elements are strategically positioned, with lots of space between them, to avoid overwhelming the user.

Break Up Text With White Space

Source: justinmind.com

4. Add Personality & Depth Through Texture

An Internet texture replicates the physical sensation of touch with another sensory experience — sight, resembling a three-dimensional, tactile surface. For example, look at the texture on Thismanslife’s homepage to see how they add personality and depth to a site.

Add Personality & Depth Through Texture

Source: webfx.com

5. Engage Readers With Images

In website design; it is vital to strike a balance between text and images; incorporating visuals can enhance your content’s informative, engaging, and memorable qualities. Did you know that people remember 80% of what they see but only 20% of what they read?

There is disagreement over the exact percentages, but the basic principle remains the same, Some people learn better and process information visually. Here’s a unique example of Adidas incorporating images with text. Adding imagery to your website design has endless possibilities.

Engage Readers With Images

Source: adidas.com

6. Simplify Your Navigation

Undoubtedly; navigation is one of a website’s most significant design elements. It influences whether visitors arrive on your homepage and browse or fall back to your homepage. Therefore, it’s essential to keep it as simple as possible. This navigation style lists the side of the primary pages by the side and is placed in the website header.

For example, the simplified navigation on ZenSuggest will take you directly to the desired product list, making it easy for visitors to find what they’re searching for.

Simplify Your Navigation

Source: zensuggest.com

7. Make Your CTAs Stand Out

A call to action is a part of a web page, advertisement, or another piece of content that encourages its audience to take action. Among other things, it could be to sign up, subscribe, start a free trial, or learn more.

When designing your website, you want your CTAs to stand out. Think about how you use color, background color, images, and text to achieve that. In this call-to-action example, ZenSuggest uses a single image to demonstrate the ease of use of its product while using bold typography to highlight its uniqueness and future-oriented aspects.

Make Your CTAs Stand Out

Source: zensuggest.com

8. Mobile Optimization

In our earlier discussion of the importance of having a responsive website, but considering 59% of visits on organic search engines are now coming from mobile devices, you might want to focus on designing your website with a mobile-friendly design. Mobile-friendly sites reformat themselves for mobile devices.

Ask your website builder to make the website look good on smaller screens and make it easier to navigate. In addition, they modify content, display more oversized navigation buttons and optimize images.

Mobile Optimization

Source: developers.google.com

9. Provide Users With Fewer Options

Hick’s Law states that people will take more time to decide if they have more and more choices. Hick’s Law is bad news for website builders. Too many options may cause visitors to become frustrated and bounce — or they might select an alternative you do not want, like abandoning the cart. That’s why you should limit how many options a user sees.

Provide Users With Fewer Options

Source: uxdesign.cc

What are Web Designing Requirements?

Below are the website design requirements:

What are Web Designing Requirements?

1. Header and Footer

Most modern websites include a header and footer. Try to have them on all your pages, including your homepage, blog posts, and even the “No results found” page. As a header, you should incorporate your organization name and logo, menu navigation, a CTA, and a search bar if it is well-spaced and minimal.

In your footer, you should place contact information and signup form links to your standard pages, legal and privacy policies, translation links, and social media links. Many users will instinctively scroll to get essential information in your footer.

2. Menu Navigation

Every website should have a navigation guide, a list of links across the header, or a hamburger button in the corner. An exemplary menu limits the number of clicks required to reach every part of your website to just a few. So, at least on your homepage and other important pages, there should be a navigation menu.

3. Search Bar

It is also a sound idea to include a search bar at the top of your pages so that users can search your site by keyword. You will need to be sure your results are relevant, forgiving of typos, and able to approximate keyword matching if you incorporate this functionality.

We use high-quality search engines, such as Google, Amazon, YouTube, and others, daily. These all set the standard for your site search.

4. Branding

When a visitor first lands, their eyes naturally gravitate to this area to ensure they’re in the right place. Embrace your company branding throughout every element you add, every piece of content you post, and every color scheme you use. For that reason, you should establish brand guidelines for your website development.

5. Color Palette

Example of clean and vibrant color palette

Source: hostelworld.com

The usability and UX of your site are heavily influenced by the choice of colors. The color palette is a more subjective requirement on the list, but, like everything else we’ve discussed, keep your color selection simple — choose no more than three or four prominent colors. Forming a color palette from scratch can be a challenge the first time around.

6. Headings

In text-heavy pages, headings are crucial to establishing the visual hierarchy. Readers will stop scrolling after finding what they need when they see a clear and to-the-point header. However, this effect will be damp if too many blown-up and bolded sections on your page. Therefore, utilize only as many headings as there are distinct sections of your page.

7. Clear Labels

Users should know what they’re doing and where they’re going whenever they take action on your website. For example, button text or icons should clearly and concisely indicate their purpose for in-text links and widgets. A user test can be a significant help here, as it will provide insight into how your users perceive your labels.

8. Visuals and Media

Incorporate static images, gifs, videos, and other media into your pages consistently and intentionally. Choosing these visual elements will keep them in users’ minds for a long time. All images and videos should also include descriptive alt text for accessibility and be optimized for search engines.

9. Calls to Action (CTAs)

Generally, a CTA is any page element that prompts a user to act, such as adding a product to a cart, downloading an offer, or signing up for an email list. Keep CTAs prominent in the visual hierarchy, but make sure they’re not intrusive or distracting, as many click-through ads do.

Website Design Tips & Tricks

Important factors in designing a website

Source: orbitmedia.com

To help make your website more compelling, we’ve compiled five website design tips to help you create an engaging and effective website design:

  1. Keep your homepage clutter-free and minimalist

Although we rarely read every word on a website, we tend to scan it, picking out keywords, sentences, and images, so your website’s homepage should instantly communicate your core message. Because of these known behaviors, appeal to emotions instead of word count.

  1. Easy-to-read website content

“Readability” measures how easy it is for people to recognize words, sentences, and phrases. If your site is highly readable, users can scan through it quickly, or skim-read it, thus effortlessly taking in the information.

Achieving website readability is relatively easy; follow these simple rules: contrast is vital, large letter sizes, font types, limit the number of fonts, and use text themes.

  1. Maintain an easy-to-navigate website

You may want to break boundaries, but website navigation shouldn’t be avant-garde. After all, you want your users to find what they’re looking for quickly. Your site’s navigation also improves the user experience, helping search engines index your content.

So make sure your logo is linked to your homepage, you remember your menu, offer vertical navigation, and work on your footer.

  1. Maintain a visual hierarchy

Example of a good visual hierarchy

Source: blog.hubspot.com

Design principles such as hierarchy help you display your content clearly and effectively. With the correct use of hierarchy, you will be able to draw visitors’ attention to specific page elements in order of importance, starting with the most important.

  1. Stay mobile friendly

The mobile version of your website should be accessible to all your site visitors, regardless of their gadgets, so that they can enjoy it to the fullest. Put yourself in the user’s shoes and test every page, action, and button on your site’s mobile version.

You should keep your mobile website cleaner and less cluttered than the desktop version, so minimize page elements and scale down some assets, such as the menu, if necessary.

What Are 7 Simple Steps to the Website Design Process?

You must wonder after all this information about how to design a website. Well, here are the stages you should follow to design, build, and launch your website:

7 Steps to the Website Design Process

1. Goal Identification

During this initial stage of the design and website development process, the designer must identify the end goal of the website design, usually working closely with the client or other stakeholders. Questions to explore include:

  1. What is the purpose of the site?
  2. What are the customers expecting to find or do on the site?
  3. What is the primary purpose of this website? Is it to inform, sell (ecommerce, anyone?), or amuse?
  4. Is the website part of a broader branding strategy with its unique focus, or does it need to convey a brand’s message?

The brief plays an imperative role in web development. If you overlook these questions, the whole project can go wrong.

Tools for Goal Identification stage:

Basecamp

2. Scope Definition

Web designing projects often face scope creep, one of the most challenging and everyday problems. Clients set out with one goal in mind. Still, that goal gradually expands, evolves, or changes entirely during the website design process — and before you know it, you’re not just building a website but also an app, email, and push notification system.

Designers may not mind this since it often leads to more work. However, if an increase doesn’t match the increased expectations in budget or timeline, the project can quickly become unattainable.

Gantt charts provide a valuable reference for designers and clients and help keep everyone focused on the task and goals at hand, as they detail a realistic timeline for the project, including any significant landmarks, and can help set boundaries and achieve deadlines.

Web design tools for scope definition:

Gantt chart

3. Sitemap & Wireframe Creation

A sitemap is the foundation of any well-designed website by providing a clear understanding of the information architecture of a website and explaining the relationships between the various pages and content elements. Creating a site without a sitemap is like building a house without a blueprint, which rarely works well.

A wireframe provides a framework for storing the site’s visuals and content elements and an opportunity to identify potential challenges with the sitemap.

Even though a wireframe doesn’t include any final components, it serves as a guide as to how the site will ultimately look and as a source of inspiration for formatting various elements.

Web design tools for site mapping & wireframing:

Pen/pencil and paper

Sketch

Axure

4. Content Creation

 Role of content creation in the web designing process

Source: blog.hubspot.com

After your site’s framework is in place; you can move on to the essential element: the written content. The written content serves two purposes: driving engagement and action and ranking well in search engines.

A site’s content engages readers and encourages them to take action to accomplish its goals. The content (the writing) and its presentation (the typography and structure) play an essential role. Bland, dead, and overlong prose rarely keep visitors’ attention for long.

On the other hand, short, snappy, and captivating content grabs their attention and gets them clicking through to the next page.

Content expands a site’s visibility for search engines. Creating and enhancing content to rank well in search is known as search engine optimization or SEO. Getting your keywords and key phrases correct is essential for the success of any website.

Search engines love well-written, informative, and keyword-rich content, making it easier for people to find your site.

SEO tools:

SEMrush

ahrefs

5. Visual Elements

The final step in web design is to create the site’s visual style. As stipulated by the client, this part of the process will often be shaped by existing branding elements, color choices, and logos. However, it is also the stage when a good web designer can show off.

Today, images play a more significant role in web design than ever. It is widely known that visual content increases click, engagements, and earnings; additionally, people want to see images on a website.

High-quality photos add to the professional appearance of a website and convey a message, are mobile-friendly, and help build trust. You’ll also want to ensure your images are as responsive as your site.

Tools for visual elements:

Sketch

Illustrator

Photoshop

6. Testing

Website Testing Process

Source: testbytes.net

After the website has all its visuals and content, you’re ready to test it. First, test each page thoroughly to ensure all links work and load correctly on all devices and browsers. There are times when minor coding errors cause errors, and it’s better to find and fix them now than to show off a broken website later.

Even the order of words in the meta title can influence the page’s performance on a search engine. So look at the page meta titles and descriptions one last time, too.

Website testing tools:

W3C Link Checker

SEO Spider

7. Launch

It’s finally time for everyone’s favorite part of the website design process: When the site has passed every test and you’re satisfied with it, it’s time to launch. Please don’t expect it to go smoothly; some elements may still need fixing. Designing a website is a fluid and ongoing process that requires constant maintenance, so don’t expect it to be perfect.

Regarding the launch stage, remember that it’s not the end of the work. You can continually test new features and content, monitor analytics, and refine your messaging once the site goes live.

What Are Various Types of Website Design & Their Primary Functions?

The following are six of the most common types of website design layouts:

Types of Website Design

Static Page Layout

Among the simplest forms of website design is static page layout. You build a website with fixed width and page dimensions – static layouts stick to these dimensions, no matter your browser or device.

However, due to the rise of mobile devices, static layouts have been phased out. In most cases, static layouts aren’t a good option unless you create a separate mobile site. Since these sites don’t adapt to devices, they don’t provide a positive user experience on smartphones or tablets.

Liquid Design Layout

The Liquid design layout, also known as fluid design, uses flexible units instead of fixed units. Therefore, the page will always fill the width with the device’s screen.

However, liquid layouts have also begun to fade away from being a viable option due to the importance of the user experience for driving and engaging traffic on your site.

Adaptive Website Layout

An adaptive website layout is one web design format you can use for your website. As its name implies, adaptive websites adjust their size automatically based on the browser size. As a result, adaptive websites will provide the best user experience by automatically altering their layout.

For example, a set parameter for adaptive website layouts might be as follows: “Set the main content container at 400 pixels wide if the browser is 500 pixels wide.”.

Dynamic Website Layout

Difference between Static & Dynamic Website

Source: www.witsdigital.com

A dynamic website layout is an option when looking at a list of the types of website design. If you don’t know much HTML, dynamic website layouts are ideal.

With a dynamic website vs. a static website, you build a database of information and features that you can utilize to deliver different content to website visitors, even if two separate people are viewing the same page.

Web coding then assembles the components of the webpage from your database when a user requests a page.

Responsive Design Layout

Responsive design is one of the most popular layout formats since it fits perfectly in any browser size and accommodates all devices. In responsive design, you build your mobile layout and expand it to provide more prominent browsers. The responsive design follows a mobile-first approach. Rather than shrinking your website, start small and build it up.

Single Page Layout

A single-page layout, as its name implies, single-page formats use only one page that users scroll down to learn more about your products or services. With this design layout, you can have a navigation menu with links to specific parts of your page.

Bottom Line

A great design is more than a pretty face; it encourages interaction and is tailored specifically to meet the needs of the users who visit the site. Give importance to what other businesses have accomplished with web design so you can quickly determine if the format is suitable for any project.

You can get an idea of what website style would work for your business website by studying what competitors have done with their websites.

Furthermore, selecting the proper typography and color to design a stunning website and make it functional is paramount. In addition, the above website design guidelines should help you determine the structure of your web pages and will result in a positive outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

Web designing involves creating websites and pages that reflect a company's brand and information and are user-friendly. In today's world, the web design industry is as dynamic as ever. Web design often incorporates knowledge from related sectors, including a content management system, search engine optimization, and user experience.

Web Designers build or redesign websites. They understand how to make a website functional and easy to navigate and how to make it aesthetically pleasing.

A web designer creates the vision and plan for a website. Web designers primarily determine the site's layout, color scheme, font set, and visual theme rather than using code to get it done. Although, a web designer must be familiar with some knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP, jQuery, JavaScript, and Flash to design a website.

Engage visitors on your web pages with interesting information to create an interactive experience. Animating the clickable portions to make the experience more engaging and creating original illustrations instead of repurposing stock images helps you display a unique brand personality. Keep your web pages consistent in style and color to reflect your brand voice consistently.

In writing UX guidelines, it is essential to make them accessible to everyone, regardless of their distinctive abilities. By avoiding unnecessary jargon and industry-specific terminology that confuse laypeople, you can ensure that your writing is suitable for people of all reading levels.

It is essential to make the status of your system visible as part of good web design ideas. Some practical guidelines for website design include:

1. Providing error messages in plain, understandable language.

2.Having large fonts and avoiding jargon

3.Never use long sentences that confuse your readers

4.Ensure the instructions are always in bold

Below are the five elements of a great web design:

1. Content

2. Usability

3. Aesthetics

4. Visibility

5. Interaction

The different types of web designs are as follows:

1. Static Page Design

2. Dynamic Design

3. Fixed Design

4. Responsive Design

5. Liquid Design

6. Single Page Design
Hiba has extensive experience writing articles, blogs, sports content, and social media campaigns, and a keen interest in traveling, reading, and photography.

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