What Is Web Design? and How To Get It Right.
What is web design……? A website is a website—right? Wrong. An outdated, confusing, or broken website will hurt your brand. You don’t want to take the chance of having that happen to you.
It’s no surprise that the best sites are those that nail their web design. But what is a web design, really? Read on if you want to learn what web design is all about, why it matters so much, and how to get it right.
Why is web design important?
First impressions are what really matter. If you do not have a strong web presence, you are holding your brand back. Similar to the old saying, You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. This can be translated to the online world as well. Your business is only as good as your brand.
Your prospective customers might search for your brand online and find nothing. If they search and find something sub-par, they’ll think that your brand doesn’t care much about your products or service. Don’t let this happen, get your web design right by making every interaction on your website a great one.
Let’s look at some of the signs of great web design and what distinguishes it from the not-so-great web design
What does good web design look like?
With other types of design like illustration or sticker design, a lot of what is considered to be “good” is up to the person viewing it. With web design, however, the line between “good” and “not good” is much more defined. A well-designed website is a website that perfectly creates the experience your visitor is looking for.
Web design that converts is what web design works for. In web speak, “convert” means getting the user to take a specific action. Your website made a conversion when a user takes the action that you have set them up to do. Signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, opening an account, or accessing more content on the website are just a few of the things that can be conversions.
To make an effective web design, you need to consider the following components:
Effective use of negative space
Well-presented choices for the user, so that they don’t get confused and don’t become overwhelmed.
Direct and obvious calls to action
Using limited distractions and creating a well-thought-out user journey are two of the most important steps for any web design. Only use images and text that are relevant to the subject on the page, and never use too many font variations or font weights. Use buttons that are limited to where you want the customer to go, do not give endless possibilities, steer the customer where you want them to go.
Responsive design, which makes your website easy to use on any device: phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop browser.
Appropriately-sized fonts follow a hierarchy. This will communicate to the user what is important and what is not so important i.e. the headings with the bigger font sizes should have the most important messages.
A good mix of relevant, high-quality content and images that attract your readers’ attention.
Images and text on each page should be well balanced. Too much text can be overwhelming, too little text can be equally underwhelming.
If you don’t think aesthetic design choices affect conversions, think again. You must have an attractive website. Even more importantly, you need to be sure that the site appeals to your target customer.
Invest in eye-catching images that work with your brand. Avoid obvious stock photography. Only use images that make sense to what you are writing, so that they coordinate well together and strengthen the overall message that you are conveying.
It’s important to remain true to your brand when creating a website. Even the most beautiful website is pointless if it doesn’t match your brand.
Other building blocks of an effective web design are that should reflect your brand are:
Buttons – These should be clearly distinguishable as buttons and should have an impacting color to make them stand out.
Fonts – As a general rule the most important element of a font is that it should be easy to read, however, there are literally thousands of fonts available. So choose fonts that will complement your brand and appeal to your target customers. Fonts can look classical, modern, feminine, masculine. The choice is yours and what will go best with your brand.
Color palette – Another crucial element, color palettes are a combination of colors that complement each other and can give an overall feeling to your website, energetic, relaxed, modern, etc. There are many online tools to help you find the perfect palette for your website for example this one.
The visual balance between your images and copy on each page.
Good web design isn’t just utilitarian. Visitors like websites that are engaging and fit the brands’ aesthetics. No matter how you achieve it, meshing an on-brand, engaging look with design elements that convert is how you win at web design.
Web design: what to avoid
In the previous chapter, we looked at what good design is. Now, let’s talk about what it’s not.
Generally speaking, visitors shouldn’t have to do any work to use your website. The whole experience of using your website should be easy and straightforward.
Examples: Clear calls to action are great web design; murky ones are bad web design. High contrast fonts are smart, effective web design; low contrast fonts that are hard to read are poor web design.
Here are some other elements that you should avoid:
Distracting images and backgrounds. As a general rule, stay away from tiled backgrounds. Though there are a few select instances where a tiled background could be a good choice, in most cases they’re distracting.
Non-responsive design. With so many people using mobile phones, assume at least half the visitors to your website will be from a mobile device, therefore your website simply needs to be mobile responsive. This is a must-have.
Do not use images just for the sake of having an image, make sure it is relevant. Along the same lines avoid “filler text” this is text that essentially adds no value to what you are trying to communicate.
The basic principles of effective web design are simple: focus on what’s important and eliminate clutter. However, web design elements, like grids and typography, aren’t inherently good or bad choices. They can be used in effective and ineffective ways. So it’s important to choose the right elements for your project.
Animations are tricky elements on websites. But you shouldn’t have a comet tail trailing your users’ cursors, and you shouldn’t have them scroll past a row of dancing hamsters before they see your content. But an animated exit popup that gets people’s attention back to your site and makes them convert? Yes. Some subtle animations to text to draw the users’ attention, yes that is also ok and effective.
what is web design - How to get the web design done
As you can see, getting a website right is a complex process. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. When you work with a professional web designer you can count on their expertise to get the perfect result.
Whether it’s just a basic website or a more complex one, there are a number of different ways you can get the website you need. The right way for you and your business depends on how complex of a website you need, how much you want to spend, and how much of the work you can do yourself.
Finding the right freelance web designer can be tough. Just browse through a designer’s portfolio to see how well they match your style and what they’ve already done. A web designer can customize an existing template or design a completely new one for your site. If you want your site built from scratch, you can work with a freelance web designer who has the skills to make it happen.
Be prepared to invest in high-quality web design. Your web design could cost a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on its complexity. What you’ll spend should be proportionate to what you need. Keep in mind that a well-designed website will generate much more income for you than you paid for it, so it will be a very good investment.
Once you have got your perfect website, there are also other very important matters relevant to your website, one of the most important being SEO.