Many people and businesses today have their own website, whether it’s personal or used to promote their company one thing everyone wants to achieve is a beautiful yet easy to use website.
This sounds like it would be very difficult, time consuming and even costly but I’ve found that following 4 simple, yet fundamental steps when creating or designing a website can produce fabulous results each and every time.
Design can be incredibly simple and when broken down into 4 key areas for consideration, it can be easy to implement. I believe if any person, designer or not, considers the imagery, font, colour and give the whole website plenty of room to breathe they will lay down the foundations to what could be a great looking website.
- Step 1: Think carefully about your use of colour in the website
Colour is a beautiful thing but it needs to be used in the right ways. When considering what colours to use in a website it is often easiest to limit the amount by using a predominantly neutral colour palette with small pops of colour than can be used to emphasis key components.
Sometimes too much colour can lead to a loss of coherence not only throughout the website but across the brand. An easy way to prevent this from happening is to pick a small palette (such as 3 or 4 colours) that is consistently used throughout. For example, if the branding uses red, white and black then this can translate by having a website with a white background, black copy and use the red to accent key areas you want to guide the user to such as button or link colours (though try to be sparing with this).
Finally, make sure that your colour palette is consistent with, and, or compliments your logo as well as other marketing materials there may be to make sure the brand is reinforced throughout the whole experience.
- Step 2: Fonts can be as informative as the content they display
Typography is finally getting the recognition it deserves with many websites using this ahead of imagery to create eye catching aesthetics. A good font should be easy to read at all sizes, easy to scan and add that little extra something to your web page.
Generally I find that San serif typefaces are better for the larger content such as headers whereas the body content generally is much better to read in Serif typefaces.
With mobile and tablets now dominating some markets it’s always best to consider how your font will be used across all devices. Some fonts just don’t work as well on mobile devices and become hard to read so make sure you chose a font that works well whatever the device.
- Step 3: Good imagery is worth its weight in gold
Whether you are creating a personal website or you’re a company wanting to make the right impression, imagery can make a massive difference to how your online presence is perceived.
Too many times websites have failed to invest in the right photography and this is quickly picked up by the audience, whether it’s a professional site or not all imagery should be personal to what it is you’re promoting, regardless of whether it is a product or yourself.
Sometimes smaller, poor quality images are used when the right image can’t be found, in these situations no image is better than creating the wrong impression of your site. Quality imagery speaks volumes and it can help to reinforce a message so this should always be as carefully considered as the words on the page.
- Step 4: Make sure your design has room to breathe
Many designs today are let down by the fact they overload the user with images and information making it hard to know what the call to action is. Stripping back the clutter, keeping the content concise and short where possible and creating more space between the paragraphs and images will all help to produce a webpage that is easy to digest.
Where content in concerned less is more on a mobile so, depending on the type of site, it is generally a good rule of thumb when trying to improve the user experience. Too much text can be daunting so break it up where possible with headings and appropriate imagery so the user isn’t faced with a wall of text.
White space between paragraphs, generous margins and line heights can help provide better legibility and focus for the reader, so always give your content that bit of breathing room.
Though simple, these steps if properly executed can greatly improve a website, creating a better user experience for all.