12 Principles of Web Design


Copy link
Copy Link


Praise Iwuh

November 27, 2023

12 Principles of Web Design

Developing websites that are both effective and engaging while offering an excellent user experience requires good web design. A website's usability and utility, not its aesthetic design, determine its success or failure.

User-centric design has emerged as a standard method for effective and financially driven web design, as the page visitor is the only one who clicks the mouse and thus makes all the decisions. Ultimately, a feature may as well not exist if people cannot utilize it.

In this article, we will concentrate on the fundamental ideas, guidelines, and methods of efficient web design. When applied correctly, these methods can result in more complex design choices and streamline understanding of the displayed information.


What is web design?

Why is good web design important? 

Principles of web design 

What is web design?

Web designing is the process of organizing, formulating, and carrying out a strategy to create a website that is both user-friendly and functional. A key component of web design is user experience. Websites include a variety of components that are arranged to make them simple to navigate.

Why is good web design important?

According to Glassdoor, the typical web designer makes $57,000 a year. Because their labor is essential, designers are rightfully paid a respectable salary. Your website creates an initial impression on a new lead that influences their subsequent interactions with your brand. This is when people form their initial impression of you.

 Additionally, your website communicates the identity, mission, and standing of your business in the marketplace. A website that leaves visitors saying "wow" will help you stand out from the competition and become more remembered if you have nearby competitors selling comparable goods. 

A solid website can also help with search engine optimization or SEO. When ranking websites in search results, search engines take user behavior into account. You will probably rank higher in search results than a rival with a high bounce rate if you have a low bounce rate and visitors to your site often browse numerous pages.

Well-designed page layouts, links, and titles make websites easier to navigate. As a result, both customers and search engines favor them. Let us examine some of the critical tenets of web design.


Principles of Web design

Choose web-friendly and readable fonts

There is no denying typography's importance in web design. By using the proper fonts, you can instantly capture the attention of your audience and showcase the individuality of your company.

It's not all about appearances, though. It's also essential that the typefaces you choose for your website design are readable and useful. After all, the user is probably not going to connect with your message if they have to squint simply to view your content. Web-friendly fonts include Helvetica, Courier New, Times New Roman, and Arial.

This indicates that they remain readable at all sizes and function effectively on desktop and mobile devices.


Use the "F" or "Z" pattern

People are habitual beings, and this also applies to the way we consume media. According to an eye-tracking study by the Nielsen Norman Group, most people skim material on websites in an F-shaped manner.

The main headlines at the top of the page should be read first, followed by any sidebars, numerals, or bullet points on the left side of the page, and finally, any bolded text or subheadings on the right side of the page. 

Using an "F" pattern in web design means following the eye's natural path to avoid interfering with the visual flow. With landing and sales pages, where conversion is the end goal, this is highly crucial.

The arrangement of 'Z' shapes is another crucial design element. This is when the eye scans in a hypothetical horizontal line from left to top right. After that, it descends to the left side of the page, forming a hypothetical diagonal. Finally, it forms a second horizontal line by tracing back across to the right once more. 

Landing pages typically benefit from the "Z" layout, which is more appropriate for pages with little information and a call-to-action as the primary focus.

Maintain consistency in your design

In web design, consistency is essential. It's crucial to remember, though, that this entails more than maintaining consistency in your fonts, colors, and icons across your branding. It also entails maintaining uniform spacing throughout your layouts.

This increases the polished, businesslike impression of your website and strengthens the trustworthiness of your brand.


Easy-to-use and practical page navigation

A website without easy access is comparable to a maze without a map. It causes visitors to your website to navigate it with more difficulty than necessary. However, a well-thought-out website's navigation provides a simple and comfortable user experience.

This can be in the shape of a sidebar, sticky navigation, or drop-down menu, among other formats. Its simplicity regarding location, compatibility with all devices, and lack of options overload are crucial.


Make use of contrasting color schemes

The tone of your site design is determined by the color scheme you choose. Pastel hues can look trendy and lively while utilizing a lot of dark browns and blacks can produce a rustic, somber effect.

Regardless of your style, it's critical to ensure that the colors you choose complement one another. While keeping to similar hues is often necessary, opposites can also be drawn to one another. The colors you choose must be complementary, regardless of whether they are opposite or adjacent on the color wheel.


Remember your audience.

Skilled web designers understand that producing a website that merely meets aesthetic standards is not enough. They need to use design to communicate directly with their audience if they want to make a website that truly stands out among the noise online.

Imagine yourself in the position of your audience, and consider what their main requirements, wants, and concerns are. This ought to guide all of your design decisions, including button text, website navigation, and font and color selections.


Improve calls to action and buttons

Buttons are an essential component of web design, even though they are sometimes the last to be included. They might differ between the user closing the window and continuing to browse your website.

Your website's buttons have to be loud and clear, not subtle. That is, they should be simple to locate and click on, and they should contrast sharply with the other visual components on the website.


Select your photos carefully

As they say, "a picture paints a thousand words," and website design is no exception. In web design, imagery can be used for many objectives, such as conveying a narrative, illustrating how a product functions, arousing feelings, or setting the mood.

But it's crucial to remember that not every picture is made equally. Make sure you choose the images you utilize for your site design carefully. They should fit your overall aesthetic and have a distinct look in addition to being of professional quality and reasonable resolution.


Give the user experience top priority.

Not only UX designers use user experience. Whether it's making a purchase or joining a mailing list, anyone who wants their audience to take action on their website needs to be aware of the customer journey.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be an extremely difficult or sophisticated procedure. It all boils down to making your audience's intended actions as simple as feasible.


Avoid lengthy text passages

A new website visitor gives you only one chance to make a terrific first impression. This is the reason your audience must understand what your brand offers right away. Your website design is crucial, even though your copywriting (the written content) accounts for a portion of this.

Large text blocks are, therefore, strictly prohibited on websites, especially on the home page. It may weaken the message of your brand and give the impression that your website is disorganized and cluttered.


Constantly Make Use of Negative Space

The area surrounding a page's subjects—buttons, text, videos, or images—is known as negative space, sometimes called "white space." To increase visitor engagement, many eager marketers scramble to cram every available area on a page. But this frequently leads to pages that are overpowering and unclear.

Negative space enters the picture here. By using negative space, you may focus the visitor's attention on the most critical parts of each page by emphasizing the sections that lack color.

Fitts' and Hick's Laws

According to Hick's Law, the amount of time needed to make a decision increases with each extra option. Extensive options make decision-making more complicated; a two-choice option would make decision-making considerably faster.

The Paradox of Choice and this are comparable in that it is simpler to choose nothing when more options are available. Your website becomes more complicated to use (if it's used at all) the more options a user has. Throughout the design process, remove distracting options to create a better site design.

Fitts' law states that the distance to and size of the target determine how long it takes to get to a target region (e.g., press a button). Put another way, a thing is more accessible to utilize the larger and closer it is.


Adopting these design concepts does not require you to be a strict observant of the regulations. All it does is make sure you have a solid foundation under you, allowing you to experiment and take chances when necessary.

Related post

Recent Posts

Need help with a project?

Let's solve it together.