How To Choose a Good Web Design?
It isn’t easy to come up with a fresh and stylish web design. But you still don’t have to be a full-fledged web designer to find your website a look that works well with it. In fact, we’re all looking for that one design that just “clicks in” for us.
Yet, we shouldn’t trust it to luck, but rather on making a conscious decision based on facts, our company’s or our personal mission and the message we wish for our website to communicate. This is not the time to stare at a collection of web designs like a sheep. Take the time to develop a more well-rounded idea of how your ideal website should look and what kind of design elements it should incorporate.
In this article, we’re going to tell you what elements make up a good, professional looking web design and how you can incorporate that knowledge to help you build the website of your dreams.
Keep in mind that you have one very important element to grasp before picking a design for your website, and that is knowing your target audience. You can’t build a website that everyone likes, nor can you build one that will communicate your message to millions of people the same way.
Be sure to figure out who will be your target audience and what you wish to accomplish with them.
Your website is your business card and it has to be as seductive as possible, so people’s attention stick to it so much that they just want to click through it all day.
You’ll most probably want to choose one from a list of templates, so make sure that it’s a good one! If you don’t want to know more about what makes a good website design, just jump to the last section, where we tell you how to choose a good template in more detail.
What Makes a Good Web Design?
Let’s outline the core elements that create a website that packs a powerful punch and intrigues its visitors.
Your website’s purpose is what gets visitors there in the first place and your design has to reflect that purpose. Every page on your site should have a clearly defined purpose.
What will your website set out to accomplish? What is it built for? Is it making sales, providing information or entertainment? Your website’s overall purpose is the spine of the design and once you’ve established it, you’re on your way to building a website that accomplishes it.
Taking Your Industry Into Account
There are plenty of themes and templates that are built around a specific activity, industry or style. If you’re looking to sell clothes or offer fashion advice, you should just choose a template that incorporates that style. Just by taking this one thing into account, you have a very good chance to find a theme that was built with your business or service in mind.
Convenient and Clear Navigation
It’s very easy to get frustrated when you’re looking for something specific and the buttons and texts lead you astray. You can have the most amazing website but if your users don’t know how to get what they want out of it, then it’s all meaningless.
One of the most important elements of a website design is that it should make it easy for the visitors to find the information they are looking for without encountering any clutter or obstacles. It shouldn’t take them more than three clicks to find what they are looking for.
You might have noticed that more and more websites are using large, high resolution images that instantly catch your attention. This is one of the main elements of a modern website. If anything looks too old or out of fashion, your visitors won’t hesitate to just click away.
If you want to see some good examples, check out Awwwards. You can also find plenty of high quality, free pictures at Pixabay or Flickr.
But don’t overdo it with huge images or don’t use anything that blinks or rotates. Keep it as simple and as clear as possible.
Use Unique and Relevant Content
The popular saying “Content is King”, stands true, because original written content is the main way for communicating clearly with your visitors. Once they come to your website, they’ll want to know who you are and how you can help them solve their problem. Based on what they’re going to read, they will decide whether they want to become your customer or not.
Make sure that your content is well-written and well-structured throughout the webpage. Use main headings, subheadings, bullet points and make your paragraphs as short as possible.
If you take content into consideration, it will make a major difference in your site, depending on what kind of content you’re going to use. If you publish news, or videos, you’re going to need plenty of space to display them. You should have a design or template that makes it easy for you to update the content of your website.
Give some importance to content above the fold as well. Above the fold is the first part of a webpage that you see when you open it and you don’t have to scroll to see its content. It should be information packed and should also inspire the viewer to look what else the page has to offer.
How To Use Colors?
Colors are everything. They give life to your design and have a huge impact on people’s emotions. Each color correlates to certain types of emotions and ideas. It is your website’s first gateway to the human mind, because it activates these emotions and thoughts on a subconscious level. Have you ever noticed how much your overall mood is influenced by the color of your room?
If used wisely, the right colors will not only make your website into a beautiful composition, but will also give your users a truly pleasant experience.
Use The Natural Color Palette
These colors are much more pleasing to the human eye then their artificial counterparts, so it’s much easier to get the emotional response you want from your visitors. Unnatural looking colors such as neon colors will make the eye tire much faster.
Don’t Use Too Many Colors
You’re building a website, not a circus. As exciting using many colors might be, they make your website less transparent and will give it a really unprofessional and crowded look. Stick with three colors instead.
First, let’s see what kind of associations each color has.
Use a Three Color Combination
There is beauty in simplicity and if you want your website to stand for something other than a rainbow, you should use 3 colors and no more. You should have a primary, secondary and an accent color.
- The primary color should take up 60% of the website, to create a consistent look.
- The secondary color should be in strong contrast with the primary color, to make the design look more powerful. It should take up 30% of the website.
- The third color, the accent color, should take up only 10% of the website and should complement the primary or secondary color and finalize the composition.
But you can also use a combination of more than three colors, if by leveraging tints and shades. You can add shading to certain colors, to separate certain elements on the website, while staying consistent with its base color scheme.
Aim For Igniting Emotion
As I mentioned, humans make their decisions depending on the emotional state they are in or the state that you invoked in them. One of the primary ways to ignite the emotions you want is by understanding and leveraging what colors represent on an emotional level.
Red in itself is a purely energetic and intense color of fire and blood, that can make you feel passionate just about anything it surrounds. It is a hot color, through in and throughout with the implications of love, sex, passion, survival and it can also stand for:
The lighter shades of red represent softer, more feminine things such as passion, sensitivity, love, joy and sexual desires.
The darker shades of red mostly represent powerful masculine features such as willpower, leadership, rage, anger and violence.
So, combining red with the color black, will ignite emotions of suppressed anger or suppressed vitality, which is why it’s no surprise that UFC’s home page features the same color combination.
Also, because it is such an intense color, you can use it to attract attention to, or highlight certain elements on a website.
Orange is also a very energetic color that drives intense feelings of joy within a person. Such a happy color, yellow added to the all so powerful red, creates this lively color. It is associated with sunshine, sex, motivation and the classic tropical sunsets.
It is a very warm color that makes you feel welcome, which is why many mood lights in living rooms shine an orange light. Orange is also known to stimulate and even elevate brain activity, because it boosts the amount of oxygen that’s delivered to the brain. It is also very attractive for young people, thanks to its welcoming and energetic nature. This color represents emotions such as:
- Sexual Attraction
The darker shades of orange represent trickery, lies and distrust, which is why you can see it in many news websites, scam reports and many other websites where they “expose” certain things.
Lighter shades of orange, such as gold, symbolize illumination, wealth, wisdom, knowledge and honor.
The most cheerful color on the palette, yellow encourages happiness, symbolizes intellect and powerful energies. It also creates a feeling of warmth and stimulates a person’s psychological activity. Since it’s a bright color, it is also good for catching attention, which is why it can create a disturbing effect too, if overused.
A combination of yellow and green is often used on children’s toys packaging, because yellow’s cheerful and green’s loving nature. Yellow is often perceived as a very childish color.
When yellow is used with other bright colors, its effect usually disappears. It’s better to use it with darker colors that make it stand out such as black. If used properly, yellow will ignite cheerful feelings within a person. Yellow also stands for:
- High quality
- Something holy
- The Sun
Light shades of yellow give a person refreshing feelings of joy, cheerfulness and optimism. They are also used to symbolize the divine and angelic entities.
Dark shades of yellow symbolize caution and jealousy.
The calmest color in the palette. It is the color of nature and symbolizes the balance rooting within it. Green ignites feelings of harmony and balance. Looking at the grass or a green wall in front of you for an extended period of time calms the eye muscles and the nerve by a great deal. It also has implications of endurance, stability and growth.
Green is often used in the advertisements of insurance companies and medical products, because it makes a person feel safe and reassured. Taking it’s relation to nature into account, it has a powerful implications towards unconditional love and care.
Also, it is closely related to wealth and money, which is why the all so famous dollar, is colored green. In summary, green symbolizes the following things:
Light shades of green are associated with unconditional love and healing.
Dark shades of green are associated with lack of love, lack of self-love, jealousy, greed and a lust for power.
Blue is the color of clear communication and is related to depth, loyalty and trust. It is most often used to promote products and services that provide clarity and that are related to water (obviously), the sea or flying.
You often see that the suits certain mechanics or maintenance experts wear are colored blue. That is because it is associated with expertise and trust. But you can also use blue to promote products related to clearness and water, such as water filters, drinking water, salt or vodka. It’s very good to use light shades of blue on cleaning services and products too. Blue also has a strong relation to self-awareness, intellect and the expression of one’s intellect through communication. In summary, blue has strong relations to:
- The Sky
Light shades of blue represent health, clarity, peace, cleansing, water and so on.
Dark shades of blue represent power and influence, seriousness and professionalism, which is why people wear “business blue” shirts and dark blue suits.
Purple is the color of royalty and premium items. It symbolizes stability and power, which is why you can see some of history’s great kings wearing purple robes. But purple has a lot more going for it. Purple is associated with things like:
- Inner vision
Light purple is a very feminine color and represents romance and gentleness.
Dark purple can also be a very feminine color, because it represents strong women. But it also represents a lot of gloomy and sad feelings.
White contains all the colors in the spectrum and it is most widely used as a symbol of purity and peace. It is also considered to be a color of perfection, safety and new beginnings.
The color white goes well with any other color and compliments all of the colors in the spectrum. It suggests simplicity, health and serenity as well. It is why it is used to promote medical products and cleaning products, or anything that can relate to the words fresh and healthy.
In summary, white represents:
- Angels and divine beings
Black is the exclusion of all colors. Its associations are mostly negative in nature. People used black to draw demons and things of evil nature. It also symbolizes mystery and elegance. If used properly, black can give off a very prestigious vibe.
Black is also the symbol of death and grief. Combined with red or orange, it can create a truly aggressive color scheme. If combined with yellow, it will create a sporty color scheme.
In summary, black represents:
All these negative implications don’t mean that you should avoid black all together. Black is a very good complimentary color and is perfect for online stores that sell elegant clothing or anything related to elegance.
How To Use Images?
“A picture tells a thousand words.”
People like a website because its design and because they see something fresh and unique. They also like it for the information it provides and providing information through powerful visuals is one way to stay in your visitors’ good graces. If nothing more, your website should be entertaining to see, but it should also enrich the entire composition. Images are one of the most powerful elements of a website and your most powerful means of communication, so it’s best to use them as well as one can.
You are providing pictures to a very mature internet audience these days and they will tell the difference between unique, high quality photography and stock images you found on Google. By using the right images and making them high quality, you add a lot of substance to the user experience.
Even more so, you can build your entire website design around a single image if you want to and it will add up to a very unique and consistent design.
Starting Your Design With an Image
A picture can do a lot of thinking for you, because it sets the color scheme and all you have to do is choose colors that work well with it. By coordinating the colors with your chosen picture, it will create a consistent and unified design.
Pictures are a great source of inspiration and if you find a picture that says all you want to say, it will be an inseparable element of your website. By taking colors from a picture, your website will be a lot livelier and it will help you put more emphasis on anything.
Images have a similar impact on people that colors do, they can ignite and fuel specific emotions within them. So, let’s see how you can get people to like your website!
Choosing The Right Images
Here are some tips that will help you choose images that add power to your website’s design.
Quality is more important than anything else
Even if you’re using a photo of a piece of poo, make it as high quality as possible, because high resolution images work best in today’s modern internet environment.
The size of the image is important as well, because large images make an impact. Large, high resolution images make your website look more impressive and professional.
Make it actionable
Nothing excites a person more than seeing an image that drives them to take action. If you can implement a call to action into your image, in a way that remains consistent with its content, it could become the most powerful element on your website.
Consistent with your brand
This is quite obvious, but it’s worth noting even more so. The type of images you use have to be consistent with what your website is offering. If you’re selling bicycles, than your images should have high quality bikes speeding down mountain roads and such.
Use Photos Of People
People like to identify and attach themselves to things and people they see. They have a good chance of boosting the conversion ratio of your site. The only condition is that the images should be unique, because if you use stock photos of people, you’re going to be heavily ignored by a mature audience. In fact, plain stock photos will achieve the complete opposite of what you wanted. Visitors want to believe that they’re seeing actual people in actual situations when they look at these pictures.
Also, if you use photos of people, you can easily embed emotions into them, because igniting certain emotions is what you have set out to do in the first place. You can do this simply by catching people enjoying everyday scenarios and successes with a smile.
You can go through free image sources and find something that works well for your website, but it’s best to catch fresh images that are perfectly in sync with your website’s design concept.
Choosing a Good Template
Even if you want to build something truly unique, there’s a lot you can get done with templates. With them, you only have to do a quarter of the work you would have if you would design a website from scratch. Also, they spare you the effort of having to imagine up something from scratch.
There are plenty of optimized themes that were built with your industry in mind, so it’s really worth looking through them. Here are some tips that will help you to choose a template that works best for the type of website you’re looking to build.
Search According to Your Profession/Industry
Plenty of templates and websites have been built with a specific type of industry in mind. If you’re opening a small convenience store or even a large zoo, you probably have more than 10 templates laid out for you.
These themes take the specific needs of your business into account and help you display all the necessary information in a very stylish way. You’ll have a lovely design that’s half finished and all you have to do is customize it according to your needs.
Take Your Site’s Content Requirements Into Account
Depending on what kind of business you’re in, your content requirements are going to be different. Sure, every website needs text and images, maybe even videos, but these also have to be displayed in a correct manner. If you want to publish posts regularly, you’ll also have to take that into account.
If you have already laid out what kind of images you want to use, and have done the necessary formatting, collect the files you want to upload. This will make your job a lot easier and you’ll find a template that works well with the content you’re working with.
Choose The Appropriate Content Width
There are two kinds of content width designs. Boxed-Width designs and Full-Width content designs.
Websites that have boxed-width content, don’t have any content or buttons on the side sections. These usually work well with business oriented websites that only seek to provide the user with some information.
Websites with full-width content, are stretched throughout the entire screen, so there is no free space left on the edge. It fills the monitor screen beautifully, which is why it works really well for creative designs.
Does The Header Work For You?
Once again, what kind of header you choose depends solely on what kind of business you’re working on. But keep in mind that it is the first thing your visitors see and it will be your chance to make a very good first impression. Which one you pick depends on your strategy and the way you want to reach out to and attract your customers. Your header should be information packed, while also being able to communicate in a completely straightforward manner.
You can use:
- A static image with no text
- A static header image with text
- A slideshow with or without content
- A video header with a short clip
Use a Theme That Speaks Straight To Your Audience
You are the one who knows exactly what kind of audience you’re looking to attract. Only you know exactly what will catch their attention and what kind of visual language speaks in their language. Use it to get your message through and always look at what language will work best for your target audience.
Like I explained above, keep an eye out for specific colors and what they communicate, that will be a useful guide to choosing a template that works well, right off the bat.
Make Sure It Works Just As Well On Mobile
About half of the traffic you’re going to get will be on mobile, so your website should have swift loading times and all of the things that I’ve mentioned before should check in on a smaller screen as well.
Don’t just look at a perspective template and say it will be good enough. Click through each of its webpages and make sure it suits you and your target audience perfectly. Make sure that you don’t waste anyone’s time with delayed webpages and a navigation that’s filled with clutter.
It’s safe to choose a template once you’ve familiarized yourself with its navigation and features.
That’s about it for now. This concludes our guide on choosing an appropriate website design for your business that will help you reach out to your visitors in a meaningful manner. I hope you have enjoyed reading through this article and that we will see you again in the upcoming one!