Fundamental Principles Of Good Web Design

Description: Web design involves a lot of ins and outs and techniques that can make good design somewhat difficult to attain at times. However there are basic principles that you should always try and stick to in order to ensure your websites look good every single time.

We can all spot a bad website design when we see it, and equally we seem to know what looks good when we browse the web for information on all manner of different subjects.

So how come it's so difficult to design a good website ourselves?

The answer is probably because there is no well defined end point to designing a website. Even when your site goes live you still aren't finished, because there will always be tweaking and redesigning to do, not to mention regular updating of certain features to make your site even better than it was to begin with.

However there are several principles that have always (and probably will always) remained constant and the first of these is the question of how user friendly a site design is.

However you design your website it needs to be easy for your visitors to find their way around. Providing a site map and a clear navigation system are both an absolute must - you simply can't get round this. Not if you want to attract and keep lots of visitors anyway.

You should also ensure that all the elements of your web design make it clear as to what the focus of your site is. This can go right down to the typeface you use. You wouldn't dream of using a comical typeface and bright primary colors if your website was all about serious health problems, so make sure your design features don't mislead your visitors in any way.

You should also resist the urge to be clever. Websites that try to be clever generally fall by the wayside eventually, because they either don't plug in to the user's needs, or they simply forget what they're supposed to be there for while the webmaster is caught up in making everything look nice.

Good web design is essentially a fine balance between the visual aspects of a website and the practical aspects of it, including usability, content and function. It's also about consistency. Keep to one typeface throughout the entire site and make the heading of each page exactly the same to create a consistent feel. When you view some websites you can jump from page to page and feel as if you're going through about six different websites. Make sure every single one of your pages is branded so that people know they are still on your website.

It's also important to understand the value of having a fast loading site. Not everyone has broadband and if you use huge images that take forever to download you are going to lose visitors - it's that simple. Always put the needs and requirements of your visitors before your own. Images can be compressed, but you need to remember that people are visiting your website mainly to get information, and that comes in the form of text. So make sure the balance is right and you have the information they need.

In short, good web design is all about creating a website that is pleasing to the eye and easy on the visitors who will find it. If you can manage that, you are halfway to success.

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