You’ve registered your domain name, picked a hosting site, and now you’re ready to design your new website.
But where to begin? There are so many cool website designs out there and it can be hard to weave together elements that will look great on your website.
With the help of some web design principles and a few popular trends, you’ll be able to build a website that looks incredible on all interfaces. Your website is your online front door, and you want it to look as up-to-date as possible.
Whether you’re a website building veteran or just starting out, everyone can use some web design tips to stay up-to-date. We’ve outlined some awesome web design tips below to inspire you for your next project.
Mobile-First Responsive Design
If you want a fighting chance in ranking in organic searches, you need to have a responsive website. About 58% of online searches occur on a mobile device now and searchers will abandon sites that aren’t mobile optimized.
Another reason to invest in a responsive web design is that Google will soon release their mobile-first indexing. This means they will prioritize websites that fit a mobile device screen (smartphones and tablets).
In short, having a mobile-responsive website is a must. Your customers can interact with you anywhere and you’ll perform better in organic search rankings.
While you can find some “maximalist” web designs out there, web designers are regularly sticking to a minimalist approach.
Most minimalist web designs tend to focus on not overloading the viewer with information or graphics. They distill their brand message down to its essence and convey it through design and text.
Minimalist designs also use a good amount of negative space, also known as blank space.
Negative space helps viewers feel like they can breathe and can also help you direct their eyes to particular parts of your website.
Get Rid of Stock Photos
We know that getting rid of all stock photos isn’t possible for every website. But PLEASE get rid of those cheesy posed stock photos.
This is particularly important if your website will cater to millennials, a generation that values authentic and human brands. Millennials have a buying power of $600 billion and they will turn to a competitor if they sense your brand is trying to pull a fast one.
Cheesy stock photos are a huge giveaway to millennials who are looking to purchase and those who are looking to apply for a company.
Just a few years ago, high-quality hero images were the sign of an amazing website.
Today, high-quality videos on a website reflect the ability of a company to stay ahead of the curve.
Videos have high engagement on social media and websites. They also help foster trust for a brand and can drive conversion rates.
While video is a must, you won’t find websites creating and publishing them unnecessarily. Each one will be deliberate, especially because videos slow down website speed.
Show Them Where to Go
Using visual hierarchy, you can direct a person’s eyes down the screen and make them stop where you want them to.
You can do this through a combination of written content, visual assets, negative space, and call-to-actions.
When a person first lands on your page, you only have seconds to attract their attention. That’s why you put critical information above the fold, but it should be brief.
Next, a call-to-action will cause them to scroll down the page where negative space will direct them to the next bit of information. After, a small animated visual asset will guide their eye elsewhere.
The last thing you want is for a potential customer to land on your page and not know where to go.
Make navigating your website intuitive and easy. Utilize some of these web design tips:
- Link your logo to the homepage
- Keep your navigation bar in the top right header
- Put contact info and other important links in the footer
- If your page is long, offer a quick scroll button to the top
Having a structured and navigable hierarchy also makes it easier for search engine bots to index your website which is beneficial for your SEO rankings.
Pick Fonts Wisely
Fonts can make or break your web design.
You want a font that makes a bold statement in your headers but one that’s easy to read in the body text. Sans serif fonts are perfect for headers while serif fonts are easy for longer reading.
Air on the side of too big when deciding on font size. For body text, 16 px is as small as you want to go.
When laying out your website, don’t make a line of text more than 60 characters. People will quickly lose attention if they see a long string of words rather than a short, narrow paragraph.
Micro-interactions are small actions to make on a website or social media that don’t cause the page to reload. Liking a photo on Instagram is a micro-interaction.
Building small interactions that don’t require a reload on your website offer spurts of delight without losing the data on a viewer’s session. The purpose of these micro-interactions is to understand how your customers interact with your content in real-time.
Micro-interactions can also help keep your leads moving through the sales funnel as they explore your website.
It’s Gotta Be Fast
Speed is of the utmost importance for websites and is probably the most important web design tip.
If your website takes too long to load, a user who just landed on your website will likely bounce off it. This can be detrimental to your SEO ranking and means the loss of leads.
Keeping your website free of extra scripts, too many large files like images and videos, and having a quality host online can keep your website running quickly.
Telling stories is inherently human.
Storytelling goes beyond the text on a website. It combines graphic elements, text, and video on a website and social channels to form a cohesive story for a person to explore and understand.
Strong storytelling on a website creates better engagement with your brand and can boost conversions.
Best Web Design Tips for Success
There are many amazing web design tips you can find online but these are the top ten for us.
Building a fast website that looks great on mobile, is easy to navigate, and piques interest is easy to achieve with the right tools.
If you’re ready to start coding your website, take a look at our HTML5 resources.