The Big 3
Let’s first talk about what people typically consider important aspects of web design. Things like typography, color and imagery. These are all very important to remember when creating your website but shouldn’t be taking up a large portion of your time. The following are what I consider the 3 most important principles to good web design:
Give yourself the proper time to analyze your website from top to bottom. Visualize your concept then form a structure of what you think will be your website’s most important pages. In technical terms this is called a sitemap; a diagram of every page on your website. Operating without a sitemap is like swinging with your eyes closed. Using it as a guide will ensure you are staying within established boundaries while maintaining efficient production.
Now that you’ve laid the structure, the ongoing process of functionality begins. Prepare yourself to treat functionality as a focal point in everything you do. From content/image optimization, to technical SEO – Your website needs to be a well-rounded operation. The structure and functionality of your website play a large role in user experience and customer conversion. This goes beyond design principles and extends into the back end to involve your site speed. A well put together website communicates your commitment to your business and providing customers with a good experience. They will reward you for it.
Consistency is a core principle of good design and does a lot more for a visitor than you might think. In support of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, consistency in a website will promote familiarity, heighten the perception of the user and establish a connection with brand identity. As a developer or designer, its your job to promote consistency in everything you do to support your ability to reuse components, patterns and generate new landscapes.
A website without consistency will feel unprofessional and could have some harmful side effects on your user. An immediate effect might be the loss of trust in your brand. After all, first impressions are lasting impressions and your website is a direct representation of your business.
When a visitor comes to your website they are searching for some form of information or content. The information you are providing needs to be clear and concise with as little fluff or unnecessary information possible. Think about your experience when you visit a website – you’re there for a reason and want to retrieve the information you are looking for fast and easy. Communication is also about making use of media such as images, videos and infographics. In the end, if you aren’t able to communicate quickly and efficiently to your visitor, they will simply go somewhere else.