Anyone can design a website, but not everyone can do it well. There are several things a web designer must keep in mind when designing a website. Your website needs to load quickly as well as be very easy to read. Visitors are not as likely to remain on a site that is not pleasing to look at, and a website that is unprofessional will completely diminish the credibility of the content, regardless of how accurate it is. Examples of websites that have a poor design include those that have blocks of text that don’t have a sufficient amount of white space in order to relieve the eyes, layouts that must be scrolled horizontally, colors that have poor contrast or are very bright as well as pages that have too many high resolution images. If you are interested in designing for your website, you should be aware of the five fundamentals of good web design.
Keep Your Design Simple
Though an unusual and elaborate design can be very artistic, effective websites tend to stick to simple modular layouts that have static headers as well as sidebars. The reason is very simply; this layout is what works. The less amount of time your visitors have to spend focusing on the layout of your site, the more time they will spend on reading your content. You should try to avoid imagery that is intricate and make sure the font is contrasted well with all of the rest of your page. Dark text against light backgrounds will read naturally. Remove all of the badges that don’t directly relate to your content or the message your website is trying to convey. When you cut back on the extra elements it will reduce the loading time.
Only Use Standard Code
It is very easy to use non-standard code accidentally on a website. Despite its not being the standard, most of the HTML coding will work. For example, the CSS for recoloring scrollbars is not standard code and it only works with Explorer. This should be avoided. The tag is another example; it was standard for styling fonts, but the tag has now depreciated. Instead, you should consider using CSS in order to style the design on the website.
Date The Content
Dating your website content is a step that will go a very long way in making a website seem even more credible. When you make sure your copyright notices and footers are up-to-date, as well as leave a line about when the page was updated, you are telling all of your visitors that the website is well-maintained. This shows your visitors that the information is current. If the website is a blog, you should make sure blog entries display post dates.
Use Legible Fonts
The truth is, your font matters. The text of the website is most of the content and the visitors will have a very hard time reading the website if your text is styled poorly. Try to use fonts that give strong enough contrasts with the background. Make sure that it is very easy to read, by making the text large enough for every screen resolution. You should try to avoid script or decorative fonts, like Blackadder or Lucida Handwriting, as they tend to be difficult to read; not everyone is equipped with the same fonts on their computers. You should stick with sans serif fonts. Avoid the Comic Sans. Though it is a simple and effective font even its creator, Vincent Connare, said that he didn’t intend for it to get widespread use.
Balance The Content
A website can have a bit of everything: images, videos, text and embedded music. You can incorporate all of these things if you balance them so your visitor’s eye will flow from one element to the other naturally. Make sure your text is not bunched together. You should make sure there is enough white space. You can do this by using breaks in your paragraphs between each section. Paragraph breaks are used in order to insert empty lines between each group of words. Enough space should be set around your images and videos. This element is referred to as “padding”. This will ensure your text does not run along the edges of the other content.