Category Archives: Website Development

website-design-principles
The design of your website can be as important as your value proposition, products and services. You have to think of your web page as the selling point of your business, even if you have a physical store. Having a beautifully designed website can help you win new customers and turn the existing ones to loyal and returning clients. Having said that, an eye-catching design doesn’t only mean being creative, interesting and using all available tools possible to create a unique website. There are certain web design principles you need to follow that will help you go along way. Today we are going to look at some of the most important ones:

1. Typefaces and Text

Choosing a typeface for your brand is as important as anything else. For body text, it is better to use Sans Serifs fonts. They are easier to read and visually appealing. Those fonts are without decorative finishes unlike the Serifs fonts. Classic examples are Arial, Verdana and Helvetica. You can use Serif fonts for the name of your brand and headlines, if it seems appropriate. While, serif fonts are generally bad for body text because they are hard to read at smaller sizes. Generally, the maximum number of typefaces you should use is three and the perfect font size for online content is 16px. Also, make sure the chosen fonts are supported by all browsers. 

Another useful tip to follow is to use text as part of your SEO strategy. Adding keywords, meta-data, H1 headlines, etc. can boost your search viewings. There are a few websites that you can get free font from like Typekit and Fontspring. Google Web Fonts also have a great selection of fonts. 

2. Colours 

A good colour combination goes a long way. It should be consistent with the colours of your logo and your brand. Complementary colours give the impression of balance and harmony. Use contrasting colours for the body text and background which will make reading it easier. Vibrant colours can be used for call to action text and buttons. Add white space to avoid clutter on your website. A general rule is to use two or three tones in order to have a clear and visually appealing design. One more consideration to keep in mind is that some people are colorblind, so be careful with your colour pairings. 

3. Images 

A good image can speak a thousand words. Choosing the perfect pictures can take time but will position your brand the way you want it for your target audience. You can either hire a photographer to shoot needed images, or purchase stock photos. When choosing images, don’t pick up as many as possible to fill space. Place every visual in a way that it will be communicated important information about your website. The images on your homepage, especially, should be chosen specifically to attract attention and inform your audience about your products and services. Every design feature after that should be placed to encourage the visitors to find out more about your business and eventually become customers. Don’t overlook the proper use of images and design elements such as arrows. They can help you focus the attention by naturally leading your audience to where you want them to be.

When it comes to visuals, avoid images that move such as gifs and videos. It can be nice to have a video as a header on your main page, but that can still be a big distraction for your audience. Studies show that viewers prefer websites that are still and are easy to skim. Having any movement might lead them to just press the x button on your site.

An important note is that you have to be familiar with all image licensing restrictions. When you download stock images, some of them can be free for commercial use, some of them can only be used for personal needs. Make sure you know how to credit each image. You can check out the Creative Commons rules and get more details on how to use images without breaking any licensing laws. 

Moreover, when picking out images, use the Rule of Thirds. It means that an image should be divided into nine equal segments by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines. And, the important elements should be positioned along these lines or at their intersections. This way images are more interesting and eye-catching.

 Finally, keep image sizes small. Heavier in size files will slow down your website. Images usually make up for 60% of a page’s loading time. And, there is nothing worse than a slow website. Your viewers will just leave it immediately and never come back. 

4. Navigation 

Good navigation on your website means that it is easy for viewers to move around your site and take action when they want to. In order to have a good navigation you need to use logical page hierarchy, breadcrumbs, buttons, and the so-called “three clicks rule”. This rule means that your audience is able to find the information they need within just three clicks. 

5. Grids

Grid based layouts helps you arrange your content into sections, columns and boxes. Not using a grid system will make your website look messy and hard to read. Using it, however, will line up all the content into a balanced and better-looking website design. If you need to visualize for yourself how a grid system looks like, imagine the way information is arranged in books, newspapers and magazines. There are multiple arrangements of rolls and columns that you can use. There are a few popular grid systems – 960.gs, Simple Grid and Golden Grid System, and others – but you can also create your own.

6. Visual Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy is one of the most important principles that you should follow. It’s basically the order in which the human eye perceives objects. Visual hierarchy can apply to the order, colours and sizes of the different elements on your website. Certain parts are more important than others and need to be brought to the viewer’s attention. You should rank and prioritize elements based on your business objective. For example, buttons, calls to actions, value proposition, etc. need to be placed where there will be more visible.

In most places in the world, people read from left to right and from top to bottom. But skimming and quickly scanning web pages has become a more often practice than reading everything. So, good design is built around those changed reading patterns. Studies have shown that people scan websites in an “F” pattern. The top left of the screen gets the most attention, while the right side is hardly seen.

7. Fitt’s Law 

Fitt’s law states that the time needed to move to a target area (click a button) is a function of the distance to the target and the size of the target. Meaning that the bigger and closer an element is, the easier it is to be used. For instance, if you’re using Spotify, you might have noticed that the Play button is bigger and easier to click than the other buttons next to it. Or another example is a contact form where you can have two buttons” Submit” and “Reset”. The “Submit” button will be clicked more often, so you can make that one bigger and positioned on the left. But, don’t overdo it with this law. Huge buttons and elements that are enlarged for the purpose to get attention, might get annoying for the viewer. Make sure that all your elements are also visually appealing. 

8. Gestalt Design Laws

The Gestalt Design Laws are principles that arose from the 1920s’ psychology, defining how people generally see objects by grouping similar elements, recognizing patterns and simplifying intricate visuals. Designers are using those principles in order to create better designs, which, of course, also applies for web pages. Let’s see what some of the major Gestalt Design Laws state:

Law of Proximity 

The Law of Proximity states that people group elements together that are close to each other in space. Those elements become a single perceived object. In the instance of website development, you should not place objects together that you don’t want to be perceived as one. For example, elements that do go together, like navigation, menu and footer, product categories, are always grouped together in order to communicate with them as a whole.

Law of Similarity

We also group objects together that are similar in shape, colour, size and other characteristics.

Law of Closure

People seek completeness and when shapes aren’t fully lined or have parts missing, the human perception fills in the visual gap. This principle is very powerful when it comes to logo designs. It makes the more interesting and remembering. For example, the logo of the World Wide Fund is one of the most recognized logos in the world with the imagery of a panda, which lines are not completely closed.

Law of Symmetry

The human mind also perceived objects as symmetrical by forming a center point. When we see two symmetrical elements that are not connected, we connect them in our mind to form a consistent shape. Moreover, people prefer symmetric objects rather than asymmetric ones. For example, having columns of images and text, and centered sliders add to the visual appeal of many web pages.

Law of Common Fate

The Law of Common Fate applies that we perceive objects as lines that move along a path. We group things that have the same trend of motion and follow the same path. Imagine an image of hands pointing to a direction. This visual will automatically pinpoint your attention to where the hands are directing you to look. This is a very powerful principle that you can use in your design in order to guide viewers’ attention to an important object like a sign-up form or central message.

Law of Continuity

When it comes to lines, people also tend to perceive a line as continuing its established direction. For instance, if there is an intersection between two lines, we still perceive them as two single lines that are uninterrupted, and our eye instantly follows their original directions.

 

There you have them, eight basic web design principles that you should be applying to your website design. If you need more help, keeping following our blog or contact us for a business consultation at Conversion Century.

Developer working on a website on his laptop.
Any business that wants to be competitive online or offline must have a professionally developed website. Right now, the internet is the leading resource to find information on everything – where to eat, where to go on vacation, where to buy the products you need, etc. Not having a website can risk you losing potential clients. Customers evaluate companies way before they decide to purchase their desired products and services. If your website doesn’t fit their expectations, they will simply go to your competitors. 

Think about what you want to achieve with a website for your business. The two main goals are to increase sales and convey credibility. And a website development agency knows how to skyrocket your company. We’re giving you the 10 main reasons why you need to hire a professional website company:

1. Customized Design

There are hundreds of thousands of websites out there on the internet. You need to make sure that your business can stand out from the clutter and be the one that your target audience decides to buy from and stay loyal to. A professional designer will know how to make your website unique and one of a kind.

2. Visual appeal

Professional designers and developers know how your audience interacts with websites. It’s important to have a user-friendly navigation, site structure, and easy to skim page. And, at the same time it has to be designed in a way that will catch the attention and make visitors stay. Users don’t like to search for information or be bombarded with flashy colors and visuals. The contractor website agency will ensure that your site is designed perfectly to fit your specific target audience. 

Web designers will not only create great visuals but will also know how to convey the credibility of your business. They know which colors, typefaces and graphics to use in order to communicate your message to your potential customers.

3. Responsive Design

A considerate number of web users prefer browsing on smartphones and iPads, especially when they are on the move. So, it’s vital that your website is compatible with the newest mobile technologies. A website developer knows how to tackle all the issues with mobile versions of websites. Your business’s web pages have to be mobile friendly – easy to find information on, responsive when switching between devices, and they have to load fast. There is nothing worse than a slow website that takes forever to load all the information. Your audience will just simply leave and find the products or services they need elsewhere.

4. SEO Proficiency

SEO helps increasing your organic traffic and ranking higher on Google. Having a beautiful and appealing website is not enough. Building your website for the search engines is extremely important, if you want to reach your audience in today’s competitive environment. In order to appear on the first page of Google or other search engines, you need to have an optimized website. This means adding meta titles, meta descriptions, headings, and content that targets high volume keywords. A website development agency has all the tools to research what your audience is searching for on the search engines.

5. Online Strategy

A website design company can also build your online strategy. This includes blogging, social media, media outreach, email marketing and creating all other types of content assets. A comprehensive digital marketing strategy can help you reach our target audience during all stages of the sales funnel. The hired website company will keep in mind your future goals and follow an organized strategy that will skyrocket your business for the long term. 

6. Webmaster Maintenance

A business website is never fully complete. There is the constant need for updates and upgrades, especially when dealing with customers. You need to make sure that their data is secured and that they get the best user experience that is available out there. However, staying up with the news and trends in the digital world is challenging, if you don’t work in this sphere. This is one of the reasons why most businesses hire website agencies for longer periods – your website will be maintained regularly and always be trendy. And, you don’t have to worry about unsatisfied customers. 

7. Experience

Building a website is not an easy task. Not having the experience with building a website may cause you a lot of struggling and wasting time. It takes knowledge and experience in order to create a website that is responsive, secure and visually stylized. If you think that you can save money by learning how to build your own website, you’ll find out that it will take up a lot more time and money than just hiring a website to do the job. There are many problems and issues that can occur while coding and putting your website online. Only a professional developer knows the pain of missing a semi-colon in hundreds of lines of code. 

8. Resources

Website agencies also have the experience in buying domain and host registrations, getting an SSL certificate, email configuration and IT maintenance. Depending on your business, you might need UI/UX designers, graphic designers, e-commerce experts, SEO professionals, IT support technicians, etc. A website agency will have all the resources to get you the best deal. 

9. Competitive Advantages

Hiring developers instead of trying to create a website in-house will give you a definite competitive advantage. If you try to build it by yourself in order to save money, you will quickly find out that the lack of experience shows and will only cost you more money and time. Professional developers can quickly create your website, add the needed features, make it unique and put you ahead of the competition. And, you don’t have to lift a finger. Instead, focus on delivering the products and services your are selling.

10. Greater credibility

Having a professionally developed website will help you gain your customers’ trust. A good web designer can communicate your trustworthiness throughout the usage of text and images. Your business’s site will look great, it will work fast, and it will be secure. This way you will be able to compete with even bigger companies.

 

There are many more reasons why you need to hire a professional website agency. But the main ones should be enough to assure you – it will save you time and money. If you are still not convinced that you need a website development company, you can always contact us for a business consultation and we will help you build the best digital strategy for your business.