Web Design Tips For Businesses
I’m sure like us you’ve come across websites where the home page makes you recoil in shock. On the other hand you’ve seen websites that just seem to work… and you don’t really think about their page layout, fonts, etc., – basically because the design doesn’t interfere with the user experience.
You might think that some websites weren’t “designed” at all, but you’d be wrong. EVERY successful website was very carefully designed. Businesses targeting customers in particular locations, such as north London, can really benefit from good web design.
Here are some of the things that we think anyone should consider before getting a new website designed.
1) White space
Looking at the Google.co.uk home page, it presents the logo and search box in the middle of the screen surrounded by a lot of empty space.
What about Amazon.co.uk it’s alot busier, but it still uses empty spaces to separate various elements shown on the screen.
Obviously these are big company websites, but it doesn’t mean just because you’re a small business you have to have a website that looks like an accident at the paint factory, a little bit of space goes a long way
“White space” denotes empty screen territory. It doesn’t actually have to be white, just empty. If your background colour is black and you use white text, the same idea applies. White space makes a website look more pleasing to the eye, and it directs attention to the features you want the reader to notice. Using white space gives design elements room to breathe.
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]White space makes a website look more eye pleasing & directs attention to the features that matter[/Tweet]
2) Everything in proportion and the golden ratio
Design students will be familiar with what is called the “Golden Ratio”. This number (about 1.62) describes how the size of the elements of something (such as a building, a painting, or a web page) should relate to each other to give the viewer a pleasing effect. On a web page, this equates to one column being 1.62 times the width of another.
Many photographers implement the “Rule of Thirds” when composing a picture. This involves seeing the photograph as being in nine equal parts – using two horizontal and two vertical lines – and fitting important elements of the picture on or along the intersection lines.
Basically, the Golden Ratio and the Rule of Thirds suggest that a page comprised of 3 columns gives the best effect. You could allow something like a photograph to cross two columns, but mainly you need to keep the columns discreet. You get a much better end result when page elements are kept in these proportions.
3) Spin the wheel
The secret of good web design is to choose a set of colours that go well together. A good way to find complementary colours is with the “colour wheel” on the Adobe Kuler website . Kuler allows you try out different “rules” to generate various colour palettes. One rule is called Analogous, which picks a series of colours next to each other on the wheel.
Some colours invoke certain feelings or mean different things in other cultures. If you need help in choosing acceptable colours, visit colour wheel for advice.
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]The secret of good web design is to choose a set of colours that go well together[/Tweet]
4) The Rules of Font Club
The first font club is: DO NOT USE COMIC SANS. The second rule of font club is: DO NOT USE COMIC SANS.
It’s rubbish, it doesn’t even look good on websites aimed at children – don’t use it.
Also depending on target market we recommend avoiding the use of fonts that do not convey professionalism and authority. They completely undermine the hard work you put into creating content.
5) Less is definitely more
Best practice is to limit how many fonts you us, we strongly recommend using a maximum of three. Consistency adds hugely to the aesthetic appeal of a page’s appearance. Try to use the same font for all headings and a different for the main text. There are hundreds of fonts, be sure to choose one that you have seen working well on other people’s websites.
Some fonts look fabulous on your PC. But not everyone has access to all of the fonts that you have. If you decide on a font and the reader’s device doesn’t have it, their browser will use a default that you may not expect and ruin your web design.
6) Accessible to all
Many Web users have some form of disability. Please keep these in mind. If a user depends upon screen-reading software to surf the net, that fancy Flash menu system on your website will defeat it. He or she won’t spend time on your page because of “poor web design”. Ensure that your colour palate is comfortable for people with colour blindness.
You can test a page’s accessibility using the free tools at w3.org
Some of these things are easier to implement than others, but if you action just a few of them you’ll be way ahead of your competition. Find out MORE about our web design skills here.