5 Cardinal Rules Of Web Design

5 Cardinal Rules Of Web Design

5 Cardinal Rules Of Web Design


There are a few cardinal rules of web design you should familiarize yourself with before building a website. A site that is simple to navigate, with easy-to-read fonts and amazing content, will increase the likelihood your visitors will return. You’ll also want to make sure your site is mobile friendly so people using smartphones can easily access it.

website design with purple colors

 

1. Your Text Should Be Easy To Read


First and foremost, your text should be easy to read. This makes for a great user experience, and makes it more likely your visitors will return to your site. Start by choosing a font size and style that is easy on the eyes. Reading should be effortless. Stay away from fonts that are too busy, and sizes that require people to squint in order to see the words.

Keep it mind at least half the population requires reading glasses. A large enough font makes reading an enjoyable experience. Refrain from using text with all capitalized letters. This gives the appearance that you are shouting. No one likes to be shouted at.

Ideally, the color of the text should be light or dark grey on a white or light-colored background. Dark backgrounds with light-colored text is difficult to read for any length of time. Keep the alignment of your main text to the left. Headlines can be center aligned if you like that look, but is not necessary.

Your writing will look crisp and neat if all text is aligned uniformly. Be cognizant of these factors to ensure your visitors can absorb your information with ease.

2. There Is Elegance In Simplicity


Design your site with simplicity in mind. In this busy, fast-paced world, simple works best. The last thing you want is to create a confusing experience for your visitors. Long paragraphs, wordy sentences, and too many images can be overstimulating. Your web-page layout and design should be consistent on every page.

It’s also important to choose your colors wisely, and keep them consistent across your entire site. Using colors judiciously is fine, but don’t go overboard. If your headlines are in color, make sure there is enough contrast between the text and background so it isn’t difficult to read. People get impatient if text is hard to decipher.

Those visiting your site should be able to find what they are looking for within three clicks. If it requires more time than that they will likely leave your site. Anticipate features that could be potentially frustrating and remedy them.

3. Navigation Is Key


Easy navigation is essential if you want repeat visitors. Have you ever visited a site looking for something in particular, and not been able to find it? Ensure that your navigation is intuitive so you don’t frustrate your guests.

Graphic images, such as buttons or tabs, should be clearly labeled and easy to read. Keep special effects to a minimum, and make all hyperlinks easy to identify. After all this is how you will generate income on your site. Using color can come in handy when needed – just don’t overdo it. Bold-faced or italicized text can be used to highlight important points as can a larger font size.

Your website should be easy to find. Choose a domain name that is catchy and memorable. Your contact information should be immediately evident as well.  A “contact” button in your main menu makes finding you straightforward. WordPress makes adding a contact form easy with a simple plugin.

 

themeisle banner with red parrot

 

4. Make Your Site Mobile


It’s all about mobile these days. If your website isn’t mobile friendly you’ll lose potential customers. Begin by choosing a theme that is mobile responsive. If you’re using WordPress, mobile-responsive plugins can be transformative.

Fun fact: YouTube and Vimeo videos are already mobile responsive so they won’t affect speed and download times. You always want to ensure your download time is as short as possible.

You can use this free tool to assess whether your site is mobile responsive.

5. Content Is The Purpose Of Your Site


The reason for a website, in the first place is, to have a platform to display your content. Up-to-date, relevant content is what will drive traffic to your site. More traffic means more people clicking on your links, which translates to more affiliate sales. You can have the coolest looking website, but it won’t matter if your don’t have content that is educational and appealing.

Your content should be niche related – meaning it appeals to your particular audience. The products and services you promote should also be niche specific. Write content that meets the needs of your target market. You’ll build trust and your readers will view you as an authority.

Your posts should not be so long that they become exhausting, yet need to be long enough to get your point across. Short sentences and paragraphs make for easy reading. Long paragraphs and wordy sentences will tire your reader quickly, and they may not finish your article.

Make effective use of headlines – they give the reader a glimpse of what the content is about. If they opt to not read the entire article, they’ll at least get the gist of what you’re conveying.

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Key Points


Always give your visitors a reason to return. Providing valuable content will always be the most effective tool. Utilize a strong call to action at the end of each post to encourage comments and continuing dialogue. If people know you value their opinion, they will be more likely to revisit your site. You are well on your way to enjoying a successful online business.

What tips did you find most helpful? Let me know in the comments:)

 

10 thoughts on “5 Cardinal Rules Of Web Design”

  1. Holly,

    Thanks for the great 5 rules for web design. These rules seem to be so key to web design. As a new web designer myself, these 5 ideas will help me to make better websites and especially always telling myself to keep my websites simple. Out of everything I think Content seems to be the biggest key here.

    Thanks for your great reminders!

    Don

    • Hi Don,

      Thanks so much for reading my post. I think you’re right about content being key. There’s no reason to do SEO, keyword research, or affiliate marketing without it without content. 

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

  2. Hello Holly, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I learned something new today, especially about the website being mobile-friendly. I must work on it more as my website speed is not great when it comes to mobile. Thank you a lot for sharing such great tips for improving web design.

    • Thanks for reading Daniel. I’ve been working on my site speed as well and thankfully my sites are mobile friendly so I don’t have to worry about that aspect. Whew!

  3. Making your text legible is definitely fundamental. I resonate with this point because when I created my first website, I used a theme that did not give me the flexibility to choose the size of the font.

    When I changed themes, the second one included this functionality, and when I was done editing my fonts, the difference was outstanding. A great point you got here.

    Navigation is something I equally battled with for a very long time before I had it right once and for all.

    This article is very relevant today especially for those who are creating their niche websites. You nailed the relevant aspects, and I hope many people get to find your article because they will definitely find it useful.

    Great job.

    • Thank you. The first theme I used didn’t have font flexibility either. The one I’m using now thankfully does and what a difference it makes. 

      Navigation is another factor it takes awhile to get right once you know what you’re doing. Thank goodness running an online business is fun!

  4. Even though I’ve been on WA for about 6 months now, most people that I contact, talk to me like I am an old-timer, although I consider myself very much a pup. Still I have to read posts like yours to remind me to continually review my methods and processes.

    I think by now I am beginning to get the hang of it, the one area that I often forget in my rush to get out material is the old mobile friendliness and I find myself always wasting time going back to make adjustments.

    • Sounds like you’re doing great Adrian. There’s a lot to remember when running an online business. It’s hard to keep it straight sometimes.

      Having your site mobile friendly is super important and top priority in my opinion. Thanks so much for reading!

  5. Great list of key factors in website design. I love your points about navigation and breaking up long text. I use these practices in my own blog and my readers tend to devour up to 5 pages of content per visit because of it. 

    Mobile friendly is an absolute must. Google will no longer rank pages that are not mobile friendly for mobile devices and will penalize them in standard search making it harder to rank if this critical factor is ignored. Get mobile or go out of business seems to be the rule of the day.

    • Hi Andy,

      Thank you. I was reading an article the other day on my phone that didn’t have any paragraphs. I actually didn’t end up finishing the article because it hurt my eyes. White space is critical and allows for easy reading. 

      And mobile friendliness is no longer even an option since most people are accessing the internet via their smartphones, not to mention it’s a ranking factor for SEO.

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