5 Key Web Design Principles

The British magazine Behavior and Information Technologies once published an article by Canadian psychologists. They derived the most cherished figure provide developers with an understanding of how long a person needs to evaluate a website page. Previously it was assumed that a person cannot evaluate a webpage in less than 500 ms.

However, as the practice has shown, a person needs 10 times less time to evaluate a single web page. Thus, in case your website did not positively affect a person in 1/20 seconds, this user will leave your webpage to find a more attractive source. It seems to be a sad statistics, right?

Website design is initially created to solve this issue. The first and main goal of the designer is to make the person stay on the webpage. The main point is to make the user research the website and find a piece of specific information. The community can quickly evaluate anything depending only on their emotional response. In case the designer succeeds in catching the user with at least one element on the page, then the latter will probably forgive the other shortcomings, watching at the specific feature.

Based on the practical experience, the same feature may be the whole feeling of the website, its usability (complex location of the UI elements that creates a convenient, easy-to-understand and comfortable environment). Modern people, even without a higher degree in web design, perfectly feel the website atmosphere, the level of the interaction with the user and the entire attractiveness.

Based on the latest web design trends, we can surely state what we dislike:

  • the abuse of the past generation so-called Photoshop effects “drop shadow” and “bevel emboss”.
  • overused clipart that you can find almost on every billboard on the road or banner on the Internet.
  • page information overload.

You need to make the website content balanced, original and unique. The visual effects should be moderate.

However, you need to understand that in order to build a favourable environment, it is important to follow certain basic principles.

Always follow the design principles… almost always

I believe that at the school you learned such terms as the sequential arrangement of elements along the grid, order, symmetry, the golden ratio, etc. You need to use the following web design principles and rules in order to build a clear, attractive, and easy-to-perceive structure. However, sometimes you need to bend the rules and do not forget about such terms as variety, contrast, accent.


5 Key Web Design Principles


Actually, there is no symmetry here. However, you can see a balanced irregular shape, with accented elements.


5 Key Web Design Principles

Here you can see asymmetry, high contrast, and accent. Thus, it is bright and attractive.


5 Key Web Design Principles


On the first hand, this webpage seems to be a bit chaotic. However, you need to look closely to find a certain pattern and sequence. The matter is the premade scheme that does not create the impression of something fragmented and uncollected. Contrariwise, you can see a rather comprehensive and easy-to-perceive webpage structure.

Principle #1. Use icons and images for visual interaction.

Actually, there are a number of icons that are properly perceived by the user. Do not neglect them: a magnifying glass (search), a house (home or home page), a floppy disk (save). These images are already perceived and approved by the entire community. Thus, you need to use these icons and stop reinventing the wheel, as everything was made before. These icons are those signs that were recognized many years ago.

Principle #2. Use unique and high-quality content only.

Never use overused stock, low-quality images, and unprofessional photos. Images are the main part of your website graphic elements. Thus, it’s the first thing the user will pay attention to.

Principle #3. Color is not a centre-piece, but a design element.

Colour is the key rule of web design. It tells the user the information that you want them to know via monitor screens, mobile devices, and tablets. Colour must be picked so that it supports the content, but is not a centre-piece of it. You are using a big image on the site? This way, take the colour scheme from this image to arrange support for the content to create a common unified atmosphere.

Principle #4. Choose fonts that successfully support the information you present.

You should never use more than three fonts at the same time. Choose one that is perfect for large headlines, one for readable text, and one for appeals, quotes, and other points that need to stand out. Most often, this set is a sans serif font for large amounts of text and more interesting with or without serifs for the design of headings.

Principle #5. Use only unique and high-quality content on the site.

Never use jaded images, low-quality images, as well as unprofessional photos,  were taken. Images are the face of your site and the first thing that attracts attention.

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