5 Guiding Principles of Web Design

The question of what makes a great website is one that doesn’t have a single definitive answer. It all depends on what the main focus of your site is; whether that is selling products, educating customers about your services or providing entertainment. But there are a few principles of web design that extend throughout sites of all type and variety. Here are just a few of the top ones, which will be useful if you are in the process of designing an entirely new website or looking to give your current site a revamp.


We have already talked about a couple of the different purposes of a website, but ensuring that these are clearly communicated should be at the top of your list of priorities. People tend to be ruthless with their time when they are surfing the web, so if you can’t communicate your core messages quickly, clearly and effectively, they are likely to log off and go elsewhere. Some of the most effective tactics for displaying information include using headings and subheadings, as well as using paragraphs rather than long, winding sentences.

Colour Scheme

A colour scheme that has been well thought out can go a long way towards making or breaking the user’s experience on your site. For example, complementary colours tend to create a sense of balance and harmony, but when it comes to choosing colours for the text and background, these should be contrasting. There is nothing worse than having to work really hard to actually read what is on the screen in front of you. Negative or white space can also be effective in giving your site an uncluttered look.


Of course the text on a website is very important, but without the right images accompanying it, people are less likely to pay attention. High quality, professional standard imagery should be used whenever possible. If this option is too tricky, purchasing stock photos will also lift the overall quality of a site. As well as the images, using infographics, videos and other graphics can be a very effective communication tool.

Navigation and Layout

When it comes to these types of details, your web developer should be able to give you some useful advice. Professionals like those that can be found on will have experience in modern navigation and layout techniques. It is very important that it is easy for people to move around your site, that your site has a logical page hierarchy, bread crumbs and clickable buttons. Grid based layouts are fairly common as these tend to display information in a clear and straightforward manner.

Mobile Friendly

As more and more people are using their smartphones to access the internet, it is hugely important that your site is either mobile friendly or you build a dedicated mobile site. Again, it is worth speaking to the professionals to find out what approach works best for your business.


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