All businesses want to have beautifully designed websites. But actually building one is surprisingly hard. It seems as if the designers behind some of the best sites in the world – like Warby Parker or Freshbooks – know something that we don’t.
Not to worry. The actual fundamentals of great web design are actually very simple. All you need to know are the rules and that it’s important to follow them consistently. That’s it.
Learn The Fundamentals Of Type
Ryan Shafer, one of the lead designers at entertainment channel, MTV, says that business owners need to understand that the web is fundamentally all about text. Behind the pretty pictures and beautiful layouts afforded by HTML5, there is typography.
For the last five years or so, Shafer has been perfecting the art of typography online.
He’s got some advice: first, companies need to make their titles bold and easy to scan. Second, titles, especially those that are large, should be written in Sans Serif fonts, as these are easier to read when they get big. Formal typefaces are not.
Third, if you’re writing a lot of text on your site, use serif typefaces. People don’t like the more formal fonts because these remind them of journal articles they had to read in school.
And finally, always make the font size much bigger than you think is necessary. Fonts should be at least 16px, if not larger.
Pick Three Color Palette, And Stick To It
Many websites like to go with complicated themes, thinking that it makes them look distinctive. But, in most cases, it’s actually not very attractive. Many web designers, like Splashbox, choose simplicity in the color palette and apply it consistently.
At the moment, the fashion is to use neutral palettes as a backdrop and then use dashes of color in the foreground to accentuate the style. It’s important, however, to be careful with the bright color your choose, as it must complement the existing colors on the site.
Keep Photos The Right Size
It’s important to remember that the web is pixel-based. This, according to Kristina Zmalc reporting in the Huffington Post, means that some businesses fail to realize how large they have to make the pictures on the site. If not scaled correctly, some photographs can look grainy and unprofessional, leading people to think that your company doesn’t have the high caliber they are looking for.
Fortunately, however, Zmalc has some advice. She says that when you’re looking for images on iStock or Google, choose those that are the most scalable and have the right size for your website. At a minimum, you want one-megapixel photographs.
Give Content Space
Finally, Zmalc urges businesses to make sure that their sites have lots of space. There’s nothing worse than being presented with a wall of text with no breaks. Too much text can be daunting, she says, and can overwhelm users.
A better strategy is to use small icons to get your point across and communicate with customer non-verbally. Don’t be afraid of using lots of blank space to break up images and text.