Does good web design matter? Should one bother putting in the time and effort to make their website look good? Is water necessary?
Web design is extremely relevant, as the website is pretty much the introduction between your business/self and the rest of the world. Even the economics point towards it – web design and development is amongst the fastest growing technical jobs and opportunities are abundant. The older ladies and gentlemen will remember, by comparison, how underwhelming and non-functional websites from the last decade were. They were extremely limited in appearance and scope, but look at websites today!
That incredible change has only been made possible through the development of technology and good web design. It’s very easy to design a website, but very difficult to design a good one. You may have noticed that, generally, the quality of websites has improved. How is this so?
The reason is that the principles of web design, that is the fundamentals of how a website should be set up and function, has slowly been enhanced and disseminated across the globe. Designers have formed a consensus on what makes a website good and what does not. Understanding these principles does not guarantee a great website, but it does aid towards making a good one.
What are these principles?
Don’t Overcomplicate It and Keep it Neat
It can be tempting to design your website to be as functional as possible and overloaded with detail…but don’t. It’s a waste of effort that does more to harm the effectiveness of your website than help it. In fact, if you look at many quality websites, you’ll see that the general trend is to keep things clean, uncluttered and offering just what the user might need to know and access. This makes the site neat and accessible.
The content of your website should focus on what a user needs to know and do, and unnecessary actions and irrelevant information serve no useful purpose. By putting up only what is necessary in a clear and uncluttered manner, the user sees a site that serves a definite purpose – leaving less room for confusion and frustration.
Make Efficient Use of Space
You’ve only got so much space to display all that’s necessary, so make good use of it! Effective use of “whitespace” can greatly help in directing a user’s attention and reducing navigational difficulty.
Design for Mobile
Mobile and tablets are fast becoming the go-to device. Many e-commerce portals see more business from mobile devices than they do from their websites. Sadly, not enough websites are designed for mobile, which requires lighter and more responsive web pages. Google has also stressed the importance of designing for mobile, even penalizing the rankings of websites that do not cater to mobile devices. In short, give as much importance to mobile design as to desktop, as we might soon see the former overtake the latter.
Easy to learn, but difficult to master: that’s webdesign in a nutshell. These principles, however, go a long way in achieving mastery.