When it comes to web design, it’s ideal to follow the best website design practices to ensure that your site provides the best user experience.
Through that, you’ll have leverage against the 1.8 billion websites the users can potentially land on, so you have to ensure that your website isn’t just a pretty face. Although web designers focus on aesthetics to give your website a clean, fresh look, this comes secondary to usability and user experience (UX).
To give you an in-depth look at the website design best practices this 2022, we’ve listed the requisite guidelines and the best practices, so that you can apply them to your next website launch.
So, let’s dive into the nine website design best practices below without further ado.
9 Website Design Guidelines in South Africa 2022
Website design is essential as it influences how your audience sees your brand. This impression can make or break your business brand since it’s the determining factor if they stay on your page or leave and turn to one of your competitors.
Furthermore, a good web design helps keep your leads on your page. This also helps in SEO that significantly contributes to every business’s success. So, whether you’re planning to have an e-commerce website or do digital marketing services, web design is crucial.
Apart from the fact that your site should be appealing, it should also highlight call-to-actions (CTAs), special offers and assist users in recognising clickable elements and buttons. Below are some of the website design elements best practices that you should apply to your website this coming 2022.
#1: Simplicity is the Key.
In web design, simplicity is the key. This ensures easy navigation for online marketing, digital marketing and even web design services.
This also works best for an eCommerce website and other beautiful website types, such as business and technology websites. Moreover, this practice gives a professional look to your website and best represents your brand clearly and effectively.
Although the look of your website is unquestionably essential, customers or users don’t go to your site to assess the sleekness of your design. They either want to find specific information or complete some action—and that’s what you should be focusing on while designing your website.
User experience and usability take their best form for web design when your website is made simple. You can apply this principle in various elements of your website, such as the following:
When it comes to colours, it’s best not to use them a lot. Based on the Handbook of Computer-Human Interaction, it’s recommended to use only five colours maximum for your website design.
The rule of the thumb here is to use graphics ONLY to help a user perform a particular function or complete a task. Don’t just add them because you want to.
When choosing typefaces, make sure that they’re highly readable. So, as much as possible, avoid using too artsy and extra minimal script fonts. Choose the one contrasting the background colour and keep it minimal for colour.
Based on the effective visual communication for graphical user interface, the standard recommendation is to use only three distinct typefaces in maximum with three different sizes. Typefaces are crucial in online marketing and digital marketing alike as it presents how the content is shown to the users.
#2: Optimising Visual Hierarchy
In website design, visual hierarchy is essential as it captures the user’s attention and guides them visually through the elements of your ad. It delivers the information quickly and effectively for digital ads since the user’s attention spans are short, making this critical for online marketing.
Visual hierarchy involves organising and arranging the elements of a website as visitors are naturally attracted toward the most significant aspects first. It’s also best to note that when it comes to optimising user experience (UX) and usability, the objective is to lead visitors to perform the desired action in an enjoyable and natural way.
By adjusting the colour, position or size of specific elements, you can structure your site in a way viewers will be drawn to those components first.
#3: Work on the Navigation.
One of the website design best practices is to work on the navigation of your website. Planning out the intuitive navigation for your site is vital to assist the visitors to find what they’re looking for in your website.
It’s ideal for a visitor to land on your site without having the trouble of thinking about where to go next. Thus, you have to ensure that moving from point A to B should be as smooth as possible.
To do this, here are some valuable points in optimising your website’s navigation:
- Make sure to keep the primary navigation structure simple and close to the top of your page.
- Add navigation in the footer of your website.
- Consider the use of breadcrumbs on each of your pages—except for your homepage. This allows the users to retain their navigation trail.
- Add a search bar on top of the website to let visitors search for keywords.
- Again, remember simplicity and don’t offer unnecessary navigation options per page.
- Add links to your page copy and insinuate clearly where the links will go.
#4: Be Consistent with Your Website Design Throughout Your Pages.
Aside from the consistency in navigation, your website’s overall appearance and feel should be alike on all your site’s pages. This includes colour schemes, backgrounds, typefaces, and writing tone, positively impacting UX and usability.
#5: Make Sure Your Website is Responsive
According to a Statista report, 48% of global page views come from mobile devices, such as smartphones. So, it’s always best to ensure that your website is responsive to smaller screens, like mobile phones, to benefit significantly in the said number.
Thus, having a responsive web design is crucial for your business. This type of design entails a flexible website structure that automatically reshuffled and resized the content based on the user’s device.
So, to present a truly excellent user experience (UX), your website has to be compatible with the multiple different devices that your visitors are using. This can be achieved by developing a particular mobile site or mobile-friendly HTML templates.
On a responsive site, content is automatically adjusted to fit the screen size of a visitor’s device. Conclusively, it’s more relevant to provide a great user experience over different devices than to be look-alike across those devices.
#6: Make it Accessible.
The objective of web accessibility is to develop a website anyone can use—inclusive of people with limitations or disabilities. As a web designer, it’s crucial to think about these in the UX plan.
Much like responsiveness, accessibility applies to your whole site—including the page format, structure, and visual and written content. You can view the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) for the guidelines for web accessibility, which was produced by the Web Accessibility Initiative and the World Wide Web Consortium.
Part of the guidelines state that each website should be:
Your site should be available across different devices, browsers and assistive technologies.
The visitors of your site are aware of your site’s content.
Your site’s functionality should be possible in many ways.
All the content on the website and alerts can be easily understood.
#7: Ensure Conventionality of the Site for the Users.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in web design is adjusting creativity with your own expectations. Most internet user experts have grown accustomed to particular conventions over time, such as:
- Placing the logo at the centre or the top left of your page.
- Adding links and buttons that change their colour or appearance when one hovers over them.
- Putting the primary navigation at the left side or top side of a page
- Ensuring the logo is clickable so visitors will turn back to the homepage.
- Using the shopping cart icon on the eCommerce sites like Shopify—which, by the way, has a number badge indicating the exact number of items in the cart.
Though some might opt to throw these out the window for uniqueness, this is a dire mistake. There’s a vast room for creativity within the confinements of web conventionality.
You can still craft a remarkable experience while satisfying user expectations. If you don’t meet what users expect, they may feel frustrated with your site.
#8: Show Credibility.
Sticking to the conventions of the web gives your site the much-needed credibility to be on par with competitors or at least be not left behind. In other words, this boosts the trust level of your website that leads to success eventually.
One of the great ways to increase your credibility is being honest with the product or service that you’re selling to the public. As much as possible, be upfront about what you offer on your homepage for users’ convenience.
It will also help a lot if you’re upfront with the prices of your products and services and not kind of force the people to contact you to know more about the pricing. The image below is an example of upfront service prices that let users know beforehand the cost of the service they want.
#9: Be User-Centred.
Finally, be user-centred. At the end of the day, user experience (UX) and usability connect to the preferences of the end-users. Everything you did—from designing to crafting relevant content is for them, so it’s ideal to have the users’ best interests in mind before designing anything.
After all, they’re the reason why you’re making the resolute decisions to make your website prolific. Furthermore, you need to conduct user testing to ensure everything is smooth and gather feedback to increase your website’s trust.
Top-Notch Website Design Services in Cape Town, South Africa
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