This post was last updated on May 5, 2020.
When it comes to website design, there are so many different styles and directions in which your website can go: it can be anywhere from classy to minimalistic, from playful and vibrant to sleek and modern.
While your final look-and-feel should exude your personal style, line of work, and brand identity, there are a few ground rules that are always applicable.
Great web design feeds into your user experience and functionality, while being easy to understand at first glance. Below we’ve gathered five simple website design tips to help make your site effective and compelling:
Web design tips for an outstanding website
- Keep your homepage minimalistic and free of clutter
- Design with visual hierarchy in mind
- Create easy to read website content
- Ensure your site is easy to navigate
- Stay mobile friendly
01. Keep your homepage minimalistic and free of clutter
Your website’s homepage should communicate your core message instantaneously. After all, we rarely read every word on a website. Instead, we quickly scan the page, picking out key words, sentences and images. With these known behaviors in mind, it’s better to appeal to emotions rather than word count.
The less site visitors have to read, click on, or remember, the better they’ll be able to process and evaluate your content. By designing for decreasing attention spans, it’s more likely that users will do what you intend them to do.
- Keep important content above the fold: Visitors should understand what your website is all about as soon as possible, without having to scroll or click anywhere.
- Space out your content: Employ whitespace in between elements. By leaving some areas blank, you’ll give the design a much more spacious, well-balanced feel. As for your text, write in bite-sized, legible paragraphs.
- Add imagery: High-quality media features such as beautiful photographs, vector art or icons, will do wonders as alternative ways to communicate your point.
- Include a call-to-action: From making a purchase to signing up, encourage site visitors to perform the action you intended by placing a call-to-action (CTA) button on your site’s homepage.
02. Design with visual hierarchy in mind
Hierarchy is an important principle of design that helps display your content in a clear and effective manner. Through the correct use of hierarchy, you’ll be able to lead site visitors’ attention to certain page elements in order of priority, starting with the most significant piece.
The main components of visual hierarchy are:
- Size and weight: Highlight your top assets, such as your business name and logo, by making them larger and more visually prominent. Readers tend to naturally gravitate towards large and bold titles first, and only then move on to smaller paragraph text.
- Element placement: Use the right website layout to steer your visitors’ eyes in the right direction. For instance, you can place an important call-to-action button at the very center of the screen, or position your logo at the header.
Once you establish a clear hierarchy for your information, readers can’t help but unconsciously follow the breadcrumbs you have left for them. Then, apply color, contrast, and spacing for further accentuation, remaining mindful of what is drawing the most attention and making sure that it’s always intentional.
Some powerful web design elements to help you achieve a strong visual hierarchy are strips or grid layouts, such as that of the Wix Pro Gallery. For more ideas and inspiration, check out our designer-made website templates.