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The Ultimate Guide to Web Design

May 28, 2021

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The Ultimate Guide to Web Design

Have you ever tried to access a brand’s website and all you’ve found is a poorly designed site from 2005? Not very helpful.

There is nothing that shuts down a consumer’s journey from curious customer to satisfied purchaser more than a sloppy website. Having a well designed website that is easy to navigate, visually appealing and suited to your brand is an essential piece of the marketing puzzle. 

Now the natural question here is, what is website design? Web design is distinctly different from web development, although the two terms often become muddled. 

Web design is the planning and arranging of content on a website. It is the combination of aesthetic and functional elements that make up the beauty that is your site. 

In contrast, web development is the nitty gritty building and maintenance of a website. So, the complex coding that most of us have no clue about. 

This is all well and good, but what goes into successful web design? To help out, we have curated a list of our top tips on how to achieve the best website design for your brand. 

Let’s dive in! 

TOP TIPS TO DESIGNING AN EFFECTIVE WEBSITE

Know Your Tools 

Let’s start at the very beginning. When starting to design your website you will want to take a survey of all the website design tools that are on offer. There are two particular kinds of web design tools to look into: website builders and design software tools

Website builders are programs like Wix and Page Cloud. These programs help you build your entire website from the ground up. Rather than having to start from scratch, the great thing about these tools is that they allow you to build from templates. 

Sort of like a cake mix; you just need to add in a few elements and then you’re set! 

Design software tools, however, are programmes that help you polish up your website once it has been built. For example, fine tuning visual elements. These tools will help you achieve the perfect web design, so they are particularly pertinent to what we are talking about. Such programmes include Photoshop and Sketch. 

Principles of Design 

To ensure you have a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing web design, it is important to utilise the elements and principles of design. These ideas were established in the arts community, but are a key tool to have in your back pocket. We won’t get into each element and principle separately, but here’s a great site to have a look at. 

Essentially, when you are designing your website you will want to use the elements and principles of design to make sure that your site is visually appealing. This communicates a level of professionalism to your users and encourages them to trust your brand. 

Website Layouts 

Your website layout is the arrangement of all the visual elements on your website. 

Website layout depends heavily on your brand’s goals. Do you want to appear modern and forward thinking? Then a stripped back layout with clean, large visuals highlighting your products might be your best bet. 

Want to look more laid back and humorous? A brightly coloured page filled to the brim with content will do the trick. 

When considering your website layout, there are two avenues that you can go down; content based layouts and common layouts

A content based layout is a layout that is purely based around your content. For example, a jewellery brand will have a layout that features a high number of images of their products. In contrast, a marketing agency might focus on showreels instead. 

The other direction you can go in, is by leaning on popular layouts that are common for your industry. These layouts, often found on programmes like Wix, have been tried and tested by website designers. As a result, using a common layout is a great way for beginners to design an effective layout without too much fuss.

web design: Wix

Functional Components 

Another key component of successful web design is functional components. In simple terms, functional components are the different ways your website works. For example, your website’s ease of use and speed, as well what actions can be taken on your website, are all functional components. 

In particular, you should focus on the following functional components to ensure top class web design

  • Navigation
  • Speed
  • SEO (search engine optimization) 
  • UX (User experience) 
  • Adaptive design vs responsive design – this refers to how your site will look on different devices.

Visual Elements

Visual elements are an incredibly important part of good and successful web design

Visual elements make up everything your user sees when they access your website. From the colour of your website background to the font you have chosen for your headers, visual elements influence how your user will feel when they use your site. 

The most important visual elements are: 

  • Headers 
  • Footers
  • Colour Scheme 
  • Typography 
  • Website background 
  • Imagery 
  • Animation 

By carefully selecting your visual elements, you are ensuring that your site speaks to your users in the perfect manner for your brand. 

web design: Panic Studio

Website Maintenance 

Alright! So you’ve nailed the perfect web design, your website speaks to your audience and leads them seamlessly to your product. What next? 

It is essential to keep an eye on your website after it has gone live. By updating it monthly, you are ensuring that its contents are still up to date and suited to your brand’s current campaign. 

Moreover, technology is rapidly changing and evolving around us constantly. It is important to make sure that your website doesn’t fall behind on the latest technological trends. 

Outsourcing 

If your company has the resources, there are many great custom web development companies that you can outsource to do all the dirty work a site requires. By using their services, you are able to focus on all the other tasks on your to do list, while your website gets built and designed for you. 

Some of the best outsource web development companies include:

  • Locomotive
  • Hello Monday
  • Bowen Media
  • PopArt Studio
  • WebFx

If you’re looking for a company that will design and develop your website, then some of the best website design and development companies include: 

  • Clay 
  • Huge 
  • Work & Co 
  • Instrument 

FINAL THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

Let’s leave you with three key things to keep in mind when designing your website. 

User Comes First 

Your website should perfectly cater to your user’s needs. It is for them, afterall! To do this most effectively, take note of your audience’s demographic and the needs they have. Make sure your website is in tune with these. 

Choose Technology Wisely

This is particularly important to keep in mind when selecting a web builder. Start by picturing the kind of web design you are aiming for in your mind. 

Try not to get distracted by all the flashy, exciting designs out there. What is perfect for others might not be perfect for you, so stick to your guns and pick a website builder that suits your needs most. 

Balance Your Visual Elements

Whilst we can’t deny making crazy fonts and glitzy animations is fun, keep in mind it is important not to get lost in these elements. A great web design feels balanced; there is the perfect amount of text and the perfect amount of images.

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Socially Powerful

Author

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James Hacking

Writer

Socially Powerful, founded in 2017, stood as pioneers of the influencer marketing industry. Today we are a global social marketing agency and technology company.

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