Web Design: What’s Best Practice?
Whether you have experience in design or none at all, you may have an eye for what is considered a ‘good design’ without even realizing it. A good design is typically when you can say “yes” to these three questions:
- Is it easy to read?
- Do I get the message that’s being conveyed?
- Is it creative?
Web design is functional art. D4 Web Design creates beautiful, intriguing website designs that draw the audience in and keeps them there, displaying our client’s message to the world as cleanly and simply as possible. Our goal at D4 is to create websites that not only produce a compelling visual display, but are appreciated for the branding, design and style used. The goal is to illicit an emotional response from the viewer and keep them locked in to your site and message. These days, in a world of instant answers and immediate response, a good design will catch your audience’s attention, a great design that conveys your message in a pure and simple manner will keep their attention. Best practice in design will contain five things, all visually captivating to the audience:
- Graphic design
If the above design elements are arranged in a visually appealing hierarchy, your brand will come across to your customers as easily understandable – calming the chaos of the incessant marketing strategies that are so often thrown at consumers today.
Good design will be selective and prioritize media elements into a visually appealing, easily understandable content form that will demonstrate value quickly and effortlessly. Less is always more. When text is the primary data, images will play a fundamental role in your site. In a world of colors, numbers, decorations and an influx of content, using meaningful and influential images will help the viewer understand your text and context even more.
When building a website, type easily can steal the show, but that’s where visual hierarchy comes in. Using LARGE TYPE vs. small type, thick bold fonts with lighter fonts to contrast, visual hierarchy refers to the arrangement and presentation of visual elements in a way that implicates the importance of the item. Objects that have a higher contrast to their surroundings are recognized first by the human eye, so what first must be done is to identify what the most important content is. Removing the fluff and getting down to business is what people are looking for. With answers at the tips of your fingers, people do not have the patience to wade through all the content on your site to find what they are looking for. Your site should demonstrate a clear message and convey exactly what the user is looking for, if not, they’re going to find it somewhere else. Google likes you better when you create meaningful, clear content. And on the subject of text, it’s always a good idea to break up the text into titles, blocks and paragraphs. Large chunks of writing, however informative, will lose the interest of the reader and Google will ding you for it. (Check out some of our articles on SEO.)
White space, or ‘negative space’ is the space between visual elements in a design composition. When used correctly, this increases the legibility of the overall design, separates text and visual elements, makes navigation a breeze and creates prime focal points that direct the user seamlessly between pages. Creating a grid-like layout using just the right amount of whitespace and alignment creates balance and consistency.
The graphics you create, buy or use for your site should have a purpose or function. They must fit with the style of the page, layout and color choices. The biggest mistake we see as designers and developers are websites that use huge graphics. Avoid large file sizes when placing graphics on your site as they add to the load time of the page. Graphics are designed to help guide the user throughout your page, so the focal points you have created within your design are obvious. Remember, graphics are just that, graphics. You have so many options to create informative textual information with your typography, don’t stack your graphics with a ton of text, too. They should speak for themselves!
Yes, we’re going back to all those design and art classes that you didn’t really pay attention to in school. They weren’t lying when they said it was important and you’d use it later. When using color, it is very important to stick to a general color palette, using 2 – 3 colors at most. Oversaturating your website with color and decoration is a good way to get users disoriented and lost in your design. To keep the user focused on the initial design, layout and content, be sure to do your best to minimize distractions. Use contrasting colors when framing and blocking content, be sure your typography is legible and you aren’t using analogous colors with title and body that will melt your text into the page. The team at D4 follows these general guidelines when creating effective websites for our clients and have found great success in the process. If you are looking to create a website, or are just starting out as a new business as so many in the Reno area are, give D4 a call. We’re happy to set up a consultation to see if we’re the right fit for your business.