What constitutes a good website design can be very subjective but there are some simple design rules that everyone instinctively recognises even if they are not conscious of them.
Follow these rules and your website will impress your visitors and most importantly your design won’t get in the way of your message.
- Utilisation of white space – white space is simply ‘space’ and is not always ‘white’ it could be a dark background as well. In web design it is very important to separate page elements with space and to avoid cramped layouts
- Always go with a white background colour for your main text area as black or dark grey text on a white background is the most professional and readable online
- Group page elements into threes, so use three columns, three text blocks or line up three graphics beside each other. Content divided into thirds (and also odds in general) is more aesthetically pleasing
- Place important content at the top of the page before users need to scroll (this is called ‘above the fold’ and originates from direct marketing)
- Use the accepted web fonts (Arial, Verdana, Georgia, Times New Roman, Trebuchet MS) and no more than two fonts per page, with one used for headings and sub headings and one for body text (a nice combination is Georgia for headings and Arial for main text)
- Use a decent font size (around 11 or 12 pixels)
- Navigation is intuitive with at least one text-only navigation option for non-graphical web browsers. Text navigation systems also help with your Google rankings as they add to the relevance of your website to your search phrases
- Each page has the same design theme – you never want your web users to think they have left your website
- Avoid splash pages or flash-splash pages. These are graphics-only homepages with ‘enter here’. Generally it is hard to get these types of homepages to rank highly in the search engines, and most web users find them annoying