8 Effective Web Design Principles You Should Know

web design principles

In the current world, everything revolves around the internet. Most companies/organizations have a website which helps them connect to their target audience. If you are planning to start a website for your company/agency, it is time you got familiar with web design principles.

Web design wasn’t as it is two decades ago. If you wanted to build a website, you had to get a programmer/web developer to do the job for you because it was so complex. Twenty years later, setting up a website is something a person can do after watching tutorials for a few minutes on YouTube.

Despite the fact that you can easily build your website and have it improve your business, you must first understand how a good website looks like. So many entrepreneurs/organizations make mistakes with their website and eventual get little or no benefit from them.

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Let’s take a look at eight effective web design principles that will definitely help your business/organization grow.

  1. Navigation

When you create a website, you have to keep in mind that there are many other websites competing with yours. This is why you have to ensure your site navigation is on point.

Good site navigation is when people can find their way around your site with ease. When users find it difficult to move from one point to another in your site, they will easily get annoyed and move to the next site.

Make sure that the website structure makes it easy for people to find what they are looking for in your site. Have a navigation menu with visible keywords/icons where users can click. Remember to apply the ‘three-click rule” where visitors move to a page in three or less clicks.

  1. Visual hierarchy

A website’s structure/page should be able to catch the visitor’s eye. How can you achieve that? When people surf the internet, they are usually short of patience and will scan through the contents of a web page and if they don’t like it move to the next one.

You need to identify some of the prominent content in a page. In most cultures, people read from left to right-that is why many good website pages portray an F-structure.

Try to put the most important content/image at the right side of the screen where readers will easily see it once a page loads.

  1. White Space

When structuring a website, do not be afraid of white space. White space is the blank space that separates type, columns, images or anything else that is in your web page.

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The behaviour of internet users is quite predictable-when they open a website, they quickly scan the contents to see if it is worth their time. If there is no white space in a page, the content will appear messy and will be difficult to read.

With enough white space in the content, a user will find it easier to read or even scan information in a website. Use of white space also enables one to communicate to the reader using the fewest words possible.

  1. Simplicity

Designing a website requires one to understand that less is more. Considering the high level of competition in the online space, many business owners are tempted to include unnecessary graphics and buttons in their site.  

A visitor who lands on your page expects to find a solution to a problem he/she has. What happens when they find that the site is cluttered with unnecessary stuff? Know how to keep your site simple and improve clarity. This makes the site visually appealing and helps users navigate easily.

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  1. A Grid-based layout

Imagine a website where text, icons and images have been randomly placed. The contents will definitely looks messy and disorganized. A person who lands on such a website will not only spend a short time in it.

A grid-based design is essential because it allows the webmaster to organize the content in such a way that it is visually appealing to the user. If the contents of a web page are aligned, it makes it easier for people to navigate the website.

  1. Speed

Internet users usually don’t like it when a website page they have clicked takes a few more seconds to load. Knowing that they can find similar information elsewhere, they will click the ‘back’ button and click on another site that loads faster. Chances of them coming back to your site are slim.

You need to ensure that your site loads faster to avoid losing many prospective clients. In addition to speed, the site ought to be mobile-friendly.

 If it works well on the screen of a desktop computer, it should do the same on a smartphone or a tablet. More people are using handheld devices so it is important to make sure the site is mobile friendly.

  1. Colours and Imagery

Colours and images are an important aspect of website design. Choosing the right colour palette significantly improves the performance of your site. Many web designers use vibrant colours to trigger the emotions of the users and push them to take action.

When using colours in a website, you need to ensure that they complement each other. It is vital to balance the colours by choosing only those that complement each other. It is also important to make use of the white space. Remember to keep the number of colours minimal-three to four colour tones are enough.


They say a picture speaks a thousand words. Accompanying your website copy with graphics such as photos, infographics and videos helps reinforce your message. Remember to use only a few of them per page in order to achieve the desired effect.

  1. Typograghy

The primary reason for building a website is so that people can easily find information they are looking for. They could be looking to be informed, educated or entertained.

Most websites use sans serif fonts such as New Times Roman and Arial for their copy because they are easier to read. If you want to make the text visually appealing, use serif fonts for headings. When these different typefaces are combined they make the web copy appealing.

There is much more to text in a website. Nowadays, many webmasters turn to the services of SEO experts to help create the type of content that ranks highly on search engines.

Website owners who adhere to the principles discussed above usually achieve their goals in a shorter time than those who don’t. These principles make your website stand out. In the internet, uniqueness matters a lot.

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.

September 13, 2018

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