Today, there are about 200 million active websites in the world, with new ones being created every day. How can you make a site stand out among all that noise? Using top web design tips holds the answer.
While anyone can make a website, it takes someone with specialized knowledge to make a great website. Many people may be involved in the making of a well-designed site. But graphic designers play a pivotal role in how a site looks and feels, creating an attractive and lasting impression.
Are you a graphic designer, or hoping to become one? Then it never hurts to brush up on the top web design tips of today. The world of web design is constantly changing — here’s what you need to know to keep up.
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Good Design Uses Psychology
Graphic design is a very visual field. So it’s often tempting to think that as a graphic designer, you’re a visual artist who works online. But while that is part of the job, graphic designers do much more than just decide what looks nice.
As a web designer, you really need to know how people think. Otherwise, how can you design a site that will get users to take desired actions? This means using psychology, not just visual design principles.
For example, you’ll need to know how certain design elements and colors can influence moods. You’ll need to know which designs draw the eye first, so you can lead users through a page in the way you want. If you don’t understand the psychology of web design, your pretty websites will never get results.
Innovation Is Not Always Rewarded
As a graphic designer, you might think creativity holds the key. While that’s true in some ways, the best websites actually don’t use creative, innovative designs. Instead, they stick to what’s tried and true.
People tend to see familiar-looking sites as beautiful sites. If your site breaks convention too much, it will confuse users, and they won’t like it.
There are certainly ways to be creative as a graphic designer. For example, you might have to find innovative solutions to problems you encounter. But when it comes to the look of a website, it’s best to stick with what’s already popular.
Less Is More
Good design doesn’t typically mean adding things to a website to make it “better.” Instead, it often means taking things away.
In this way, good web design is like good writing. While an amateur writer might think it’s best to keep adding more descriptive words and adjectives, an expert will know to cut away the excess so the main point sticks out.
Things work the same way on a website. The more bells and whistles you add, the more the main point of the site gets obstructed. To get the results you want, simple and streamlined is best.
Branding Will Set You Above
You can be a great graphic designer, and not know anything about branding. But if you learn branding too, you’ll stand out from the crowd. This means commanding more and better clients, and better rates.
For example, some clients will come to you with their brand ready. In that case, you’ll just need to translate that brand identity into web design. All graphic designers should know how to do this.
But other times, clients will come to you not knowing what they want from their brand. If they ask you to make a website, they won’t be able to give you much direction for it.
When you can help them discover their brand identity, and then represent it online with a beautiful logo and site, you become much more valuable than someone who only does graphic design.
Social Media Is Not Your Friend
Don’t get us wrong — social media is an important part of branding. And social media icons can also be a valuable part of good web design. However, placing those icons or links front and center is a recipe for disaster.
When people visit social media, they land in a time-eating hole of distractions. Will they come back from Instagram or Twitter to visit your site again? Or will they end up in a social media rabbit hole, never to return?
For many users, the latter is more likely. So avoid placing colorful, attractive social media icons prominently on a site. Instead, make sure to lead users to the action you want them to take first while placing the social media links somewhere less obvious.
All Websites Have Visual Hierarchy
Visual hierarchy could be considered an aspect of psychology. However, it’s important enough to merit its own section in any list of top web design tips.
All sites have a visual hierarchy. But the difference between bad sites and good sites often lies in whether or not that hierarchy is used intentionally.
“Visual hierarchy” means the order in which visual elements draw the eye first. Size, color, position, and other aspects of visuals can make them appear more important. Different people will generally look at elements on a site in the same order every time, thanks to this hierarchy.
You can easily use this effect to your advantage. For example, if you want visitors to shop the online store, you could design a “Shop” button positioned where users will notice it first.
But if you don’t use visual hierarchy intentionally, people will experience the site in a way that doesn’t lead to desired actions.
Ready to Try These Top Web Design Tips?
These top web design tips will get you better results, no matter your experience level.
The web design world changes fast, but some things remain true no matter what. Even as UX and design trends shift, you can be confident that these web design tips and tricks will still hold true. Commit them to memory, and you’ll be able to build the successful graphic design career you want.
However, you don’t need to learn web design to have a great website. You just need to know how to hire a great web designer! To get started on your results-oriented website, check out my design services here.