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Tried and Tested Design Principles Web Developers Rely On

As your business’s main digital facade, your website serves as an extension of your brand that gives users an idea of what to expect. A well-designed page can do wonders for brand perception, so it’s important to ensure that your site incorporates design principles intended to improve user experience.

However, it’s not enough to entice visitors through pretty graphics. You also need to strike a balance between function and form. It’s recommended to enlist the help of reputable professionals—like a web design agency Philippines-based businesses trust—when it comes to ensuring that your website is optimally designed. These experts can help you create websites that are not only visually appealing but also serve their intended purpose.

That said, regardless of how you go about your website woes, you need to understand what exactly goes into good web design. Here are some of the key principles that web developers and designers swear by when it comes to making webpages shine:

Visual Hierarchy

By now, you probably already know that keeping website navigation straightforward and streamlined will help elevate the user experience. This is largely because of visual hierarchy, which is the principle of how the human eye perceives design elements in order of importance or urgency. As such, “add to cart” buttons or “free shipping” banners are often prominently displayed to catch users’ attention.

To properly achieve a sense of visual hierarchy, you first need to keep your user interface (UI) simple and uncluttered by doing away with endless dropdowns and buttons. The goal is to ensure a logical combination of elements on your site to help visitors subconsciously make sense of the page. Websites with good visual hierarchy make use of eye-catching focal points along with an optimal arrangement of elements such as colors, sizes, typography, white space, and textures.

Fitt’s Law

As mentioned, it’s good design practice to highlight calls to action (CTA) by keeping them large and easily selectable. This practice is guided by a user experience (UX) principle called Fitt’s Law, which states that the amount of time spent moving to a target is directly related to the size and distance of the target. In line with this thought, your primary CTAs must be large and easily selectable to make them less burdensome for users to find and use. This principle is typically associated with buttons, which are often placed in areas such as the middle of the screen to abide by Fitt’s Law.

Hick’s Law

Hick’s Law is another common design principle that most people may or may not be familiar with. This design principle is generally intended to avoid decision fatigue, or instances when users spend more time making decisions with every additional choice. It’s also related to what is called the paradox of choice: the more choices there are, the harder it is to arrive at a decision.

Simply put, Hick’s Law dictates that your site must have as few distractions as possible to encourage user interaction. If you’re a retailer, distributor, or any business that sells a large number of products, you can use filters to maintain adherence with Hick’s Law.

Proportions

In ancient times, the Greeks proposed the idea that designs using proportions defined by a certain number were more aesthetically pleasing. This number is called the Golden Ratio (1.618), which designers, photographers, and visual artists still use to this day.

In web design, the golden ratio is also used to make pages look easier on the eyes. The same logic of using proportions can also be applied when it comes to layouts. For most developers, a good layout entails a grid-based structure that arranges elements into a rigid framework with perfectly balanced columns and sections. Another common element of a well-proportioned page is an F-shaped pattern, which is built around Western reading patterns (left to right, top to bottom). This makes it easy for visitors to scan a page’s content.

Overall, these principles of proportion aid in imposing balance and order on your page, together with a sense of aesthetic appeal.

Gestalt Laws

Gestalt psychology is a school of thought that describes how we perceive structures differently as a whole compared to the sum of their individual elements. These laws include:

  • Proximity and Similarity: Elements that are similar must be grouped together or designed similarly (navigation menus, sub-categories, etc.)
  • Closure: Let the brain fill in the visual gaps (lines, shapes, dots) for more interesting designs.
  • Symmetry: Divide elements into symmetrical parts to form a center point, adding to users’ visual enjoyment.
  • Common Fate: Elements that move together in the same direction can guide users’ attention to another element (e.g., value propositions, sign-up forms, etc.)

There are many Gestalt principles that can be applied to web design, but the ones mentioned above are some of the best ones to serve as a guide.

Color Theory

Color theory is the art and science of using the similarities and contrasts between colors to manipulate mood and messaging. Our brains perceive colors in unique ways, with some colors evoking certain emotional responses. For instance, warm hues evoke energy and brightness, while cool tones exude serenity and calm. Color theory can also be used to incorporate invariance, or the act of using contrasting colors to highlight information (e.g., sales, discounts, bundles, and special offers).

When applying color theory to web design, you need to align your site’s color palette with your brand messaging. Are you a beauty business that wants to evoke modernity and playfulness through pastel hues? Or are you a coffee shop associated with rustic vibes brought out by dark shades of brown and black? Whatever the nature of your business, a professional can aid you in finding the right shades and tones that achieve your intended effect.

Designed to Impress Online

In the digital world, it’s a no-brainer that you should put your best foot forward by beefing up your web presence. To do that, you must regularly look into how your website is performing online. Websites are only given a narrow window to impress, so you need to make the most of it by making visitors’ experiences count. With solid web design, you can effectively showcase your vision along with the best you can offer to customers old and new.

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