Searching for the magic formula that results in a beautiful website is an ongoing process. After all, it’s not really by magic that a successful web designer creates a fascinating site. It comes down to the knowledge and skill of each web designer or developer and their understanding of design theory. But one thing successful web designers must never take for granted is the essential elements of web design.
The essential elements that result in a fantastic website don’t depend on magic! Instead, it’s a designer’s understanding and use of these basic elements that build a brilliant site from the ground up.
In this article, we’ll cover the essential elements of web design required for a successful website.
Layout & Visual Appearance
The layout and visual appearance are essential for the success of a website. These are the elements that provide site visitors with that all-important first impression of the site and the business.
The webpage layout is the overall composition of the page. In other words, it’s how the page has been organised. The layout needs to be clear and simple rather than too busy. The layout of the content and images affects the overall appearance; however, it also affects the user experience and whether the page converts or not.
Visual appearance involves the choice of colours, content, font size & type, navigation, menus, and more. Appearance is also involved in the layout of the page. Visual appeal can attract attention, create that all-important first impression, and build relationships with site visitors.
The visual appeal of a website is another essential element, along with layout, that determines whether or not a website makes a great first impression. You only have a few milliseconds to make a good impression on visitors.
Next on our list of essential elements in web design is the colour scheme of a website. The colour scheme of your fonts and images directly shapes a visitor’s impression of your site.
When choosing a colour scheme, it’s important to pay close attention to the company’s brand and industry. In addition, paying attention to the target audience helps a designer choose the right colour scheme.
For instance, professionals such as financial institutions or legal entities choose blue or green to show professionalism. On the other hand, a renewable energy company may choose green to show its concern for the environment.
When reaching out to a target audience, it’s also crucial to use colours that meet their expectations. For example, teens and young adults are drawn to bold colours, while adults and seniors may appreciate refined, more mature colours.
After choosing the dominant colour, the designer must also select the colour palette that goes with the main colour. Colour choices are essential to the success of any website.
Like colours, typography also varies by industry and the target audience’s expectations. Professional industries, such as accountants, may choose more formal serif fonts, while a photographer may use a light, airy sans serif font.
All text on the site must be clear and easy to read. Copy is usually best at 16 pixels. Reaching for complementary fonts is OK; however, never use more than three different fonts or sizes on a site.
Site navigation is another essential element of website design. Many designers believe this is no longer a crucial factor for websites in the 21st century. However, navigation has never been as important as it is today.
Navigation on a website organises all the content on a website. This is like a roadmap for visitors. Each piece of the navigation shows them where to find the information they need and which page to find it on. A website’s navigation may lead visitors to stay on the site or leave, depending on how well it’s been arranged and how positive the user experience is.
Website navigation should help site visitors know where they are, where to go, and where they’ve been. These are the essential elements a site visitor needs. When the navigation helps site visitors know where they are and where to find what they need, the visitor may decide to stay on the site even longer. This is a great way to increase conversion rates.
Successful navigation includes these factors:
- Navigation is easy to find.
- The navigation is consistent on each page of the website.
- Working on the navigation must be specific and clear.
- Limit navigation links to no more than seven.
Most designers are familiar with the saying, “Content is king.” That’s become a trite saying these days; however, it still holds true for websites in the 21st century. Content plays an essential role in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), which is one of the primary methods for bringing site visitors to a website.
Content must meet the needs of site visitors; however, don’t forget that content is not only found on the blog or homepage. Other pages that include important content include the “about us” and “contact” pages, too.
Make sure that all content on the site is relevant and answers some of the most important questions site visitors may ask.
Create Mobile-Friendly Websites
Mobile-friendly sites are also an essential element in website design. The reason is that more and more site visitors are accessing websites via their mobile devices. These can include smartphones, tablets, and more.
For this reason, a website needs to be mobile-friendly and ensure the user experience is positive, no matter what device they’re using. With a mobile-friendly site, you can expect these benefits:
- Improved visibility in the search engines and ranking
- Improved user experience
- Improved brand identity
- Increased conversions
There’s no question that a website is no longer just holding a place on the web. Today’s websites are important business tools that drive engagement and conversion. When a site doesn’t offer a comfortable, easy user experience, you can bet site visitors will leave for a competitor’s site that meets their needs and expectations.
The essential elements of web design still apply. When used correctly, they create an amazing website that draws in site visitors, increases conversions, and raises brand awareness.