8 Guidelines for Exceptional Web Design, Usability, and User Experience
When it comes to designing or re-designing a website, it can be easy to get hung up on the aesthetics. “That shade of blue just doesn’t look right …. Wouldn’t it be cool to have the logo on the right side of the screen? …. How about we put a giant animated GIF in the middle of the page?”
However, if you’re truly trying to accomplish something with your website (e.g., brand awareness, lead generation, etc.), you’ll need to focus on more than just how your website looks.
In a world where folks have more than a billion websites they can potentially land on, you need to make sure your website’s design is optimized for usability (how easy your website is to use) and user experience (how enjoyable interacting with your website is for actual users).
Now, you could spend years studying the ins and outs of usability and UX, but for the sake of giving you a jumping off point, we’ve put together the following list of helpful guidelines to apply to your next web design project.
8 Website Design Guidelines for an Exceptional User Experience
While the look and feel of your website is important, most visitors aren’t coming to your site to evaluate how slick the design is. Instead, they’re coming to your site to complete some action, or to find some specific piece of information.
Adding unnecessary design elements (i.e., elements that serve no functional purpose) to your website will only make it harder for visitors to accomplish what they’re trying to accomplish.
From a usability and UX perspective, simplicity is your friend. And you can employ simplicity in a variety of different ways. Here are some examples:
- Colors. Don’t use too many. The Handbook of Computer-Human Interaction recommends using a maximum of five (plus or minus two) different colors in your website’s design.
- Typefaces. The typefaces you choose should be legible at the very least. And when it comes to colors, you shouldn’t use too many. A common recommendation is to use a maximum of three different typefaces in a maximum of three different sizes.
- Graphics. Only use them if they’ll help a user complete a task or perform a specific function (don’t just add graphics willy-nilly).
Here’s a great example of a simple homepage design from Rockaway Relief:
Strip away everything that doesn’t add value, then add some visual texture back in.
The great car designer Colin Chapman famously said, “Simplify, then add lightness.” This principle owes something to that mindset. Every element on a page must add value to the user or the business—and ideally, to both. Taken literally, the process of …read more
Source:: HubSpot Blog