Web design is the process of planning the appearance and structure of a website so that it is easy to understand, easy to use, and appeals to its intended audience.

Good Design

  • Makes a website easy to navigate
  • Makes the subject of a website seem credible
  • Leads visitors to spend more time on the website
  • Leads visitors to convert (sign up, buy)
  • Looks just as good on all screens

Bad Design

  • Makes visitors want to leave
  • Doesn’t understand the target audience
  • Requires too much reading
  • Does not highlight intended actions

Web Design Concerns

Colors

Colors set the mood of a website and need to match the tone of the project. So a website for a mortuary shouldn’t be bright pink. It’s important to choose a base color with variants and a highly contrasting highlight color you only use for action items like buttons. You also want to make sure that text is always on a background color that isn’t a similar color to keep in legible.

Conventions

Websites need to be designed like other website. Like it or not, people get confused when an interface is very different than what they expect. This means it’s important to know and follow existing conventions about website structure and appearance.

Inverted pyramid

When presenting information, websites and individual pages or posts should always start very general and get more specific as you read. Title, summary, details. This allows visitors to quickly understand what they are looking at and then only view more if interested.

Buttons

If you want people to click buttons on a website, they have to look like buttons, be large enough to get your attention, and be a unique action color that contrasts with the rest of the site. If your site is blue, the buttons might be red or orange. Having only one action color for your site is essential.

Fonts

Font choice has a surprising impact on the feel of a website. But more important than styling is legibility. Website generally have one font for headings and another for text. You can get creative with the heading font. But the text font just needs to be easy to read.

Personality

Web design is how a website has personality. While some website lean entirely on images to accomplish this, most projects need colors, fonts, accents, and layout to make the site feel unique or appropriate for the topic.

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