Having a great website is critical to building your brand online.
Website design (contrary to popular belief) doesn’t need to be difficult and it does not need to cost a bomb.
All you need to do is get some inspiration from other designs, styles and sites you like (which will definitely help along the way), try out new things (test them and gather opinions) and keep some basic design principles in mind.
I have listed some of my design tips when I build a new website for a client. Why not try some of these on your next website…
Sometimes known as “Whitespace” (it doesn’t need to actually be white).
Consider leaving clear space around key elements, such as your logo, text and images. This looks great and makes the information on your website easier to read and navigate. Don’t over complicate things – make your website easy to understand, visually.
Make your website easy to navigate and guests will return. Don’t make them search for content and discard pointless or confusing links. Removing your sidebar from website pages, when it doesn’t really need to be there, is a good way to reduce clutter.
Pick a page of your website and ask someone if they can find everything they need easily, or imagine you were there for the first time. I keep my top navigation bar to a minimum and often, I like to see my logo in the same line as my menu, as you can see on my own website.
Ensure your website is set up to be viewed on smaller screens.
Smartphone and tablet usage is constantly on the up and your site needs to be able to adapt, or you’ll simply lose visitors.
Reduce the size of this screen to see how this website changes with different browser sizes – how images and elements stack up, the mobile menu appears etc…
Again, this doesn’t need to cost a fortune – all good website builders, themes, plugins and tools normally have responsive screen functionality. If they don’t – use something or someone else!
Getting your colours right really does matter – as much for your overall brand as well as your website. Focus on a few colours in your design. Neutral colours do the trick nicely and allows your logo to stand out. If your brand colours are bright, it doesn’t mean your entire website needs to be – try to avoid those colour clashes.
When I’m looking for colours for a brand, logo or website – I pick a colour I flick through Color Hunt. I find a colour I like and then I take (all or some) of the colours which some lovely human has already suggested on the palette.
Modern, minimalistic design is great for your brand.
1) Consistency is key
2) Keep the clutter to a minimum
Instead of agonising over your design, try to keep things simple and consistent. Some might say “less is more”, where as I would say “too much is usually pretty shit”. It’s amazing how good things can look once you extract all the noise.
Lay everything out neatly and symmetrical, such as content in lines with blocks of colours, for example.
Focus on a few simple colours (as mentioned above and remember, whitespace = good (more often than not).
Remember, keep your style consistent throughout for best results.
Well, that’s my two pence on website design! We can take a look at tools and functionality in another article.
Pretty straightforward really, don’t you think? I hope this helps you design a great website – or at least get your creative juices flowing!
I would love to hear your web design tips too – please leave a comment or get in touch.