Best Practices for Exceptional Web Design and Usability
1. Select a typography that’s easy to read and skim
Typography refers to how type - meaning letters and characters - are arranged and presented on the page. Since website typography affects not only how we read but how we feel about text on a web page, it’s important to pick carefully.
Ideally, you want a typeface that is:
- easy to read
- easy to skim
- accessible to all users
- legible across multiple devices and screen sizes
Here's a great example of a simple but effective homepage design from Trevellas Manor Farm Campsite.
2. Choose a colour scheme that suits your brand
Like typography, colour can affect not only how we understand and interact with content, but how we feel about it. Your colour scheme should therefore check off the same boxes as your website typography. It should:
- reinforce your brand identity
- make your site easy to read and navigate
- evoke emotion
- look good
3. Add images to engage and inform readers
Striking a balance between text and images is essential in website design. Incorporating visuals can make your content more informative, engaging, and memorable. You’ve probably heard the statistics that people remember only 20% of what they read, but 80% of what they see? While the exact percentages are debated, the basic idea isn’t. It’s easier for some people to learn and process information visually.
4. Simplify your navigation
Navigation is one of the most important design elements on a website. It impacts whether visitors arrive on your homepage and browse, or click the “Back” button. That’s why it’s important to keep it as simple as possible.
Many websites opt for a horizontal navigation bar. This navigation style lists the major pages side by side and is placed in the website header.
5. Make your CTAs stand out
CTAs are elements on a web page, advertisement, or another piece of content that encourages the audience to do something. The call to action could be to sign up, subscribe, start a free trial, or learn more, among many others.
You want your CTAs to pop in your website design. To make that happen, consider how you’re using colour as well as other elements like background colour, surrounding images, and surrounding text.
6. Optimize for mobile
We’ve already discussed how important it is for your website to be responsive. But since mobile devices accounted for 59% of organic search engine visits in 2021, we’re doubling down on how important it is to design your website to be mobile-friendly. That might mean altering or removing some elements that would clutter smaller screen sizes or negatively impact load time.