What makes great website design? Clients often want a website that functions well and looks good. But they also may rely on their own ideas about design.
For best practices, we turn to our design experts and experts on user interface. The Webby Awards, the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, also offers valuable information. The organization’s judging criteria for websites includes Content, Structure and Navigation, Visual Design, Functionality, Interactivity, and Overall Experience.
Website Design Best Practices
There are certain elements of visual design that seem to be popular among many websites today such as big, bold typefaces and bright, engaging colors. Furthermore, a visual design trend that is dominating the tech world these days is “going mobile,” and that means more and more websites with responsive design so they look appealing on a mobile interface.
Today, with the plethora of impeccably designed websites, we couldn’t possibly articulate every single aspect of an award-winning website in a single blog post. So, we narrowed down all of our research into a few visual design techniques that are user-friendly and interactive to engage your website users. These visual design techniques are used everywhere from fashion, magazine and nonprofit websites to apps and beyond.
Card-style interfaces are displayed on various websites today. A well-known example is Pinterest. Many cooking and lifestyle magazines (e.g., www.domino.com) also use this card-style technique for selling products, recipes, exercises, Instagram posts, and more. In addition to being able to easily arrange the information on your website in many different ways, a card-style design approach also lends itself to a user-friendly experience and organized appearance.
Homepages with Slides
Many websites today design their homepages with a slide. Clicking through slides engage the user. The homepages of popular fashion lifestyle brand Rebecca Minkoff and “Shark Tank’s” healthy popcorn brand, “Pipcorn” both showcase the use of slides to visually appeal to their consumers. In addition to sparking interest, having slides on your homepage allows you to fill the entire screen with new content with just a click of the mouse.
Illustrations, Animation, or Sketches
There a number of well-known homepages, Dropbox and Basecamp for example, which are both high-traffic sites, but also include simple, yet creative illustrations or sketches on their main page. Dropbox’s stick figures, paper plane and smiling piece of paper technique makes for an inviting visual for the user while Basecamp’s cheerful, smiling icon and unique illustrations translate into a website with a personal touch.
In all, there are various ways to develop the visual design elements of your homepage and turn it into an Internet sensation. Always remember to be interactive, engaging, organized and last but not least, to add your own personal touch — and with that, you have yourself a successful website.