When you consider that online data shows that there are over 1 billion websites in the world, it is safe to say that web designers have been busy. It is also true to say that no two of those 1 billion websites will be 100% identical, either in how they function or how they look. There may be some that are similar, but we can be certain none are exactly the same in all ways.
Without meaning to contradict ourselves, many of those websites which have been professionally designed will have several commonalities. By that, we mean that they will have been designed by web designers following a set of key web design principles and best practices. For any website to be remotely successful, it must have been created by following what we like to call ‘non-negotiable” web design principles.
These principles are what form the foundation of top quality website design and are why those web designers who follow them without fail are the ones who create the best websites and earn the most praise. Here are fifteen of the non-negotiable web design principles we are referring to.
It Must Have A Purpose: To have measurable success, a website must have an overriding purpose or goal, otherwise it is no more than an online decoration.
Design For The Audience, Not The Client: Although the client is paying, the website should not be built to appeal to them, but to the audience they wish to attract.
Fast Load Speeds: Slow websites will ironically die a conversely fast death, so ensure everything is designed to facilitate fast page load speeds.
Consistency: All pages within a website should have some degree of consistency in their layout, colours, text types, branding, and navigation.
Distinctive Branding: Business websites should promote that business’s brand with the minimum being their logo on every page at the top left corner.
Easy Navigation: Confused visitors soon become ex-visitors so ensure everyone who lands on the website can navigate through it with minimal effort.
White Space: Modern websites make the best use of so-called white space which is simply spaces around content blocks including text and images
Use Symmetry: For both entire pages, and sections within pages, the use of symmetry is a way to add balance and alignment.
Choose Colours Wisely: The colour palette used is critical to the website’s appearance and the emotions sparked in visitors, so choose them carefully.
Readable Fonts: Like colours, fonts need to be chosen with care, with no more than three used, and ensuring they are easily readable on all displays.
Engaging Content: It is the content that will most likely influence visitors the most as to whether they stay or leave, so it must be top quality.
No Huge Text Chunks: If people want to read huge volumes of text, they can buy a book, so avoid large chunks of text as it will turn off most visitors to a website.
Avoid Annoyances: By this, we mean excluding features well known to annoy those visiting websites such as incessant pop-ups and videos that autoplay.
Clear Calls To Action: Wherever you want a visitor to a website to do something, make sure the call to action that induces that action is absolutely clear.
Mobile-Friendly: As well as being responsive, the design should take into account that 60% of access to websites through the internet is from mobile devices.