5 Top Website Design Tips


ou can spend months and many thousands of pounds developing a website, and most micro and small companies do. Is there any added value to all those fancy fonts, colours and flashing images?

Recent research indicate that all of these things have a negative effect on our buying instincts. All they do is distract us from reading the message the web page is trying to send….

The first step seems to be very simple and obvious. After all everybody wants to put the important information on their site, but it is not as easy as it sounds. People find it difficult to differentiate between important and unimportant information and thus ultimately end up creating a big mess on their page. It is a very common mistake and anybody could do it. It is very hard to segregate everything under the tags of important or unimportant. To keep your website design simple you need to identify the theme of your page just like a piece of art. It implies to just focus on essentials.

Identify the 20% content of your page that provides 80% of all the crucial data which attracts the customer. This 20% could be anything like a copy of some social proof like review snippets, media badges, testimonials, or a sign up form or call-to-action button. Make it a point on displaying only such 20% on your site and on individual pages, these are the elements having 80% of usefulness.

This is not a technical rule, but you can have it as a general guideline to keep a simple design for your site. This rule will help you trim the unwanted data on your site and thus greatly simplify your design. As an additional boon, it also increases your desired results from your website. You may notice a better visitor subscription conversion rate, signing up or buying from your site. This is because you have reduced the distractions from your page and provide customers what they were looking for.

We are all very familiar with the way people find an excuse for not buying a thing at the final step and your site should give them minimum reasons to find such an excuse and click away options by using the 80-20 rule.

Having identified the 20% means you identified the unimportant 80% content on the site. This 80% data on your website provides only 20% value to the page and can be deemed unimportant. It can be anything ranging from media sharing widgets, sidebar elements to links in the footer (a very common culprit). These things can provide your visitor the excuse to navigate away from the page.

A very important aspect in simplifying your site is to just have fewer places to explore & click around. It can be easily done by reducing the page count. Either remove the unnecessary pages which you think can be done without or at least merge some of the not so important pages into one. For example you can have a single page for “about the site” and “about me”.

Understand how your visitor thinks. What would you have wanted if you visited the site as a visitor. For example you may want to know what the website is all about or how could you contact these people. Next always bear in mind that your site should contain only the necessary information and nothing more. Do not just go on adding more pages to your site just because you have seen some other site doing this or you think it would impress visitors. Instead it is easier for visitors to find what they are looking for if the site is simple.

They can also focus on its contents as that have less distractions & less places to click away. We have all been in the situation when we visit a website and there are so many navigation menu items that we do not know where to begin with. The choices we see overwhelm us and we get confused, thus more often than not we choose to not buy anything. A simple design with less navigation items not only makes the site visitor-friendly but also appealing to them.

Researches and studies prove that people tend to spend the majority of their time above the fold (what appears on the screen without scrolling down on web pages). So keeping your main content & call-to-action elements above the fold can improve the efficiency of your site. If you have a logo or navigation menu on top of your site you can check it by simply reducing the height of the header.

It can be done by changing the header “height” value from the style sheet (normally style.css or stylesheet.css). Move all the important contents like signup form or button above the fold so they could get more attention from the visitors. It is after all the ultimate call-to-action of the visitor so why bother him by making him scroll down.

It’s quite easy to lose focus while working with colours. People always tend to make things more colourful by suing different colours for almost everything. The colour scheme may vary according to the designs but try using no more than two or three colours for beginning. If you want to add more textures you may use a few different shades of the same colour. For instance you can have a light blue for the background and dark blue header and menu items.

Anyone can get carried away with colours. One may use one colour then another and so on and ultimately has rainbow diarrhea all over the website. Your colours should complement your content on the site and rather not distract the visitors. This may turn all your efforts to have a simple design to futile. So it’s always better to use fewer colours for the website designing.

Hopefully you now understand the need and know the skills for simplifying your website design. Your website will now look more classy, gauche and stylish and most importantly more enjoyable experience for the visitors. This will surely make you proud of your website.

So, to summaries;

  • Focus On Important Information Only
  • Remove Unimportant Information
  • The Fewer The Pages The Better
  • Important Information At The Top
  • Limit Colours