Most businesses these days have a website, or a basic online presence. Even people pursuing hobbies will make a website at some point to share what they’re doing. How your website is perceived will have a huge influence on how your business is perceived. But what makes some websites look professional, and others hacked together in a rush?
Here are four fundamental design principles that will help you improve your website. In fact, not only websites, but posters, reports and even presentation slides can be greatly improved if you follow these simple guidelines.
Make sure there is enough contrast between your elements so they stand out from one another. In particular, be careful with colour. For example, if there isn’t enough contrast between the text and background, it might be hard to read the text.
If you have more than one element in your design, make sure you pay attention to how they are aligned. Aligning the elements in your design will make your design look cohesive and well organised. If your elements aren’t aligned, they will look scattered and your design will appear messy.
If you have elements that are related to each other, put them close together. By having the elements next to each other, it will create unity in your design and increase organisation and comprehension. In contrast, if they aren’t related, make sure there is space between them to make it clear they are separate ideas.
The one golden rule of them all is to be consistent. Don’t go crazy with the colours or font choice – try to stick with a maximum of three colours or fonts. Keep to the same colour for the background or highlights. Use the same font for your headings and body text. The consistency and repeated use of the same elements will tie your design together and make it look more professional.
Do you have any tips of your own for a great-looking website? Share with us in the comments!
Peggy Kuo is a programmer who has developed the mobile game Mr. Tiddles, and is working on another. She’s an avid student of design, and you can see what she’s up to at her website.