From the extremely basic HTML sites of the early days to the extremely feature rich user interfaces of today, web design has indeed come a long way. Looks matter, and it is more so with websites. But contemporary website design is not focused on just delivering a good looking website. Today, a well designed site should also enhance user experience, and make the site eminently usable and interactive for the readers. Moreover, the bells and whistles accompanying the modern websites should not interfere with SEO exercise.
In addition, modern website design is also focused on subtly influencing the user to take a desired action, once he/she is going through a website. Each font, every effect and every image is there for a purpose, which has been endorsed by numerous usability studies and copious research. SO, what are some of these contemporary website design practices that seek to take the user experience to a new level? Read on!
Myhosting.com chatting with Mayhem Studio’s Calvin Lee at SXSW about Web Design Best Practices
Keep It Simple – There is a renewed focus on keeping the design simple and uncluttered. The layout is also simple – with only one or two columns.
Content Oriented in Center – The content on the website is oriented in the center. This is a significant departure from the old practice of keeping the content left aligned or fluid (to help keep the content ‘above the fold).
Focus on Content Design, rather than Page Design – There is a greater realization that the users appreciate good content, and good design should encourage the reader to focus the attention on the content rather than the form of the website. The focus has definitely shifted from elements such as background design, to content design.
Focus on Using White Space – The modern web designers seem to be using white space with a vengeance, a significant departure from the old practice. Increased use of white space helps in the separating each designing element.
Icons and 3D Effects Used, But Sparingly – Web designers are making use of beautiful icons and 3D effects, though these elements are use sparingly – only to catch the eye, and not to clutter the webpage with too much design.
Effective Use of Colors – The backgrounds are being turned out in neutral, soft colors, with white and grey being the favorites. Strong colors are used sparingly, as a surprise element to catch the eye.
Large Text/Font – There is more and more use of large, and sometimes, extremely large text types. This is to grab reader attention and provide greater readability.
Increased Use of Media Blocks – With greater spread and accessibility of broadband, there is a greater incorporation of media blocks to for videos and screencasts. However, they are being used only to complement the main text content, and not supplement it altogether.
Social Design Elements – With increasing popularity of social media and a greater stress on interactivity and sharing the content among users, there is a greater inculcation of social design elements in the website designing process. This helps in making the content easily ‘share – able” among users, and helps in making the content viral in nature.
Accessibility Issues – There is a greater focus on making the content easily accessibility to people with disabilities.
Possibilites are also endless – have a reputable business? have a someone create a custom web design for you. Are you a DIY type? try your hand at a web design template. Are you a designer? Try a content management system like Joomla or WordPress for your design! What ever you choose – keep a SEO friendly web design in mind.
Do you have a website? how did you have it designed? what are some of your tips, tricks and even pet peeves? we want to hear from you! Leave a comment below!