The average webmaster is not always aware of the importance of some of the basic principles and elements of website design. Professional website designers with formal training are often the only ones who understand these design concepts. Incorporating these simple principles commonly used by experienced website designers can make a great difference in your own website design.
Creating a Focal Point
Your focal point is the location of the primary piece of information on your website. This area stands out from the rest of the page and attract your visitor’s attention immediately upon entering your site.
Create a prominent space on your website by:
- varying the size of that particular section,
- using a contrasting color,
- creating its own distinct shape.
The color scheme you choose plays a prominent role in:
- your visitors’ reactions and feelings toward the site,
- how easy it is to view the pages, images, and text.
So the site’s color pallette is a very important part of website design.
Various colors are either:
- Complementary colors – the colors directly across from each other on the color wheel; these balance one another.
- Analogous colors – the colors next to each other on the color wheel; they usually match well and create serene and comfortable designs.
- Triadic colors – the colors that are evenly spaced, every 4th one, around the color wheel; they are quite vibrant, so to be harmonious the colors must be carefully balanced. Let one color dominate and use the other two for accent.
- Split-Complementary colors – a variation of the complementary color scheme; start with a main color, go to the opposite color on the wheel and choose the colors to the left and right of it to use; has less tension than the complementary color scheme and is a good choice for beginners.
- Rectangle (tetradic) colors – forms a rectangle on the color wheel using four colors arranged into two complementary pairs by selecting one color pair away from the first color choice; let one color be dominant. Balance warm and cool colors.
- Square colors – similar to the rectangle, but with all four colors spaced evenly around the color wheel; let one color be dominant. Balance warm and cool colors.
By using these color combinations you advoid contrasting colors which only create an eyesore that turns visitors away.
A typical website theme incorporates two or three colors into the design. These colors should blend with one another. Keep the color variety minimal.
For minimalists, a simple white background with black text and one subtle shade added to the page is good.
Creating a Balanced Website
A color scheme with complementing colors is the best way to create a balanced look. A balanced website design is much easier to view, keeping your visitors on your site longer and more likely to visit again.
White or a very light color with a prominent color in your design and a matching darker shade can be used in a few areas of the design.
To grab attention, a bold, bright designed in shades of a color with accents of either black or white makes for an unforgettable website. Unforgettable means visitors return since they have a bold memory of it, making it stick in their mind.
A balanced website typically sees greater success than those that are merely attractive. Your aim is to create a website with a balance of the two.
Using Your Available Space
The way in which you use the space on your website page influences the success of your website. A good looking, effective website is based on a logical and creative layout.
Using Lines in Your Website Design
The way you use lines in your website has an effect on your visitor’s feelings:
- Horizontal lines have a soothing effect and are best for professional websites, like those for a business, a lawyer’s firm, or a Doctor’s practice.
- Vertical lines have a more engaging effect, used to stimulate activity and accent important points.
- Diagonal lines are active lines that create a fun feeling and are great for creating excitement, such as in children’s websites.
All of these commonly used elements of website design help your website succeed.
Be creative and test your ideas on a simple one page with a couple of Headings, a couple of paragraphs, and a picture or two. This is enough to give you an idea of how your site looks with the elements you have chosen.
Add a background picture consisting of a simple water spash of color or a “blob” of color to see the effect it has.
Add lines to determine if they are needed and how they help.
Nothing is set in stone, but the tips here are a good guide for you to create something awesome!