Site design: best practices and pitfalls to avoid


Digital communication, Digital marketing / Tuesday, September 27th, 2022

When creating a new website or redesigning an old one, it’s easy to get lost and make many mistakes. Fortunately, when working on a site, you don’t need to know every detail to get the job done. In this article, we’ll explore how to design a website, from the very first sketches to building the final version. You’ll discover the best practices and pitfalls to avoid to ensure your site is neat and effective.

What are the best practices in web design?

There are a few best practices that are useful to keep in mind when designing a website, but they may vary depending on your project and the industry you’re in. For example, if you are in the healthcare industry, you may want to avoid using bright colors or images of food or people to keep your site focused on the information it contains.

On the other hand, if you are in the technology industry and want your site to be both attractive and functional, it is best to avoid a design that is too simple. There are also many factors that may come into play in your design project, such as the size of the project, audience, goals, and budget. All of these factors, and more, can help determine which best practices are most appropriate for your site.

Use simple, readable content

Many web design professionals make the mistake of overdoing it when it comes to their site design and content. Instead of focusing on what needs to be included on the site, they try to include as much as possible to get the “look” they are going for. While this may work in the short term, it will certainly lead to a much more confusing site in the long run.

Why? First of all, it is important to focus on the information on the site. You have to ask yourself why you need to create a site. So, a good rule of thumb is to devote 80% of the content to information, and the other 20% to visual appeal. You don’t want to end up with a site that is as confusing as it looks! Second, it’s important to keep things simple and avoid using jargon and overly technical terms on the site. If you want your audience to feel welcome, it is also important that you are respectful when addressing your readers.

Avoid intrusive navigation and color schemes for your site

If you’ve spent any time on the Internet in the last 24 hours, you’ve probably noticed that there is a lot of content floating around about how to make your site more unique. With so many different colors and designs, it can be hard to know where to start. Are you sure your site doesn’t have any hidden design or color tricks? Do you have to redesign everything and start from scratch? Or are there ways to reduce the impact of your site’s appearance without changing its essential nature? Evaluating these considerations will likely put you in a bind (and may make you want to give up altogether).

Varied navigation options

Additionally, navigation on your site is essential for users to find their way around. Navigation options can include the site’s breadcrumb trail, hierarchical navigation, tabs, drop-down lists, or a combination of these. However, all of these features must be added for the site to be navigable. If they are not necessary or if they overwhelm users, they will only confuse them. The same goes for color schemes. A color scheme is a set of colors that applies to the entire site. While it may be tempting to use a certain color to symbolize different parts of the site, this should be avoided. Instead, designers should use it to control a set of shades so that it is consistent with the overall website.

Look at existing designs

It can be tempting to take some design elements from our old site, or from sites we like, and replicate them on our new site. But what if we didn’t? What if you went further and used your own layout and design ideas? This is where you have to be careful about what you copy and paste from one site to another. Sometimes, it is automatisms that lead us to copy what has been done before. It is thus necessary, from the beginning of the project, to frame things well. Thus, the first step in the design process is to take a sheet of paper and make a sketch.

In the same way, you should not plagiarize a masterpiece, nor should you copy and paste your own creations. The design and colors of your site should be unique, but your text and navigation should be inspired by your past experience and that of your visitors. This way you can enter into an iterative process.

Avoid irrelevant navigation

The home page should be your main page, and your navigation should be tied to the content of the page. You should never have two navigation pages or three pages with different navigation options on your site. However, that doesn’t mean you should be completely obtuse or ignore the different nuances. If you have a specific niche that requires a different navigation scheme, go for it, as long as it doesn’t conflict with the rest of the site design.

Change it up a bit

There are ways to make your site even more unique without changing the look. How about we show you how to change the shadows, use a different color for each section or add a special treatment to the top-level navigation? We can’t promise you that doing any of these things will make your site more unique, but we can promise you that each of them will make your visitors encounter a site that is very different from what they expected. There are several ways to change the look and feel of your site, and we’ll detail them below.

Use graphic elements and overall design to convey your ideas.

The overall design of your site is almost as important as the design of the page itself. The overall design of a site can be seen as a single line of connected blocks, with the elements that make the site unique filling the spaces between the blocks. Graphic elements such as images, fonts, and colors can help you convey your ideas more effectively, and even draw your visitors’ attention where it matters: on your site.

Use a different shade for each section

You can have an overall design of the different sections instead of each section of your site, where your homepage can feature an image and a few words with the designations of your sections. A different shade of your main color for each section can help your visitors quickly and easily identify where they are on your site. A different shade for each section can also give the impression that each section is distinct, which will encourage visitors to stay on your site longer.

Change the shadows

Shadows on your site can contribute a lot to the overall impression of the site, so it’s a good idea to use them as a design element. A shadow can be seen as a subtle clue to what is on the rest of the site. So you can use it to lighten or darken different areas of your architecture. If you have a more playful or casual site, a few shadows on your homepage may seem a little out of place. On the other hand, a more formal or technical site can benefit from this to give the architecture some consistency.

Use your own font

It’s a no-brainer, but we always love to hear it! Using your own fonts on your site will instantly make it more personal and unique, and you can even try to add some personality to headlines and paragraphs with additional custom fonts. When you use your own fonts, you can also choose the type of fonts. The possibilities are endless: from casual to quirky designs, you can choose from a variety of fonts to suit your personal tastes (you can go to a site like Dafont to find a font that suits you). If you don’t know where to start adding your own fonts, try starting with a simple sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica. Once you’ve got the basics down, add a few more details and you’ll be fine.

Keep it simple when designing a site

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the design possibilities technology has to offer. You may even feel like you’ll never find a way to fit everything you want into your site. Keep a cool head and make a simple plan, a road map that will help guide you.

Be smart about your design decisions.

Sometimes you have to follow your instincts and try out design ideas on a sample site (or in a sandbox). And if you don’t like them, modify or delete them before deploying them on your main site. After all, you wouldn’t want your new design ideas to affect how other potential customers see your site, would you?

Make users feel welcome and respected

One of the most important factors when designing your site is to make your visitors feel welcomed and respected by the site and its content. The best way to do this is to simplify navigation, use clear and concise language and avoid jargon and technical terms. Another way to respect your readers is to include a privacy policy on your site. Privacy is a major concern for many people when it comes to the internet. Many don’t understand how some sites collect data and don’t feel comfortable sharing their data. By including a clear privacy policy on your site, you will show your readers that you understand their concerns and feelings about this issue.

Use the right balance for the user interface

In this day and age, it’s not enough to have a beautiful design, you also need to provide a great user experience (UX). As a result, many sites and apps now feature a balance of user interface (UI) components, the elements that allow users to interact in navigating your site or app.

The balance of user interface (UI) components on your website

This is one aspect to keep in mind when designing a site: the balance of UI components, such as images, text, and links. It’s best to keep things simple so that users don’t get lost. There is no need to include every possible component on your site, as this will only confuse users and turn them away from your information. Also, it is important to keep things simple and clean so that the content of your site does not get lost under too many user interface components. This will only result in a cluttered and untidy site.

The right balance of user interface (UI) components

The right balance of UI components on your site can make or break your online presence. If your site goes off in all directions, users may decide to leave without even having a chance to begin their journey through your offers and articles. If visitors don’t get anything out of your site, it may be a reflection of poor design and navigation.

In other situations, a site that uses too many “widgets” can confuse your visitors. Visitors may not know what to do next, where to turn, or what to see when they reach your page. It is necessary to take visitors by the hand, to make it as easy as possible for them. The path must be marked out. Also, no page should ever be more than three clicks away from your entry page (usually the home page).

How to use the right balance of user interface components for your website?

The elements that make up a user interface (UI) can range from those that navigate a website to those that help users find information. Every website is different and therefore the right balance of UI components can vary from site to site. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you find the right balance of UI components for your website.

The benefits of using UI components when designing a site

The benefits of using UI components are as follows:

  • make your website look more professional,
  • improve its usability and give it a more structured look.

Creating good menus

Most sites have a menu in some form or another. It can be a simple drop-down menu, a hamburger menu, a reduced menu, or a dynamic menu that provides a list of pages. Here is an example of 2 types of menu:

  • Navigation Menu – The navigation menu is an essential part of your website; it’s where users will begin their journey through your site. Make it easy for them to navigate and find what they are looking for.
  • Drop Down Menus – Drop-down menus usually come with a series of options that users can click on to access different pages or parts of your website. By using drop-down menus, you can give your website an organized and easy-to-navigate look. This is especially useful for small websites with limited space and a lack of vertical space.

Some ways to structure

Another important element for structuring your site is the implementation of breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs allow you to navigate easily within the structure of your site. With them, you can navigate between the different page levels. Another solution to facilitate the navigation of your site is the creation of a “site map” on which all your pages are located.

Avoid complicating your site’s code

One of the best practices you can follow when designing a website is to have clear and well-organized code. You can also build your site with a CMS. This will help avoid future problems with site maintenance and updating and will make the code easier to read for other developers. It is best to avoid using too many libraries and frameworks on a site. This will only make it more difficult to update and maintain.

Conclusion

In this article, we have explored what the best practices are for designing your site. We also discussed how to keep it simple, avoid intrusive navigation and color schemes, use the right balance of UI components, and more. If you want to create a visually appealing and functional site, these tips can help. Now that you know what the best practices are for creating a website, it’s time to get started!

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At our agency, we use these different methods while following a clear methodology for creating websites for our clients. Thus, the Richard Bulan agency can accompany you and even create your website for you!

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