If you plan on building a website or if you do it for a living already, pay attention. These are the 5 golden rules of web design you must follow.
By ignoring these rules you’re devaluing your time, the effectiveness of your website, and harming your website visitors. Don’t block new information from your mind thinking you know best.
Whether you’re designing a website for yourself or a client, these 5 golden rules of web design will help you create a successful website.
The 5 Golden Rules
Less talk, more action!
Yes, it’s time to get down to business and go through what each rule is and why it’s important. Without these 5 golden rules of web design, web design wouldn’t be important to anybody.
Every website needs a purpose and no, to tell people about my business isn’t a good purpose. The purpose of web design always comes down to the purpose of the website that can be boiled down to one particular thing.
The more specific the purpose is, the better off your project will go. There should be one overall purpose that’s very focused and then every page should have a purpose that plays into that larger purpose.
Every piece of content, every design element, every everything should have a purpose behind it and play into the overall purpose.
The purpose you decide for every piece and the overall site usually flows into one well-crafted call to action. What is the website visitors supposed to do? What the heck can they do?
I’ve seen way too many websites that seemed to have been created just for the sake of creating a website. No plan, no focus, and no goal.
They’re just a purposeless mass of content on the internet that helps no-one. That’s why every website needs and deserves a purpose that goes beyond the client’s (or your) decision that a website is needed.
A website should be designed to be one cohesive, simple, consistent entity on the internet. That means the overall purpose (see above) is consistent across the website.
Focus on creating one brand that looks like it all belongs to the same company. That means visuals should be in a similar style, colors consistent, and most of all fonts should be few and consistent.
Good web design is extremely important but it only works if there’s consistency in it all.
How much does the website get out of the way and let the user accomplish their goal?
There’s the purpose of the website which is golden rule number 1. This one matters because the purpose needs to be easy to achieve.
The goal should be obvious for each page and the user shouldn’t have to fight to accomplish their goal. Every website is going to have a unique goal and it needs to be easy to accomplish.
How fast your website is decides how easy it is to use AND it determines if the goal is even met for the user. People are impatient and a fast website will help keep the user focused and continuing their journey to complete their goal.
If your website isn’t showing something to the user within 2-3 seconds then the whole website is likely to never be seen.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen do it yourself website that have a giant video in the background which makes it take 8 seconds to load. That just won’t do.
When we do affordable web design for our clients, one of our major focuses is on speed to make sure it’s as fast as possible. Google’s goals for speed can be a bit lofty but there is a fine balance.
Speed without goals and tracking is not good. That seems to be what Google wants but that can be overall harmful to the internet, no good. There’s a fine balance but that’s something that every web designer needs to figure out properly.
The final golden rule of web design is another important rule.
A website is never done.
A successful website must always be revised, updated, and improved. That means new content should regularly be published that is helpful and adds to the value of the website.
It also means there should be constant revisions of the current content including the newer content that is posted. Time should be set aside each month to make some revisions no matter how minor.
Testing and improving on a regular basis is the cornerstone to a successful website and a website that ranks well. Google is one search engine that rewards helpful and current content. It knows when you update content and will reward your website in search results if those updates happen regularly.
One reason we offer unlimited minor updates in each of our plans is because it’s so essential to make those updates. A picture here, a word there, no matter how small it contributes to an always updating website.
How The Golden Rules Will Help You
A list of the 5 golden rules for web design is helpful but even more important is how they will help you.
They will help you no matter if you’re building your own website, having someone build one for you, or build them professionally.
By following the web design golden rules you will see more effective conversions (more customers!), you’ll look better to your clients, and there will be more visitors.
More visitors will come to the website and they will be more likely to accomplish their goals. It all comes down to a website being built for the right purpose and then helping visitors accomplish that goal.
Before any website is made learn these golden rules. Memorize these golden rules. LIVE these golden rules.
Without them you’re just going to have a website that doesn’t benefit you, doesn’t make you look good, and is just a waste of time and money.