Blending Web Design and Typography to Maximize Usability

Posted by | March 09 | Digital Marketing & Strategy, E-Commerce Websites, Web Design

Word processors, WYSIWYG web design programs and desktop publishing systems offer a tremendous value in terms of font selection and default styles. Want a major heading followed by a subhead? Within most programs, all you have to do is select “Heading1” for the first line and then “Heading2” for the second. But while those tools make it easy, these defaults and templates can be dangerous.

Why? Because we tend to take the path of least resistance. If there is a default or a template, we use it. The problem there is that everybody else is using the same defaults and the same templates. Good web design isn’t meant to be easy. It doesn’t rely on preformatted, cookie-cutter design, and it brings in a creative combination of design elements and typography to maximize both impact and usability.

Usability is More Than Mere Function

When webmasters talk about usability, it can be deceiving. In fact, usability is a function of creative design. Those default headers may work in some cases, but in others they may need to be tweaked to get the best results. That’s why templates may be a fine place to start, but they are a very poor place to finish.

Usability in a web site involves incorporating style elements to facilitate movement. A combination of typography, style elements and graphics—along with strategic placement of body text—will cause the page to “flow” more easily.

At Forix Web Design, we understand usability. Rather than rely on the defaults, we take time to set up the most appropriate fonts and styles for each project, individually. Here’s a simple example. Script fonts look attractive and elegant, and a newcomer to design may like using these script fonts to convey a certain sense of refinement. But it doesn’t always work. Suppose in addition to elegance, you also want a strong visible impact. Placing that script font in boldface and all caps will make that refined site look amateurish—instead, a boldface sans-serif font would be more appropriate for the greatest impact.

Readers Get “tired eyes”

A page that is broken up into multiple subsections (much like this one) is easier to read. Plain text that just goes on for the entire page without a break—even if it contains the same amount of words—is harder to read. The visitor is more likely to abandon the page before coming to the call to action, and sales will be lost.

When it’s all said and done, better usability through better design and typography doesn’t just provide a better experience for your visitors, it adds to your bottom line. A strategic design will encourage your visitors to stay longer, to take action, and to return more frequently. As a result, your sales increase! Forix Web Design can help you achieve higher sales through better design. Give us a call today to discuss our web design needs.

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