Web Design Principles for Dummies

Posted by | March 30 | Web Design

Software companies have gone to great lengths to make web design easy, and today, anybody with just basic skills and no knowledge of HTML can build a functional and reasonably attractive website. Cookie-cutter templates and WYSIWYG design makes it possible to be up and running in an hour or two. Is it good? It’s passable. Is it unique? Not at all. Those template websites won’t do you any good if you want to stand out from the crowd. With that in mind, we’d like to present a few basic web design principles for dummies.

Forix Design Principle #1: Don’t Rely on Templates.

It’s very tempting, and many of the templates out there are quite nice-looking. Don’t get lulled into a false sense of security by the easiness of it all. If you want a website that will stand out from the crowd, you need something else—something original. Even if you do start with a template, realize that templates can be changed. You can alter and modify those preset design elements, so start experimenting. Forix Web Design’s artists and technicians can work from scratch, creating something just for you that nobody else on the Internet has.

Forix Design Principle #2: No Kitchen Sinks.

Dummy designers tend to be a little overwhelmed at all of the possibilities that technology has enabled. The tendency then is to try to use all of it, and the result is a site that is crowded, busy and hard to follow. You don’t need to use every whiz-bang feature your design software has to offer, and sometimes, less is more. Avoid the kitchen sink approach to design, and use those flashy graphics sparingly.

Forix Design Principle #3: Remember the Fold.

In the newspaper business, designers and editors talk of the “fold.” That’s where the newspaper gets physically folded in half, and anything important needs to be said in the top half—or “above the fold.” Websites have a fold too, and that’s the first screen full of information that is delivered, and can be seen without scrolling down. That’s where your main premise needs to be presented, your most important graphical images offered, and your introductory text and invitation delivered. Make sure it is there, in that first screen, in its entirety, so your complete initial message can be seen in one eyeful before any other action is taken.

Forix Design Principle #4: A Flatter World is Better.

How many clicks does it take for your visitor to get to where they want to be? Remember that people surfing the web tend to not have a lot of patience. They want information, and they want it now. They don’t want to have to hunt for it. As a result, your sitemap needs to be relatively flat. What that means is that it shouldn’t take more than two clicks to get to any part of your site.

Forix Design Principle #5: Call the Professionals.

Finally, when you have a high-stakes project, it’s time to call in the experts. If you’re trying to drive traffic or make sales, you need a website that delivers. Then it’s time to call Forix Web Design.

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