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The Principles of Great Web Design

The Principles of Great Web Design

Introduction: If you’re reading this, that means you have a website. If your website has been around for a while and hasn’t had any improvements or changes, it might be time to rethink its design. In this blog post, I’m going to share some tips on how you can improve the design of your site by making small changes that will make all the difference.

Create a great structure to organize the information on the website

The structure of a website is the way its information is organized. The structure of a website is crucial to its success and usability. If you have ever been to a website that was hard to navigate, you know that it can be frustrating, especially if you are looking for something specific there.

There are many different types of websites and each has its own unique structure. Some websites have a very simple structure, while others have more complex structures. A simple structure usually means that there are fewer pages on the site with less content per page than a complex one. Complex sites tend to be more organized, but they can also be confusing sometimes due to their complexity.

Creative use of the grid

The grid is a very powerful tool for creating a consistent and readable design. It’s used to align elements, create structure, and establish visual hierarchy.

When used effectively, the grid can make your website feel more organized, balanced and professional. The most important thing to remember when using the grid is that it should be flexible enough to allow you to break out of its constraints — otherwise it may become too restrictive and lead to bland designs.

Also – if the grid is not well prepared, the mobile responsive optimization will become a front-end developer’s nightmare.

Good vs. bad grid example
Bad vs. Good Grid Example

Consistency is key when building not just a website, but an entire brand

Consistency is one of the most important principles of design, and perhaps the most difficult to achieve. You might have noticed this before: if you visit a website page that has a different font or color scheme than other sites you’ve been on recently, chances are you’ll find it hard to navigate around because everything looks different.

Consistency helps create an overall look and feel for your website that users will recognize and trust. When users see familiar elements—such as typography or buttons—on every page they visit, it’s easier for them to navigate through the site without getting confused or lost in an unfamiliar layout. 

Consistency also allows users with disabilities to access your content more easily by providing clear navigation paths and accessible features like alt text (text descriptions of images).

Brand consistency
Consistency in using colors, shapes, and brand elements is crucial in any great web design project

Easy to scan

Nowadays, potential clients / customers / website visitors have less time and interest to read the content on your website. The engagement rate is down, people’s attention span is at an all-time low, so in order to motivate people to stay on your website, consume your content, you must have an easy to scan website.

To make your content easy to scan, you’ll want to:

Have an above the fold opening for your website, where the visitors understand in less than 5 seconds what your website is about: what are you selling, offering, doing. In case you fail to capture their attention in the first 5 seconds, you have lost them to the multitude of content that is out there. So you just lost a potential client. This is why the first section of any website on the homepage is one of the most complex sections to create. It needs to be to the point, it needs to be fast, eye capturing and also tell the story of your brand, business, idea, etc.

Not overcomplicate the scroll / slide: there is a new trend with the latest Javascript, VUE, React technologies to create extremely eye candy websites. Yes, they look amazing, but most of the time, they overcomplicate it so badly, that they forgot about another crucial thing on a website: be able to scroll through it (or slide through it).

Creative use of colors, and color combinations

Colors play an important role in design and are often the first thing people notice. Use colors that are easy on the eye, work well together and reflect your brand.

  • Colors can be used to stir emotions and respond to calls-to-action. The use of color helps us process and store images faster than black and white images. This can increase brand recognition and encourage visitors to take action on your website. Color schemes can subconsciously influence judgments so make sure your palette does not contradict your brand’s values.
  • The right color scheme can make or break a design. The wrong color scheme can confuse users or even elicit feelings of anxiety and depression. For example, if you’re designing a website for baby products you might consider using bright colors because babies like bright things but if you’re designing a funeral home website using dark colors may create an atmosphere more conducive to death than life.
  • When choosing which colors to employ in your design it’s good practice not only to choose those that match the messages being conveyed on the page but also those that match its purpose as well (e.g., blue text links used on almost every page might seem appropriate for many types of sites except when dealing with content about cars).
Play Around with colors
Don’t be afraid to play around with colors. But keep a nice balance, always!

Accessibility keeps people on your website

As we’ve seen, accessibility is a big issue. We have a responsibility to make sure that our web pages can be used by as many people as possible—this means using high-contrast color schemes, using images instead of text where possible, and providing transcripts for video content.

The right typography

While it may seem obvious, typography is one of the most important elements of a good website. The correct font can make a huge difference in how visitors perceive your company. Choosing the right typeface for your site and making sure it’s consistent throughout every page will help set you apart from competitors who haven’t invested as much time into getting this part right.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best font for your site: readability, consistency, theme matching and device compatibility are just some of them! For example, if you’re designing an eCommerce store that sells handmade goods made by hand (like me), then having a vintage-looking font might not fit well with your brand image because it doesn’t look as professional or polished as something more modern like Helvetica Neue Light would be better suited instead.

Use easy to read fonts:

Using good fonts
Great font selection can make or break the entire website design


If you want to make your website easy to read and use, keep these principles in mind:

  • Font size and font weight. The font size should be large enough to comfortably read without having to zoom in on the text. In addition, think about what kind of font weight is appropriate for the content of your site—if it’s a financial company website, then you might want a bolder typeface than if it were an ecommerce site selling clothing.
  • Line height (also called leading). The line spacing between lines can have an impact on usability as well! A good rule of thumb is that lines shouldn’t be shorter than 1/3rd or 1/4th the size of the total body text length (i.e., if there are 12px font sizes being used throughout then each line should be at least 4px tall). This allows for more easily readable blocks of text with open spaces between each one so that readers don’t get overwhelmed by too much information at once (and thus stop reading).
  • Color contrast ratio. It’s important that everything appears legible regardless whether someone has their screen brightness turned up high or down low – having sufficient contrast between foreground and background colors will help prevent this issue from happening so make sure all your fonts match accordingly.! 

Use tools like Vision Accessibility Toolkit which includes several tools including color contrast checkers built right into them – just make sure they meet these minimum requirements before implementing any design changes.

Well-thought-out navigation

Because it enhances the user experience, website navigation is an integral part of web design. Website navigation is essential to a good customer experience. It allows users to quickly access the information they need by providing an intuitive layout and increasing their ease-of-use.

  • Navigation should be clear and easy to use.
  • Navigation should be consistent across the site.
  • Navigation should be at the top of the page, so it’s easy to find when you’re scrolling through content on mobile devices
Great navigation
A well organized navigation can make or break the website

Great web design is possible

“I’d like to say that building a great web site is easy, but it’s not. You need to be creative, use your skills and know your audience.” – Botond Imre, owner / founder of Xari Agency.

You also have to know what the competition is doing and how they are creating successful web sites. A good understanding of the business you are working for will help you figure out what a potential customer would want from a website in this industry.


I hope this article has helped you understand the principles of great web design and how they can be applied to your own projects. It’s a lot easier than it sounds, but it does take practice! Just remember that if you keep working at it, eventually your website will look as good as those big, popular brands that everyone knows about today—and then maybe even better.


The website design and project used in this article for presentation purposes is called Fiskl: Intelligent Finance & Accounting Manager for Any Small Business. Explore it and let us know what you think.

For more success stories, we invite you to explore our portfolio here:

Do you have an interesting Digital Project you would like to start building? Reach out to us, tell us about your project & let’s build it together!

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