Advanced Website Design Principles
There are many components that go into making up good website design. Having said that, there are four major design principles that have the greatest impact on the overall design of the site. These four design components are as follows: emphasis, balance, unity and rhythm. To build a website that has pleasing design features and is highly effective in getting its message across, each of these four components has an important role to play.
The first principle we’re going to look at is ‘balance’, which is to do with how the difference shapes, sizes and color elements are harmonized.
Good website design needs to incorporate a high level of visual stimulation, yet at the same time, should not distract the visitor with too many inconsistent or conflicting components. Each of the images and blocks of text on a page has its own visual weight depending on the shape, color or size of these elements. Good balance on a web page does not mean simply having design components placed in an exact symmetrical manner on the page. You can create good balance by having a photo on one side of the page and a strong section of text on the other side. An even more advanced design technique involves the used of asymmetrical balance.
This is achieved by adding different design elements on each side of the page which have an alternative visual emphasis, size, color or shape. An illustration of this kind of asymmetrical balance might involve placing a strong visual component in the middle of the page where the balance might be achieved by adding lighter element on the outside edge of that same page.
The next style component we are going to consider is ’emphasis’, this relates on how you encourage your website visitor toward the focal point of the web page. What this essentially means is that you want the most significant content to be clearly identified on the page. Quite frequently the focal point is an element that is unique from the other components on the page. Of course there are a number of ways that emphasis can be achieved, for example you might use a large, bold font or you may opt for using high contrast colors for a picture. Whichever way you decide to highlight a component on your web page, the final result should be that your visitors attention is focused on the area that you want to emphasize.
The next of the style elements were going to examine is ‘unity’. This can be defined as how all the different components on the page appear to be very coherent and that the page has a unified structure. In other words all the components: the text, headlines, images, graphic elements, photographs and sub-headers all look like they belong with each other. Good unity can be achieved by using consistent font styles, repeating similar colors and textures or positioning related elements close to each other.
The last component we’re going to examine is ‘rhythm’ Rhythm can be defined as how the various visual components can be seen by your visitors as having a unified pattern.
The idea here is to attempt to generate a consistent pattern or structure to the design of the page. Repeating the same elements in a consistent way at regular intervals creates a smooth, even rhythm whereas dramatic changes in the spacing or the size of visual elements creates a much more lively, dynamic mood to the web page. The end result should be that your visitor should feel an overall sense of coherence in your website even though there may well be differing design elements and styles on each page. Visitors to your website make an instant decision on how coherent and appealing your overall design appears.
They make subtle unconscious psychological assessments that create an almost instant impression of how effective the design of the website seems to flow. This can be a major factor in their decision to continue to explore the rest of the site or to search for a better alternative.
On the other hand if your site gives an immediate impression of clean website design, simple navigation and interesting visual appeal, they are far more likely to stay longer and ultimately buy your product or engage your service. Another clear benefit is that they are far more likely to return to your site through having bookmarked it, or even signed up for your email list.