7 key principles of designing visually appealing websites

  • Keep your design balanced.

  • Compartmentalize your design by using grids.

  • Pick two or three colours at most for your design.

  • make the graphics go well together.

  • Improve your website’s typography.

  • Make elements stand out by adding white space around them.

  • Have all elements connected.

So what makes something pretty. Instead, Web design is a symbiosis of different elements.

1. Keep your design balanced.

Balance is all about making sure that your design does not tip heavier on one side to the other side. If you’re not careful about the layout, the design will become unbalanced. You can change the weight of a design in many ways, like with colour, size and the addition or removal of elements. You will find that every design you think looks good has a well-constructed balance underlying it.

2. Compartmentalize your design by using grids.

Grids are horizontal and vertical rulers that help you compartmentalize a design. Columns for example, Columns improve readability, making a page’s content easier to absorb. Spacing and the Rule of Thirds make everything easier on the eyes.

The Rule of Thirds and Golden Ratio account for why, for example, sidebars are usually about a third of the width of the page. and why the main content is roughly equal to the design’s width. While the design is not visually impressive in itself, the clear strict structuring of elements makes it easy on the eye.

3. Pick two or three colours at most for your design.

You can’t just pick random colours. Some colours go well together, others don’t. A lot of theories on colours and their combinations exist. Find out for yourself what works together. Pick two or three base colours at most for your design. Then use tints which are lighter, mixed with white and shades which are darker, mixed with black of these base colours to expand the palette. Picking nice colours is as important as picking the right colours. Every colour has a message, and it is up to you to share that message.

4. Try to make the graphics go well together.

You don't need fancy graphics. But poor graphics will do poorly for a design. Graphics add to the visual message. Try to make the graphics go well together, and make sure they share the message you are aiming for.

5. Improve your website’s typography.

Web typography is handicapped compared to print typography. The biggest difference is our lack of complete control over the appearance of type on the Web, Obviously, dynamic rendering is great, however, you have little control over that. Missing fonts on the user’s computer, differences in browser and platform rendering, make typography frustrating task. There are many easy ways to improve your typography, One of them is

font stacks. A font stack is a list of fonts in the CSS font-family. The fonts are listed in order of preference that you would like them to appear in case of a problem, such as a font not loading.

6Measure and Leading

Measure is the length of lines, and leading is the height of lines. In CSS, measure can be controlled by changing the width for the containing box. Both affect readability. If the lines are too short or too long, users won’t be comfortable reading the content. Between 40 and 80 characters per line is ideal. Leading can be increased by changing the line-height. Generally, a line height of 1.5 works well for paragraphs.

Hanging Quotes and Bullets

Another way to improve readability is with hanging quotes and bullets. Instead of leaving the text of bulleted lists with the default alignment, horizontally align it with the rest of the text on the page.

6. Make elements stand out by adding white space around them.

White space, or negative space, has to do with what is not there. Like measure and leading, white space gives text some breathing room. You can make elements stand out by adding white space around them.White space adds a lot of class to a design. Don’t be afraid to leave some white space. Design is about sharing a message. Design elements, therefore, should support this message, not add noise to it.

7. Have all elements connect.

Connection here refers to a Web design that has both unity and consistency. These two features demonstrate the professionalism of a design. A design should be consistent with its use of colours, its fonts, its icons, etc. When a design is inconsistent, its unity can be lost. Unity refers to how the elements interact and fit together. Without unity, having a good design is hard. Inconsistency, however, may look messy but may not make the design look bad. Connection has to do with how all elements come together: balance, grid, colours, graphics, type and white space.

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