It’s an understatement to say that the online world has undergone huge advancements in the past decade. With so many exciting things happening on the web, designers are exhilarated and feeling challenged at the same time. There’s a constant pressure to follow trends and to learn new technology. While it’s a good idea to continue to evolve and master new skills, some things will never change when it comes to designing exceptional websites. The following rules of web design are based on the simple notion that humans are fundamentally the same. From the way we digest information to how we make decisions, we are all the same at the core level. Here are the 5 timeless rules of extraordinary web design.
When a visitor comes to a website and they’re taken into another world, this is immersion at its best. Good websites provide information while great websites makes visitors forget where they are for a short while. Through immersion, visitors enter another world and feel like they’re able to experience it through their five senses. Colors, textures, photography, videos, and user interactivity all play a part in engaging and captivating the audience. Instead of thinking about how to present a brand to its visitors, think about how to pull visitors into the brand.
Information is best received when it’s told in the form of a story. It’s a human tendency to want to tell stories and to listen better when stories are told to them. We speak and write in story-telling format so why should website content be presented as disjointed pieces of data? The best websites engage the users on the homepage and take them through a brand story as they navigate deeper into the site. Whether images, videos, or words are used, these elements of the website need to fuse and flow together as a single compelling story.
The brand experience that a company or organization provides to its customers is vital for achieving success. The online experience is no exception. When visitors come to a website, how they feel during the experience will be remembered the most. Are they intimidated, frustrated, or overwhelmed? Or are they relaxed, at ease, and inspired? Websites should be more than user-friendly; they should be intuitive. Visitors should feel at ease and not like they’re being sold to or inundated with tons of information or have hoops to jump through. The overall experience should just be easy and pleasant.
A great story doesn’t just have a beginning, middle, and end. It should also have meaning and resonate with the audience on a deep level. Users want to know how a brand story relates to them, which translates to why they should become a customer. A website’s design should have multiple layers of meaning. There should be reasons for every design decision. Colors, type, layout choices, and imagery should work together to evoke certain feelings and emotions from visitors. This is how a website turns casual visitors to paying customers, and ultimately into loyal fans.
Every website should have its own unique personality. The best web designers study their clients diligently to come up with a visual language that conveys the brand’s unique characteristics. In addition to thorough research, out-of-the-box thinking, exploration, and experimentation are great ways to find new and unique ways to communicate a brand’s message. Every company or organization brings something new and different to the world, regardless of how common their product or service is. There’s no reason why their websites should ever be cookie-cutter or resemble a template.
So there you have it. These 5 timeless rules of web design should serve as the guiding principles for every web design project. When done right, these rules can take any website from mediocre to just plain magical.