5 Web Design Principles For an Effective Business Website

19 Feb 2018

Progressive businesses now clearly understand the significance of having a sound online presence in an environment where everyone is trying to attract online users. The design is one of the critical aspects of a high converting business website. It can either make or break the usefulness of a business site. Being a business manager, you cannot afford to have a site that contain off-putting design elements.



What makes a good web design?


Visual appearance and web design usability are two major factors that determine whether or not a website design is effective. A good web design always keep a balance between aesthetics and usability. It is not wise to either compromise or ignore usability in the pursuit of creating an excellent visual presentation or  undermine the value of aesthetics while focusing too much on user testing. The functionality and elements of a website design should work in an harmonious manner.

Following are 5 of the important web design principles that will help you understand and develop perfect design for your business website:

1. Simplest explanation is usually true

Leonardo da Vinci rightly said that ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’. Web designers often associate simplicity with Occam’s Razor, a philosophical rule of thumb. To implement Occam’s Razor is to perform something in the simplest manner. Incorporating simplicity into a web design is about eliminating barriers and build an incredible user experience.


Therefore, eliminate unnecessary navigational choices from a design. If users are confused and not sure where to click in order to proceed, explain it to them. If the background image is making it hard to read the text, tone it down and make text more visible.

Jeffrey Veen from The Art and Science of Web Design says, “Designers can create normalcy out of chaos; they can clearly communicate ideas through the organizing and manipulating of words and pictures.”

Your business web design is supposed to convey your message in a sound manner. The design of your site should not compromise the clarity of your message and, moreover, make it super easy for users to navigate from point A to point B. When it comes down to simple web design, I can’t help mentioning the Apple’s website. The Apple brand makes a very good use of simplicity and brings out the beauty in it.

2. F pattern layout

The scientific studies reveal that web surfers read screen in an F-shaped pattern – scanning the top, upper left and left side of the screen. According to a study from the Nielsen Group, people almost always browse in an F-shaped pattern that heavily favors the left side of the screen. This study advocates that web designer should place the most important elements from branding to critical information on the left side of the design. The F-pattern layout works because it enables web surfers to scan through content naturally.


The F-pattern layout works best for pages that contain long text such as blogs and sales pages. If your landing page, for instance, is filled with information and you want visitors to notice a specific element right off the bat, make sure you present that element in the top left section of the page.

Online users appreciate quick and simple solutions. They do not even read each and every thing on a web page. Displaying information from left to right and top to bottom in order of its importance will make it more readable to users. Implementing the F-pattern workflow will make your business site more effective in terms of engagement and conversion.

3. Visual hierarchy


The term visual hierarchy is defined as the presentation of elements in such a manner that implies significance. Understanding how visual hierarchy works will help you develop web designs with a positive reading experience for the end-user. Following are some of the major tools that help create visual hierarchy in a web design:


Size can be used as a hierarchical tool to guide a viewer’s attention to a particular section of the web page. The biggest elements must reflect greater importance as human eye naturally move from big elements down to the smaller ones.


Color is another incredible tool that can be used to bring in an emotional appeal to a web page. Bright colors stand out from dull and muted colors. A web design can use colors to accentuate important information such as call-to-actions and contact info.


A dramatic change in color or size of an element will reflect that something needs more attention. Contrast plays a key role in developing designs and visual hierarchy.


Alignment is an effective web design tool that enables designers to make considerate decisions about how and where an element should be placed on the page. Strategic placement of different elements will create a more compelling and effective composition.


Whitespace, if used wisely and correctly, can transform the entire design and offer many advantages. Layouts should be eye-pleasing driving people to read more and stay on the page. Whitespace can certainly help you create a more interactive, balanced, and user-friendly design.

4. The use of images

High-quality images play a crucial role when it comes to designing a business website. No matter the nature of a site, adding images is one of the best techniques to improve the design and add extra visual appeal. Images also diversify the content and make visitors develop an emotional connection with it. Visual content has become an inseparable component of modern business websites.

The average attention span of the internet users is down from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds now. This means your site has less than 8 seconds to grab visitors’ attention and retain them. The use of relevant, engaging, and high-quality images and other visual elements is the only way you can make your visitors stick around and understand your message in a creative way. An effective web design converts complex stories into simple and appealing visuals. Make sure the imagery you use conveys the right message quickly and concisely.

5. Clarity of purpose

Conclusively speaking, you have to be crystal clear about the objectives your web design is going to achieve. A business site can have a range of goals from lead generation to making online sales. However, the ultimate objective of a business site is to promote the company name and, resultantly, generate more revenue.

Your prospective clients and customers are likely to navigate to your site through search engines, therefore, anticipate well what your prospects are looking for when they click the link to your site in SERPs. Make sure your web design assist your visitors to find solutions quickly without going through annoying and unnecessary process.

In a world where there are more than a billion websites and competition is fierce, your site needs to stand out. You need to make sure that your business website’s design is perfect in terms of usability, visual appearance, and user experience. A web design is nothing but a way of communicating visual information. An effective web design truly and clearly communicate ideas to viewers.