posted on:November 12, 2009
10 short n sweet tips on how to design for web
This article will quickly run you through some of the greatest issues with design for web and hopefully give you something to think about when you start your next web design.
1. Remember you have very little time on your hands
I read somewhere that average page visit throughout the entire internet is only 4 seconds. That doesn’t give you enough time to make an impression on the user and get him engaged with your site. That means that you have to be as precise as possible in explaining what the site you are designing is all about. If it takes more than few seconds for user to figure out what the website is all about, he will loose interest and browse away…
2. Remember that user scan the web
When you walk into the room you don’t see every single face there. First you only notice shapes of people and stuff that are inside. You scan the room. Then you move on to something that grabs the attention. Similar thing happens with first visit to the website. Users scan it first. This is the point where you need to guide user wherever you want him to go. It can be a login button, learn more button, conversion form, blog post…
3. Up-left corner of the web site is most visible
This is well known fact. The main reason for this is that people read books and articles that way (starting from up left corner) plus the early web sites and applications were designed that way. We often put logo in top left corner, and that is a good thing. But think about adding another element or two up there to make it more prominent (login link, search from, slogan…)
4. Learn about F pattern
Some eye-tracking case studies proves that users scan the web in a shape of a letter F. Top area gets scanned all the way, middle area half way through and lower area gets scanned only on the left side. Just something to think about when you’re having doubts on where to put content blocks in your designs.
5. Learn what users ignore
Users are ad-blind. They learned to ignore banner ads or text ads. Avoid designing anything that looks like an ad. Also, users ignore large blocks of text. Nobody has the time (actually I would say patience!) to read great blocks of text just to get an idea of what the page is about.
6. Text vs graphics
One interesting fact. Text grabs more attention than any cool graphic! If you want to deliver a message to your reader I suggest using a large slogan instead of cool header image…
7. Grab attention with design elements
Good elements for grabbing attention are text slogans, call to action buttons (usually using bright colors), various 1-2-3 steps list or lists in general…
If you’re writing a long article one of the most important things are headings. Headings grab attention like nothing else. Use the headings properly, explain the user what the article is about in just those few simple steps.
8. Text Formatting
Text has more chance of being read when it’s formatted properly. Don’t be afraid to use many paragraphs, bold and italic text blocks, blockquotes, underlined or upper-case text… Anything that makes your text block more visually attractive. Of course, you need to use formatting to emphasize important words or sentences and guide your reader through the article.
9. Use clean graphics
I already mentioned that users are ad blind. When you use graphics in your design make sure that they’re not too busy, messy and non-understandable. Many people will find it hard to look at the image that is too busy or colorful. Graphics needs to be clean and non-confusing.
What you can use to grab attention with graphics are people faces, especially when eyes on the photo are looking at the user. Also you can use eyes on the photo to “point” users to a certain direction.
10. Use whitespace
Use whitespace to give some element more visibility. If a certain element is too close to margins or other elements the things will be confusing and messy. Give it some “air to breathe”. This especially applies to text blocks.
Enjoyed the article?
Then don't miss our next one! Subscribe to our RSS feed or share it with your friends.
Comments (36 Comments)
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.