Web design is increasingly competitive as the global economy has taken shape. It’s difficult for web designers to make their way in the world and secure the clients they need to earn a living.

Sadly, 71% of web designers still say that word of mouth marketing is their primary tool, which means it’s a slow-going process to build a business.

Web designers can enhance their word of mouth marketing by designing great websites. While it’s possible to build a website for free, you want to show off why you can help your client’s businesses.

This is why you should know about the top web design principles for creating well-trafficked platforms.

Don’t Make Users Think

It’s no secret that the average attention span has declined with the growth of the Internet and social media. These days the average person is overwhelmed by content. Any good website has to stand out.

A business has seven seconds to make a great first impression. Consumers have already formed judgments in less time, but you have seven seconds before most prospects are lost forever.

The decline in attention span means users don’t want to have to think about how to do something. Design a website in such a way as to lead visitors through each page without them having to pause to think.

Anyone should be able to visit your website for the first time and know how to get from point A to point B in seconds.

Use Visual Hierarchy Effectively

The concept of visual hierarchy is the largest aspect of a page and will take precedence over the smaller aspects of a page.

Modern websites have a lot of content. Designers can place different types of content in a strategic manner to ensure that visitors can be gently influenced to visit the most important pieces of content.

Visual hierarchy takes practice. Design is visual communication therefore no good website design can do without it.

Maintain Consistency and Simplicity

Consistency in design, font, size, and color is essential to modern website design. A lack of consistency was popular 15 years ago, but consumers have become used to consistent design on any website they visit.

A consistent design eliminates confusion and reduces user thinking time. This will ultimately reduce frustration and lead to better outcomes for businesses and their websites.

Regardless of the consistent design elements you choose to utilize on a website, they should be simple. This doesn’t necessarily mean a minimalist website, but the design should be easy to navigate.

Remove any unnecessary elements.

Getting Typography Right

Typography is not just about font choice, but also about size, color, and more complex aspects like kerning. Internet marketer Neil Patel studied the impact of typography on consumers and the results showed that the average person prefers modern fonts like Arial and Helvetica, whereas Comic Sans fonts were widely rejected.

There’s little chatter regarding typography simply because there’s little creative choice as anything other than a select number of fonts will reduce the quality of the user end experience and limit conversions.

Designers should take note that there’s an optimal font size for each popular font. They should take this into account when deciding on the typography they want to use.

Overall, the simpler the font the better for reading.

Design with a Grid-Based Layout

Web designers all have their preferences when it comes to the way they make a design come to life. The experts all agree that a grid-based layout is the superior design method.

A grid-based layout is the easiest way to balance the various design elements on the site. It ensures everything is in line and the website is designed for easy scrolling.

Again, low attention spans and constant browsing on the move means people are likely going to be scrolling quickly, stopping, and scrolling again. A grid-based design will ensure that your website is suited for this modern style of browsing.

Responsive Design

The majority of webpages accessed are accessed via mobile devices. Most people are always browsing and interacting on the move. They expect their webpages to conform to their phone size and model.

Responsive design was considered to be the future in 2012, yet countless websites have failed to incorporate responsive design.

A website without a responsive design cannot be utilized effectively on a mobile device. And most consumers will never even try.

Responsive design should be part of every website created.


Web design principles are not about dampening the creative process, but rather focusing on the designers’ creative powers. Rules are there to be broken, but these principles are backed up by studies with regard to their effectiveness. Breaking from popular principles will lead to poorer results.

It’s important to refer back to modern web design trends regularly. Many of these principles go against what was the gold standard for web design at the turn of the century. Don’t fall behind the times and risk limiting your business.

What other web design principles do you commonly incorporate into your work?

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