5 Website Design Principles That All Startups Need to Follow

When someone comes to your website, what is the first thing that they notice? They observe how much visually compelling your website is. 94% of first impressions are based on your website’s design. So, building a catchy website design is the need of the hour for every startup. 

Nevertheless, creating a user-centered website that makes an impact is not always easy. But there are certain not-so-obvious website design principles that you can follow to build an efficient website for your brand.

Wondering what those are? We’ll discuss them all in this article. So, let’s get started. 

1. Clarity goes a long way 

Clarity is the key to a perfectly designed website. If your website confuses the visitors, the chances of converting leads become much lower. Largely because users can forget their initial goals and or may not find what they were willing to search and end up leaving your site. The result? A high bounce rate! 

Some of the key elements of a clear website are as follows: 

  • Simplicity is important. Instead of including a lot of elements in a single website, try to include only what matters. 
  • Keep the consistency going. All your web pages should tell the same story, convey the same message. 
  • Open doors to interaction. Whether you use a chatbot or opt-in forms, make sure that there is room for visitors to interact and provide their feedback. 
  • Guide your visitors to different pages. Don’t expect them to figure out everything on their own. 

Let’s take the example of Apple here. 

apple mac website

You can see how simple Apple’s website design is. There is a simple yet minimalistic approach that you cannot avoid. The goal behind this type of website design is to help the users find whatever they’re searching for without compromising on the elegance factor. 

2. Stay credible to the visitors 

Credibility matters when it comes to website design. In fact, 75% of credibility comes from your website’s design. We’ve come across many such websites that are well-designed but they forget to add the credibility aspect. For example, focusing on Products/services, resources, etc. pages is okay. But you don’t include aspects like about us, our team, our vision in your website, you’ll lose on building trust. 

Being honest about your brand, telling your journey to the users can help you create trustworthiness. Also, showing your current clients’ testimonials, highlighting your expertise is also very essential. Highlighting your social footprint is also a mandatory requirement, standing in 2021. 

Of course, the content also matters here. However, from the design point of view also this marks as an important principle. 

Have a look at Mailchimp’s “About Us” page:  

mailchimp about us

Look how Mailchimp has designed its “about us” page. They have narrated their founders’ story with such empathy. Mailchimp has a webpage dedicated to discuss their journey. This is very important for any website to be credible. 

3. The F-shaped pattern works 

If you can look at some of the most popular websites, you’ll see how all of them are F-shaped. Studies show that most visitors coming to your website look for the F-shaped pattern. Visitors start from top left to top right and scroll down below. The right side of a website is generally ignored as users keep focusing on the left side. This is one of the such tried and tested tricks to increase your website’s reach and improve conversion. 

As a web designer, you should offer your visitors a natural flow. An F-shaped website design helps in creating a good visual representation for your visitors. The F-shaped website design is perfect for a proper visual hierarchy. It is easily scannable and comfortable to the eyes. 

If you have a text-heavy website like online magazines or news portals, an F-shaped design works best. Here’s how popular news website CNN does it: 

f shaped pattern CNN

When opting for an F-shaped website, make sure that you’re designing it for scanning, not reading. This type of website design aims to help the users consume as much content as possible in the minimum time.  

4. Focus on availability and accessibility 

Ensuring the availability and accessibility of your website is very important. If the visitors cannot avail/access what they were looking for on your website, they’re most likely to never return. To ensure that you’re taking the right steps in this direction, look into the following aspects: 

  • Focus on server uptime. Your website visitors should not spend a long time waiting for the web pages to load. Slow-loading websites tend to lose up to $2.6 billion every year. So, investing in good hosting always pays off. 
  • Are there any broken links on your website? Use apt SEO tools to find out these links and remove them as early as possible. This may not be directly associated with website designing, but it surely is important when it comes to your website’s overall appearance.
  • Finally, work on the mobile responsiveness of your website. 74% of users are fond of websites that are mobile-friendly. A responsive website will help you improve your outreach. 

Look into the website of Amazon

Amazon on mobile

You’ll see that it is perfectly optimized for desktop, mobile and tablet users. The downtime is almost zero for this site. You can look up to this Amazon’s website to take some web designing inspirations. 

5. Stay Contextual 

A good website is always contextual. Make sure that you place the right content in the right web pages with the right visual representations. Rest is a done deal. To create a contextual website, you might have to work on some aspects. 

For example: 

  • Have a clear idea about your target visitors and their needs. That’s the best way to know what they’re expecting from your website. 
  • You can find ways to talk to your website users and find out what they’re looking for from your website. That eases things out to an extent. 
  • You can also create different user scenarios and do a little A/B testing to find out what works best for the visitors. 

Considering the above points can help you build a user-friendly website. 

Final Words 

Creating a user-friendly website requires a lot of time and effort. Before diving into anything, make sure that you’ve done proper industry research and you know what is expected from your website. Also, constant testing is a must to create impactful websites. 

So, now that you know the major website designing principles, what are you waiting for? Get started already. 

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Originally Published September 10th, 2021, Updated September 27th, 2021
KK patel

KK patel is an experienced content marketer with a love for SaaS tech products. W3Dart being his brainchild, KK has always been a proactive problem solver. His tech prowess, combined with his leadership skills, led to the creation of this unique and powerful feedback tool. He KK patel loves exploring different forms of inbound marketing and taking on challenges.