The Savvy Startups Web Design Principles

The Savvy Startups Web Design Principles

By Alain Sisam | Read: 6 mins

The Savvy Startups Web Design Principles

Why is website design so important in 2019?

Your website has always been a representation of your business and in 2019 a successful online presence is one of the determining factors to the success of your business as a whole. READ MORE >>


Your website has the ability to make or break the business you are trying to deliver. It really makes a huge difference to how your target audience responds to your brand as a whole and great design can help convert passive users into customers.

According to Forbes,  “…a high-quality brand website is now an integral component of any effective digital marketing strategy, and that consumer standards for web design are higher than ever.”

“A well-designed website will create a journey for the user to engage, explore and interact with the brand. Building meaningful first impressions — from brand to consumer — impacts the bottom line and overall objectives for a brand.”

In order for you to benefit from web design, it is important to understand the basic principles so that you can communicate with your design team- and hold them accountable.

Let’s explore some of those principles below:

01. Visual Hierarchy

Luke Wroblewski, the Senior Principal of Product Design at Yahoo!  wrote a paper on Communicating with Visual Hierarchy where the visual representation of your website is determined by how well it communicates information, content relationships and creates emotional impact. In order to achieve this, most designers end up asking themselves 3 questions:

  • What is the product?
  • How should it be used?
  • Why should the customer care about it?

These can effectively be answered by incorporating the principles of visual hierarchy and can have a really positive impact on your conversion rates.

 02. Scanning Patterns- How the human eye reads website design

If your website is not usable- you’re in big trouble. That is why considerable research has been put into uncovering exactly how the human eye tracks web data and how we can use these effectively to take our users on a journey.

Using the decades of research to make your website more effective will give your website a one-up and help you connect to your users in the way they want to be connected with.

In his popular study, Jakob Nielsen found that we have a predictable pattern of reading on the web. This has become referred to as the F-pattern.

In a matter of seconds our eyes move at outstanding across the website copy and visual elements in the following order:

  • Across the top of the page (this is a good place to place important headlines)
  • Down the left side
  • Across the page to read important headlines.

With the use of heatmap technology we can effectively view what users are becoming fixated on, and what has less importance to them. This can help us move our most important elements, and call to actions to the areas where the eye would naturally fall.

03. Hicks Law for All

Hicks law, a study by British/American psychologist duo, William Hick and Ray Hyman discuss the length of time it takes the average person to make a decision in relation to the number of choices available.

Using their theory is essential in identifying the “sweet spot” in terms of how many options to offer your users on your website. Whether it’s the call to action, promotion placement or guide to purchases- understanding how the human mind computes and processes information can be instrumental to the success of your website.

 04. Using White Space as a Design Element.

White space is generally the space between columns, margins, graphics, and lines- this blank space doesn’t have to be white, instead, it can be used as an important design element to help lead the user’s eye and attract them to the desired areas.

Effective use of white space help users to focus on key visuals.

In conclusion

The key to good design is to start with tried and true techniques that follow rules of visual hierarchy, eye scanning patterns and giving your users the right amount of choices.

If you have any questions about how to improve your website design, visit our Website Tester to receive a free data-driven report on how you can make improvements.

If you’re looking for a partner who really wants to see you succeed, schedule a free consultation.

Combining data insights with design thinking to build strategies and experiences that transform businesses.

At Legacy, our job is to build results-oriented digital strategies and continually refine your campaigns for the greatest outcome. From full-scale user experience design, digital marketing, and advertising strategy, all the way through to implementation and reporting, we've got your business legacy covered.

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