Top 3 best web design practices

hand drawing on a square lined notepad with a navy blue ink pen

Have you ever tried to cook a dish without a recipe (or in my case most of the time… not follow it correctly)? Web design is no different. It may seem like a breeze at first, but without the right practices, your website can quickly turn into a chaotic digital jungle. We’re going to explore the top three best web design practices that every aspiring web designer or business owner who built their own site should keep in mind that help us keep up with the ever-changing design landscape and real-life examples to illustrate their importance.

1. Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Have you ever tried to assemble a wardrobe from IKEA and even though the instructions seems straightforward it feels like they’re written in a foreign language. Well, the same goes for your website. Visitors should navigate your site with ease, not feel like they need a secret decoder ring. People like to be given the information they are looking at with very minimal work on their part. If you have a breadcrumb (online paper) trail that’s 6 pages long for simple information… the chances are the users are going to give up before they make it to page 6. This is the last thing we want… customers leaving because we haven’t given them what they want.

At Aria Web, we design with the users in mind as, at the end of the day, your website isn’t for you, It’s for your users / customers/ clients. Some of the most beautiful websites sometimes lose focus on what’s important. The user case. It’s hard to find the balance between beautiful design and ease of user experience… but when you do:

Chef’s Kiss!

2. Mobile-Friendly Matters

The rise of smartphones and tablets means your website must be responsive. Have you ever been walking through the high street and seen a new business established in a new premises and thought you’d quickly give them a Google to see what it is they do? the answer for most people, is yes. We’re always googling on the go.

A more specific numbers is 60.9% of people view websites on a mobile devices nowadays, if your website isn’t responsive they will bounce quicker than a kangaroo on a trampoline. Imagine if your website didn’t perform well responsively but your main competitors did… where do you think the customer will go? Although a lot is constantly changing in the design world, I think the one constant is, mobile is here to stay.

To the point, Google have changed the way they rank their sites and now with Mobile First Indexing. This means Google crawls the mobile version of your site before desktop in order to rank it on Google’s pages.

A collection of web design mockups on smartphones

If you want to test how much Google likes your site head to Google’s PageSpeed Insights for a breakdown of how well your site loads on mobile and desktop.

The BBC News website is a shining example of mobile-friendliness. It adapts seamlessly to any screen size, making it easy to consume news on the go, whether you’re using a laptop, tablet, or phone. No squinting required!

3. Speed Kills… Impatience

People are lazy! They want the information they are looking for and they want it quick. Do you know how long it takes a user to decide if they are going to stay on your website?

…Less than 4 seconds.

frustrated man in blue shirt with red tie angry at his laptop holding his hands to his head at poor web design

You don’t want to leave your users annoyed, waiting for your site to load.

In our fast-paced world, nobody has the time to wait around for a sluggish website. Page load speed can make or break your user experience.

A great way to speed up your site would be to convert all of your images from .jpg / .jpeg to .webp which is a image type Google created to help sites load faster.

You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights top also test how fast your site loads and what might be slowing it down.

Amazon, the e-commerce giant, is well aware of the importance of speed. They’ve optimised their website to load like a lightning bolt, ensuring that you can quickly find and purchase what you need without a moment’s hesitation. Imagine if Amazon took 10 seconds to load; you’d probably go make a cup of tea and forget why you even visited!

If your website were a physical store, would people happily browse the shelves, or would they turn away in frustration? Remember, web design is more than just aesthetics; it’s about creating a smooth, user-friendly experience that keeps visitors coming back for more.

In the end, web design may not be rocket science, but it’s a craft that demands attention to detail. By following these top three web design practices, you’ll be on your way to crafting websites that are not just visually pleasing but also highly functional. So, go ahead and put these practices into action – your website and it’s users will thank you for it!

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