Top Ten Guidelines For Visual Web Design

The design of your site is what users are likely to get hooked on to before anything else. Much of it has to do with the way the human eye is designed to perceive things and the way the brain interprets it. It’s the design that hits first as it is only natural for the human mind to visually grasp the entire thing as a whole before zeroing in on to the specifics. That’s the reason visual design is accorded so much importance when designing a website. Mentioned here are 10 key factors that make for effective visual web designing techniques.

> Colours And Their Psychological Impact

Colours have a profound effect on the psychology of an individual, which is why it is important to use the right colours for web designing. Perhaps no other element can carry the underlying theme of a site any better than colours alone.From deep red for sites that seek outright attention or wish to convey something serious to say yellow that stands for youthfulness, joy, exuberance and the like, the use of appropriate colours can set the right mood instantly.

> White Space Seek Greater Attention

The idea here is to let those elements that need to be highlighted to be surrounded with open or ‘negative’ spaces to let the target elements alone be in focus. Fewer elements vying for user attention translates to less distraction for the user. This can be a great but simple way to train user attention to a particular element of the site.

> Grouping Elements Together

Often it is best to group together elements having similar functionalities so as to save the user extra effort to locate them otherwise. It conforms to the Gestalt principle that laid down the basic rules of graphic design after intensive studies of the human perceptual psychology. As per the principle, the human brain is programmed to visualise a thing in its entirety before the constituent parts.

> Site Layout For Easy Comprehension

This aims to achieve visual consistency so that users quickly get used to the site. This can be achieved by using a similar layout for each of the pages, such as the same colour schemes, placements of the various elements and so on. This way, users have a better chance of becoming acclimatised with the way the site functions.

> Using Scale To Bring Elements To Focus

Designers can rely on the size attribute of the elements to ensure they are in focus in a website. An element of bigger size also creates the impression of its visual proximity, thereby increasing chances of those being hit before anything else, as postulated by Fitt’s Law.

> Proper Alignment For A Better Look And Feel

A site that is better aligned is sure to have a greater visual impact on the user than a site that’s otherwise. This also imparts the site a more professional look. It’s like the site stands firmly by what it depicts, something that could be marred by even the slightest imperfection caused by wrong alignment.

> Using Colour Contrasts To Highlight Elements

A nice and elegant way of getting user’s attention is to use contrasting colours. This way, those elements that need to be highlighted can be made to ‘stand out’ of the rest in a webpage. For instance, colours like green can be used to complement a red background while yellow can be the perfect complement for purple and so on.

> Creating Visual Hierarchy To Differentiate Elements Based On Their Importance

This is a way of making those portions as maybe deemed important to stand out from the other less important elements. It’s like guiding the user through the page without trying to inundate the user with all the information all at one go. This way, the user gets to ‘settle down’ in the site and start comprehending the finer details. This can be achieved using colour contrasts, typography, illustration and page layout techniques.

> Style And Balance

The keyword here is subtlety so that the user can retain their focus on the main content of the site without being overwhelmed with the style of the webpage. Balance, on the other hand aims to create a perception of equal distribution of the elements on a web page even in the absence of symmetry.

> User Friendly

The site should be user friendly from a visual point of view. What this means is that the user should instantly feel at home from the look and feel of the site. So the buttons or any other elements that are meant to be clicked should look the same while all linkable content should stand out from other similar content and so on.

> Conclusion

In the end, what can be said is that visuals define the central theme that the site stands for. It serves to act as the first point of contact between the user and the website and could well be the difference between the success and failure of the site. A lot of it has to do with the science of the mind and the brain the way we perceive things.

by Lisa Smith

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