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Many people see the design of websites as less of a challenge compared to their development, but they are not all that right. Modern website design is very complex, to say at least, and there are many approaches to choose from.
The interface and interaction are two of the most critical factors that determine the success of a modern website.
How can you be sure you have chosen the right web design? The best way is, of course, to make an informed rather than a random decision. We’ve gathered all the most important aspects of quality web design to help you get there.
Responsiveness
Nowadays, most people surf via handheld devices, so responsiveness in web design is a must. Your website should be scalable to all screen sizes (mobile in particular) and be accessible via any device. Sounds easy, but there are a lot of tricks necessary to develop such websites.
Even those sites that were initially created as a mobile-friendly need to be optimized now and then. If this is not the case, all the fancy features and functionalities will be in vain.
Quality typography with emotional cues
If we think about it, the best websites are simple. Their trick is that they know how to send the right message without overdoing it.
The key tool designers use to achieve this is typography. You may toss it to the side and leave it for later, but keep in mind that it can determine the whole acceptance level of your website. Based on it, readers decide whether you offer quality content, what type of content that is, and most of all – whether to keep reading or not.
Therefore, before you make a font choice, do some research and test a few fonts to see how you react to them. Make sure you also choose the appropriate sizes and forms, and that the font works well with your content. If you are looking to get inspired, check the New Yorker font.
User experience
Modern web design should foremost be interactive. It tells viewers a story, but it also invites them to be a part of it and enjoy their time on the web. Without involving too much psychology in it, you can opt for a minimalist design that has smooth page transitions and is easy to navigate.
The website may not be an art masterpiece, but it will get fair rankings on search engines and satisfy all SEO expectations. You will start earning from it before you even know it.
This may not be our main concern, but we advise you to focus on it first. The success of a website is measured by how much time people spend on it, so make this work in your favor. The better the experience, the more visitors you will get.
Fast loading times
But let us not only focus on the looks of the website. The design also has to do with loading times and decides whether a website will be fast enough to meet visitors’ expectations.
When we speak of speed, we don’t only mean how fast a website opens, but rather how long it takes to respond to a command. In our busy world, viewers don’t have the time to wait for even more than three seconds for the site to load properly. If they do, odds are great they will leave the site before it has even loaded the proper way.
Speed is also the main reason why popular websites and platforms changed their in-depth designs to flat ones. Examples include YouTube, Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Responsiveness and loading times are also the most important factors in how a site is ranked on search engines.
How can you optimize the speed of your website? Consider the size of the imagery you upload, select a reliable host, and minimize HTTP requests. If you do this, you are off to a great start.
Media rather than content
True, there are websites where written content is key, but even those can use some beautifying. People will understand easier what you are trying to tell them if you use visuals to entertain them. All you need to use is to convert info into graphics, use images, and ideally work with videos and animations.
You can even get creative and combine bigger images with texts, such as newspapers do. You can get inspired by looking at the Medium websites.
Some of us don’t have an artsy side, but the goal of the image is not to inform the viewer. What you are doing here is inspiring them to keep reading to discover more, as some sites do with background videos. Nowadays, no one has the time to look for information or undergo complicated searches, so let the media tell the story.
The great comeback of gradients
The duotone designs of the late 1990s are popular again. Modern web designers have found a way to incorporate them into any design scenario, and to give them many more roles than those they had before. Make use of this trend, and work with two main colors that look pleasant and work with your brand.
A good idea would be a soothing fading effect, as most people find it very enjoyable. Whatever your choice may be, you can’t go wrong with gradients. There are even free tools online that let you test and chose gradients if you can’t do that by yourself. The best way is, of course, to pick colors aligned with your brand.
Semi-flat and flat designs
It is obvious how many popular brands changed their logos in the last couple of years. It even happened to the largest brands, such as Google and Apple which switched to a flat design.
The reason is obvious: they are all after useful and effective tools, rather than three-dimensional objects. With a flat design, your website will load faster and provide a better user experience.
Compared to the past, the web design of today focuses on content and guides viewers to what counts – content. For this reason, websites are trying to stay minimal and consistent, and only add elements where they are necessary.
Galleries
If you are designing a website for your business, make sure you use the best possible images to attract attention. As we discussed before, visuals are necessary to drive interest toward a website and to add value to it. If you are selling products, for instance, include large and beautiful items that can be zoomed in to make the buyer part of the experience.
By doing this, you are creating a trustworthy website that ranks better than its competitors. This is why some sellers even opt for 360-degree imagery of their products. Before you begin, hire a professional photographer to prepare the gallery for you. Make sure these images are the first thing visitors see as they land on your website.
Infographics
Are you also a Pinterest fan? If so, you can appreciate the value of using infographics on a website. These are the small bits of the information offered on different products that people find most useful. This way, they get informed upfront and don’t have to read large chunks of information.
Infographics combine the best of both worlds – good looks and utility. They also help a website be more responsive and size appropriately on any screen. Make sure you display only the essential information, and that the sections are properly sized. You don’t even have to include images if you think this is not necessary.
Use of video content
There are many other ways to make media work in your favor. For instance, you can introduce short videos to present your services. It only takes 10 seconds to show how well a product looks. Instagram was following the same logic before they switched to a flat design.
As a user yourself, you can estimate the value of a short video. You see everything you need in one place and find it easier to decide and make a purchase. The longer the video is, the less interested viewers will be. You can also consider adding GIFs to make content more interactive, as long as this works in line with your loading times.
Conclusion
When it comes to modern web design, the sky is the limit. There are multiple approaches to consider, and it is difficult to understand what you really need and what looks well in the eyes of your visitors. It is even difficult to estimate which trend to adopt, as trends come and gone so quickly in the past few years.
The best thing you can do is to put viewers on a pedestal and let them decide. Use tools that are appreciated by your audiences, and opt for a safe bet, such as beautiful imagery and interactive content. For online visitors, your website is the first and most important portal to your business, so try to create something they will enjoy. Remember – looks are not all there is to a quality website.

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Filed Under: Business
Bogdan is a former designer now growth manager. He’s reading marketing and business books the same way a hamster eats carrots, and talks all the time about optimizing companies and growing them to their full potential.
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