It has been said that good design is that which cannot even be noticed. When the users’ experience is so seamless that they do not even realize that they have completed an action/transaction or received the information they desired, then a perfect balance has been achieved between form and function.
Most times, this balance can only be achieved by paying a lot of attention to details. Even if there is a minor misalignment, inconsistent spacing or typographical error, it is very discernible and can dramatically lessen the impact of an otherwise beautifully designed site.
Here are some simple ways to increase the visual impact of your site by paying attention to details.
While contrasting colors are eye-catching, they can also be distracting and cause the user to lose visual focus. Analogous colors (colors from the same family) work best in a screen-based environment as they are able to direct the users’ focus. Contrasting colors can be used as highlights, and should be spaced out in a balanced way so as to direct the users attention to the appropriate points of focus.
Use of white space:
Often, designers feel compelled to fill up the screen with visual elements, to get the most bang for their buck. This technique ends up making the page cluttered and it therefore has less direction and impact. The use of ample white space, and one or two bold design elements is usually a good “hook” to draw the user in and get them interested in reading further.
Clean and well-thought out navigation:
This involves really understanding the content and refining the main navigational elements so as to not confuse the user with links to too many pages in too many places. The use of additional navigational elements like breadcrumbs along with a simple nav bar is also an elegant and effective solution for websites with many pages.
Use of simple supporting elements – lines, gradients, blocks
These elements should be used sparingly and only when needed to demarcate one area of the page from the other. Paying attention to the thickness, color and spacing of these elements is very important to achieve an overall balanced look.
Clean and legible typography:
Use of appropriate screen-friendly fonts, correct spacing and using color to draw attention to certain parts of the text as well as setting the type in bold or italic is another way to establish hierarchy and make the text legible and easy to read. It is also important to run a spell-check as typographical errors can affect the credibility of your message and thus lessen the impact of your website.
Appropriate and clear imagery
It is more effective to use one or two large interesting images as opposed to several tiny images that don’t really communicate the message. The quality of the images should be good, as pixelated or blurry images can be very distracting.