People visit websites for content, so it’s important to optimize content for quick findability. Information architecture is a discipline that helps web specialists organize content in ways that are aligned with users’ mental models. Designers could use card sorting and tree testing, for example, to ensure that a sitemap–a skeleton of a website’s information architecture–responds well to a user’s behavior. And because this information should be accessible no matter which device is used to view the content, a site’s design should optimized for various devices.
What Makes a Good Web Design?
Good web design has visual weight, is optimized for various devices, and has content that is prioritized for the medium. Web pages are scanned, not read, so the most important elements of a web page should have more visual weight to naturally attract a visitor’s attention. Eye-tracking technologies–heatmaps, focus maps, and gaze point plots–can help designers identify the areas of a site that capture the most attention.
Optimization for various types of devices and resolutions plays a fundamental role in modern website design. Web page layouts should be genuinely responsive and not rely on any fixed-size elements. Web designers using fluid grids and flexible images will guarantee that a web page will render well on a variety of devices, windows, and screen sizes. All pages should be optimized for fast loading, and mobile users shouldn’t face slow loading times caused by non-optimized web assets.
Last but not least, the content layout should be optimized for each type of device (e.g., users on mobile devices should be able to clearly see the most important content right after a page loads).
What Is Web Design vs. Web Development?
Web design refers to the visual elements and usability of a website while web development refers to the functionality of a website.
Read on for more insights and best practices for effective web design and stay up-to-date on the latest developments in UX design knowledge.