When it comes to mastering great web design, there are two approaches to take: study the advanced theories and invent something beautiful, or learn the basics and make slight alterations of sites that work well. We’re of the belief that the second approach is best for most businesses, especially if time and money are scarce.
It’s easy to make mistakes by not thinking critically about your business purposes. Those purposes will change from page to page. A suggestions page, for instance, might be clean and simple, with a lot of white space (similar to a very clean landing page). A resources page, on the other hand, might be loaded with links, images and other content that help to give the impression that your brand is an expert to be trusted. The purpose of the business, as well as the individual goals of each page, are unique to your brand, and so you should be careful to make sure that any designs you wish to imitate share your objectives.
There are two lessons, however, that are nearly universal across all types of online businesses. So let’s take a look at these two lessons from powerhouse brands that serve as excellent examples of great Web design.
Use the right colors
Colors matter, and each color has unique psychological effects and interpreted meanings. Blue conveys a feeling of trust and formality, and green is often used for fresh and innovative feels. Other colors have commonly believed effects and usages, and any search for “color psychology” will bring up many examples and interpretations of the impact of color on the human psyche.
Amazon has always been a market leader when it comes to innovating based on color. The company’s signature orange “call to action” button has been found to have a higher conversion rate for many businesses, and it’s no surprise that Amazon has continued to utilize that color on its most important (and profitable) design elements. When you need action, use a color that is believed to incite action. Always conduct ongoing tests to ensure that color is performing well for you.
Typography matters. A lot.
Similar to the way the colors can invoke specific meaning and emotion for a user, typography has a personality of its own. Typing in all capital letters is commonly known as “Internet yelling”, for example. Typography takes that phenomenon a bit further (and much more subtly), to deliver a feeling that you want to convey to your users.
Take Apple’s shopping section as a great example of typography. The font is the company’s signature subhead/heading font, which conveys a light and clean simplicity, along with an air of newness and freshness. Apple clearly prioritizes typography in all its design, and the company historically has been a leader in use of fonts.
When you have great design skills, and apply methods that are working well for powerful brands, you’ll be able translate those skills to nearly any type of web page, toward any type of purpose. For instance, if you have a microwave buying guide online, that’s the type of page where you’ll want to apply the right color scheme and typography to convey a formal leadership tone, as well as a clear direction toward the call to action. Split-testing different combinations of color and typography will eventually tell you when you hav a clear winner!