Decide between a good and bad web design in minutes

Good web design might be a matter of taste and there are huge differences between tastes, depending on the geographical region and culture. However, there are some standards that should always be considered. If you have to decide about the overall quality of a website in a minute, here are some guidelines to follow:

1. Don’t make me think.
When you enter a website, you should understand its purpose in 2 seconds. You should be able to navigate through it instantly. Does this apply to the website you have on your screen? Good. If you feel lost, leave the website. No need to continue.

2. WOW factor.
Is the website attractive? Does it look like “I like the idea?” Then you probably found a good website. Most of the websites today are a copy of a copy of a website. So, when you are on a website with a fresh design concept give it an extra point.

3. White space
This is the space which is NOT filled with images and text. When a website is completely filled with content, up into the tiniest space, it is barely legible. The use of more “white space” drastically increases clarity.

4. Navigation
Already mentioned in paragraph one, a good and clear navigation has to answer two questions instantly: ‘Where am I?’ and ‘Where can I go from here?’. If you get this information in a glance the navigation is great.

5. Typography
This is an area where “make shift” web designers make the most mistakes. Typography should be used to transport content to the reader. The way type is chosen (serif and sans serif) size and appearance, line length, line spacing, and kerning increases or decreases legibility. It is not about the most different kinds of types to be set, in the smallest space available,but about you, the reader. Less is more.

6. Grid
How are the web pages organized? Are they organized at all? When text and images are aligned in a way so that the overall impression translates into clarity, harmony, and comfort, the website gets credits. In this case, an invisible grid lays underneath. If content is wildly placed over the page, the designer probably had no idea and now neither does the visitor.

7. Colors
There is a science called Colorimetry and there are lots of rules used for this color theory in the art industry. It all comes down to a simple statement: there are colors which fit and others that don’t. Colors in web design should be used to emphasize or to support content. When the colors distract the visitor, the design is not so good.

8. Consistence
Is the overall visual impression of the website the same from page one to page “end?” Or does the design change dramatically? Is the way text and images displayed different? The design concept of a website is similar to that of a book and has to be consistent from the first to the last page.

9. Browser Compatibility
All browsers are different, and – sorry, it is so – they all allow different rules and code in websites. Therefore, it happens that websites sometimes look good in Firefox but do not show anything in Internet Explorer. Professional web designers know about this and use only code which will be interpreted in the very same way in all browsers. Check a website in all browsers to see how it performs.

10. Speed
If you can go to make yourself a tea, by the time a website opens completely in your browser, there is something not right. Either you have an extremely slow Internet connection or the website is way, “too heavy”. Even today, in the time of high speed Internet, a website should be built “light” and fast. With today’s technology, it is possible to present even the largest images crisp and clear with almost no remarkable file size.

If you practice, you can analyze a website quickly just by following the 10 points you read above. Practice and sharpen your analytical skills and have fun.

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