So you are looking for a website and you have probably seen a thousand of them by now. And more than clarity, chances are you are confused. Websites with visual aesthetics are important to attract attention. How do you get that? In this blog, we will talk about how to make your new website or crank up your existing website with six essential tips to create visually appealing websites.
On any website, you will find two distinct elements, Design and Content. While you can cater your content to the way you want and possibly the way your audience would expect, the design must be good. It does not matter if you are a minimalist or a “let’s fit all of this here” kind of a person, if your designs look good and provide adequate information, it’s good.
Visual design is a design technique that helps to improve a design’s or product’s aesthetic appeal and overall usability. This could be done by using suitable images, typography, spacing, layout, and/or color. This design technique also means that while designing, you must carefully analyze your website (in this case) so that the webpage helps with User Experience (tag previous article here) and ultimately help to drive your audience into a sales funnel.
When you are designing your website or redesigning it, one more thing to keep an eye out for is Emotional designing. Emotional design is a concept in which the designs need to evoke emotions from their audience which later results in a positive user experience. Simply put, your designs need to make people resonate with what they are looking for. It may be by making a design/mascot for your brand, for example: The chimp in Mailchimp. It might also be by adding your special custom messages to unexpected results, for example: The Dino game on Google Chrome when there is no internet.
Now, what are the main indicators common throughout the world among designers to analyze any website to consider them a good design? There is not going to be a consensus because everyone designs their website with different aspects in mind. Whether it is usability or aesthetics or just information relay, it completely depends on you. But what we believe is you need to strike a balance between all of these to make sure your audience’s user experience is good. And they come back again and again not because they must but because they like how your website provides the information.
Tips to Create Visually Appealing Websites
If we had to filter out the entire collection of the To-Dos and Not To-Dos of designs to make sure you have the visually appealing website you hoped for, here are 6 tips to create visually appealing websites you can focus on.
- Colors: Make them your friends
- Typography: Fonts are the new sexy
- White Spacing: Everybody loves some space
- Contrast: Pop that thing
- Visual Hierarchy: Know the place
- Graphics: A picture is worth a thousand words
In this article, we will discuss in detail about what changes you can make to your existing designs or what are the things you can consider when making a new one so your website can pop out from the rest of them on the internet.
Colors: Make them your friends
Remember the time in your school when your Arts and Crafts teacher asked you to play with crayons and you could not, for the life of that poor crayon, make one decent picture? Your website shouldn’t look like an Elementary school drawing competition. Colors can be your best friends to bring forth the most mundane items looking like they’d belong on Broadway. With proper knowledge on color theory, you can understand how humans perceive color and how they mix and what definitely not to use.
A good example is Coca-Cola. Even though the drink isn’t red in itself, if you see a red can with white fonts on it, you’ll assume it to be Coca-Cola. They’ve branded themselves with the color and made it work. And now, no matter how many companies come up with red and white brand colors, they aren’t the same.
Here are 3 things you can do :
- Understand your brand color and how you can use it on your website.
- Learn about colors that compliment your brand colors and others which contrast.
- The color wheel helps you understand which colors can go well.
Typography: Fonts are the new sexy
One of the most commonly hated fonts is Comic Sans. And it is for a good reason. The font doesn’t look good on most designs. Imagine you going to the new Marvels’ movies and they changed the font of the logo of Marvel from Benton Sans Compressed Black (we know our fonts) to Comic Sans. We personally know a few designers who would pass out at the mere thought of that. So why is Font selection important? A simple exercise is if it matches your message. The font on the header or the title may be different than that on the body of your website.
Serif and Sans Serifs are the most commonly used font types. While Serif fonts are considered with elegance and seen mostly on printed mediums like newspapers, magazines, books, Sans Serifs are considered a little more approachable and clean. Depending on what kind of messaging you want to get through to your audience, you can choose either of these two fonts. Your intent is very important while choosing a font and that also resonates with the audience.
Here are 3 things you can do:
- Understand what kind of fonts are the best for your website to resonate with the audience: Serif or Sans Serif
- Figure out which fonts are good for headings/titles and which ones are good for the body (typography best practices)
- Cleaner fonts will make your website look aesthetic
White Spacing: Everybody loves some space
Also known as Negative Spacing, White Spacing is a very evident and important part of any design. Whether you are looking at texts or designs, they are quintessential. White spacing can be seen in Texts as well as website designs. There are Micro white spaces, Macro white spaces, Passive white spaces, and Active white spaces. Usage of these white spaces is completely up to your choice and up to your brand guide.
The margins, the texts, the buttons, the logo, and almost all the elements you see in your website have white spacing. It’s the space between any two elements of your design. Too much of this and you end up having an almost blank canvas. Too little white spacing can make your website look cramped and filled to the brim. White spacing helps you create a minimalistic look without sacrificing the content.
A very good example is the google search page. It has good spacing between the logo and the address bar. The search bar is also very neatly designed to be in the center of the page, so it grabs your attention.
Here are three things you can do:
- Understand your content and how much white space you can use without making it look too sparse.
- Give the header and footer elements enough yet equidistant spacing to make sure they do not look mismatched.
- Make sure your spacing does not make the content unreadable or illegible.
Contrast: Pop that thing
If you have gone through the first tip about Colors then this is quite similar. Contrast is basically understanding which colors complement the design. Normally when people make websites they don’t give much time and effort to decide which colors will make the content pop out or look significant. This is an important part of your design and content. If you don’t have the right colors that provide the contrast, then your texts might just disappear in the background.
Understanding which color contrast combination makes your texts readable is very important. Your audience might not understand the information, despite you making it super easy for them to read because of the color contrast. Depending on your company and your colors of choice, you can identify the contrasting colors to make browsing through your website easy for your audience. You can use contrast checker to maintain appropriate contrast for your audience.
Here are 3 things you can do:
- Figure out your color for the website and the contrasting colors (use a color wheel).
- Make sure the texts are easily readable and do not put a strain on your eyes.
- Use the color contrast around your most important information so they pop out at the first glance.
Visual Hierarchy: Know the place
Have you ever seen a book with bold body passages yet a teeny tiny tile on the front? That’s because that’s not the correct way. Visual hierarchy means that you emphasize the things that are important: texts, designs, headings, CTAs, etc. This way your audience can identify them as an important part of the design and follow through the website for more information. If you have a summer sale that you want to promote over your website, you should put it in big bold letters, preferably on a landing page so the audience can find it first. This way they know the information the moment they visit your website.
In news channels, the word BREAKING NEWS is made bold and in strong fonts and occupies most of the space on your TV because they want you to see that first. They know that is an important piece of information you need to know. You have to follow a similar style and technique. This creates an emphasis on the information you want to highlight.
Here are three things you can do:
- Identify your most important information/elements.
- Make sure you give them the most real estate on the screen so the information isn’t missed.
- Give the users a chance to follow it up by providing a CTA button or a Read more button.
Graphics: A picture is worth a thousand words
The reason newspapers had to have pictures/images in them was that people didn’t want to read all of the pages with just texts. Texts can be very informative but if you can replace them with proper graphics, they will help your audience gather the information faster. Images make it easier for the audience to grab any ideas without having to go through a thousand words on a website. If you can get videos, that’s even better.
According to research by Databox, people clicked more on videos than on images on Facebook ads. This means that videos can grab more attention than any other medium. Now when we talk about graphics, we aren’t just talking about background images, infographics, or videos, we are also talking about smaller elements like icons. If you use Email icons, social media icons, they create a sense of familiarity among your audience which brings in more traffic. It’s as simple as that. There are tons of free websites from where you can get icons, images, and videos for your website.
Here are three things you can do:
- Find out which texts could be converted to an infographic or a video.
- Do not completely fill your pages with images, you will need texts too.
- Make sure you have Social Media icons and other icons where necessary.
So if you are looking to make your website visually appealing then use the above-given tips and increase the aesthetics of your website. These are just a few handpicked tips that we think can help your website look better. If you want more of these tips, you can find them here. (link to other articles).