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We all know a good website when we see one. It’s pleasing to look at, you don’t have any issues with finding the pages or information you’re looking for, and you have no doubts about its trustworthiness. Bonus points if it’s really fun to use and interactive too.

Good web design is essentially design you don’t see. It should be effortless and second-nature to use (despite the many hours you put into customizing or designing it). If you were to break down “good web design”, you’ll find there are a few factors that every great site has. We’ve provided a handy list of the essentials to great web design, to help nail your website first time round.

1.    Good Navigation

One of the first factors you should focus on is navigation. Think of this as the skeleton to your website. An easy to use and easy to understand navigation is one of the key pinnacles to great website design.

Think of it this way: if a customer cannot find your return policy, then they are likely to not buy from your site. 83% of online shoppers, after all, will read through a returns policy before buying online. Take this example with any page you have. If users cannot easily find it in a drop-down menu, then that page is as good as lost.

That is why your site needs a well-labelled navigation bar or menu. All the main parent pages should be in this menu, and ideally, sub-pages should be accessible with a drop-down menu. For example, your shop page should drop down to show your product categories.

Be sure you test out your navigation so that users can explore your website easily and without any frustration. You don’t need to overdo it, just keep it simple and ensure it works.



2.    Visuals, Design and Hierarchy

Great looking sites draw in the eye. You have less than 2 seconds to convince a new customer or user that your site is the place to be. It doesn’t need to be over-the-top, but it does need to look good & look consistent with your branding, which is why colour, typography, visuals, and hierarchy are so important.


Colour theory states that different colours and shades make us feel different emotions, but it is forever being debated whether it really works…. Instead of researching the phycology of your design focus more on picking a palette that is visually pleasing and is consistent with your branding. Leave one striking colour to use for your buttons & call to actions to give them visual hierarchy.


Typography can also play a big role in terms of design and you need to make sure it is easy to read the copy on your website. Typography, when executed correctly, can make the copy on your website flow and make it easier to digest.


Images, videos, illustrations, and infographics alike are key to designing a great website that is fun to use and easy to look at. Remember, all the visuals you use should be high-quality and reflect the consistent tone and spirit of your brand.

Visual hierarchy

How things are ordered is actually very important. How do you intend to order the information on your page? How are you going to format your sections?  Ensure your pages have a focal point that helps direct users to where the most important information is, and then beautifully lead the eye down and throughout the page.

dot2dot website displayed on an iphone

3.    Brand consistency

Your brand needs to be consistent in tone, message, and visuals. This way customers will know it’s you no matter where you are – on your website, on social media, or even in a guest post. Brands with inconsistent branding become hard to recognise and look untrustworthy.

To create brand consistency, it is best to create brand guidelines now. What type of fonts do you use? What type of visuals? What is your colour palette?
When your brand is consistent, users start to recognise you across all platforms. Every time they see your logo or colour scheme, they will think of you. It’s a great way to benefit from consistent marketing. If people see you often, they are more likely to recognise and your brand.

4.    UX/UI

User experience is so important because your site needs to do more than look good; it needs to fulfil your customer’s needs and desires. If the experience your customer has with your brand is positive, they will go back. The same applies to your website. If their experience with your website was good, then they will return.

To provide this great experience, you will want to focus on meaningful user experiences, which essentially means researching your user’s interaction with your website and making changes accordingly. By doing this you’re making your customer’s journey more efficient and overall improving their experience on the site.

Of course, the best ways for you to create this great experience is to:

  1. Continuously research your demographic to find out their desires/ and connect with them on that level.
  2. Ask your demographic for feedback on their experiences.
  3. Run A/B tests with your demographic to determine where your site needs improvement.
  4. Implement the changes based on the feedback.

5.  Responsive Design Optimisation and Speed!

47% of users will leave a site if it takes more than 2 seconds to load. 2 seconds. 40% of the people who wait longer than two seconds will leave after the third.

Then there’s responsive website design. What this means is that your site responds to the viewport of the visitor’s devices. When visiting on a mobile device, the design will change to look best on that particular screen! Same goes for tablet and desktop etc.

Both site speed and responsiveness is important for users and search engines. 52.2% of all website traffic around the world is from a mobile phone. Your site needs to look great on all screen sizes, from small phones to big tablets. It also needs to be fast/optimised as a large majority of your audience will be connecting to your site on the move using roaming data!

Great web design means focussing first on the user experience and then colouring in great visuals to provide your customers with a well-rounded, exciting experience.

Choose Relative Marketing for web design

Now that you have learnt all about web design, if you need help revamping your existing site or need advice on how to build a great site, we are happy to help you in any way! At Relative we’ve created many exciting new websites for clients, contact us now to start your website revitalisation!



Adam Waring profile picture

About the author

Adam has been involved in digital marketing for over 10 years and developed the love of all things marketing after running his own company selling baby goods. He used to be in a band, and after a gig in Ibiza, gave Groove Armada a lift back to the airport. He is SEO & Content Strategist, so he is responsible for integrating digital marketing channels in terms of SEO, driving website traffic and increasing return on investment.

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