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What makes a good website design?

What is meant by a good design? Many people think that the more graphic elements the site is filled with the better it is, but that is not necessarily true.
From the point of view of functionality, a good design is user-friendly. Due to the right sets and font colors the text is easy to read, the size of the elements is sufficient, and each of them is in the right place. A poor design, however, does not let the user use the website freely, and thus reduces its overall efficiency.

A good design is an original design. This originality is not only important to make your website stand out and attract the users, but also to promote the website in the search engines. Unoriginal design templates are ranked lower by search engines, and are displayed much lower in the query results.
Another important thing is expediency. This parameter shows if the design lives up to the users’ expectations. For example, multicolored elements would be completely inappropriate on the bank's website, since its audience is limited to professional interest. Therefore, in this case it is advisable to make a simple design, by using restrained colors.

A good design can be defined in one sentence: it should be invisible. This means that the users don't notice it while using a particular resource.
If you want a more detailed definition of what effective design is, here are some common criteria:
1. Good web design does not distract you from the main content.
2. Good web design facilitates the perception of information.
3. Good web design encourages visitors to take action.
Based on these characteristics and functions of the site, the selected the elements must help the users in their work and become the foundation for the high quality UX.

Components of web design
Talking about the technical side of creating a website, it is necessary to think about the structure and the key elements. If you don’t want design to distract the users’ attention from the content, you have to focus on the following elements:
1. Display on mobile devices.
2. Display on widescreen monitors.
3. Upper and lower menu (header / footer).
4. "Up-button".
5. Navigation.
6. Site search.
7. "Breadcrumbs."
8. Form of feedback.
9. Design of numbered and bulleted lists or tables.
10. Design of the comments and the profile pictures by default.
11. Advertising spaces (context, banners, line).

To encourage the visitors to take action, it is necessary to focus on:
1. Form of subscription to blog updates.
3. Buttons in social networks (“Share”).

Technical design recommendations
1. Headset of normal fonts - Helvetica, Georgia, PT Sans, Roboto.
2. Font size for the text of the article: 12 - 14 px.
3. Font size for headings: 16 - 18 px or higher.
4. Background contrasts pleasantly with the font rather than being too eye-catching.
5. Non–transparent pictures are jpg, the transparent ones are png.
6. The content (including text and sidebar) is 980 - 1024 px.
7. The width of the mobile version is 320 px.
8. Avoid pop-up menus (they are uncomfortable + js can be turned off).
9. Be sure to think of 404 page design.
10. Comments may be on Facebook, VK, Disqus, Cackle, Hyper Comments or native.

In conclusion, let’s get inspired by some websites with beautiful designs:

1. JOHO’s Bean
2. Inside Abbey Road
3. Woven Magazine
4. Big Cartel
5. Killing Kennedy
6. Guillaume Tomasi
7. Minimums
8. L.A. Times
9. World of SWISS
10. Virgin America
11. The History of Climate Change
12. Mikiya Kobayashi
13. ETQ
14. Feed

October 25, 2016
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