Professional web design is an art on its own. To become a master in this art, there are a few elements that all professional web designers must understand and integrate in their work.
Failure to meet those key elements will result in a website design that came straight out of 2000s. We all know those repulsive websites that look old and rusty. We want to navigate away from those websites as soon as possible. A website that is not professionally designed will fail the credibility test and viewers will most likely not trust anything the website claims, regardless if it is related to web design.
A professional web design should at least encompass all those elements listed below.
Visual Hierarchy to Direct the User
Where is the user supposed to start reading/looking at? What should he/she do next? Should this content be read before the other one? These are questions that web designers must be able to answer. The web design is the key element that navigates the user through the webpage. Through the power of visual hierarchy, the user will know what he/she is supposed to do next. The content acquisition will feel natural and clear for the user. Compare that to websites that have no structure. Users get lost in loads of useless information.
Clear and Clutter-free – Not Overstuffed
One thing you will notice when you compare websites from before and after 2010 is that web design after 2010 strives for clear and clutter-free design and content by providing as little text, images, videos, and other webpage elements to the user as possible while giving the same message. Websites before 2010 have loads of text and images all over the place and it was hard to read all of it. Web designers found out that users find this very repulsive, and, gradually, they started implementing new techniques to make the webpages more attractive and give better impression. This included showing less content without losing meaning and structuring the page concisely.
Easy to read and understand
The user should have no issues reading and understanding the content the webpage is providing. This includes using the right font color, font family, font size, background color, etc. Content that is hard to read is likely to be overlooked at. This has been tested and proven frequently by researchers.
Right color pattern for the industry
Each industry uses different color patterns based on the type of work they do. For example, fast food uses bright and flashy colors because they want their customers to grab what they want and leave as fast as possible. This is done to increase profits. On the other hand, high-level and fancy restaurants use dark colors because they want their customers to spend as much time as possible there and as a result, buy more items. This is done for profit as well. There should not be much color variation in a webpage. The use of colors that do not combine well cause repulsion and bounce-off. Canva has a great list of amazing color palettes that will fit nearly any industry.
A professional web design includes a clear navigation. It is placed at the top of the page, also known as header. The main pages within the website are listed there, and user can access the rest of the website from there. Pressing the logo goes to the homepage. There should be a navigation page for contacting the company.
The key of professional web design is to give the right message to the user in the best manner possible. A user that is visually pleased and impressed can likely turn into a future customer.