8 Web Design Principles that Still Work in 2022

Your web site design is extra vital for conversions than you assume. You may implement each conversion-boosting tactic on the earth, but when your internet design seems to be like crap, it received’t do you a lot good.

Design is not only one thing designers do. Design is advertising and marketing. Design is your product and the way it works. The extra I’ve realized concerning the ideas of internet design, the higher outcomes I’ve gotten.

Listed here are 8 efficient internet design ideas it’s best to know and observe.

1. Visible Hierarchy

Squeaky wheels get the grease, and outstanding visuals get the eye. Visible hierarchy is likely one of the most vital ideas behind good internet design. It’s the order during which the human eye perceives what it sees.

Train. Please rank the circles within the order of significance:

visual hierarchy circles

With out realizing something about these circles, you had been in a position to rank them
simply. That’s a visible hierarchy.

Sure elements of your web site are extra vital than others (varieties, calls to motion, worth proposition, and so forth.), and also you need these to get extra consideration than the much less vital elements.

When you web site menu has 10 objects, are all of them equally vital? The place would you like the consumer to click on? Make vital hyperlinks extra outstanding.

Hierarchy doesn’t come solely from dimension. Amazon makes the “Add to Cart” and “Purchase Now” call-to-action buttons extra outstanding through the use of shade:

amazon add to cart buy now buttons
Which buttons catch your eye? Colour may also help parts of an online web page stand out.

Begin with the enterprise goal

You must rank parts in your web site based mostly on your corporation goal. When you don’t have a particular objective, you received’t know what to prioritize.

Right here’s an instance. It’s a screenshot I took from the Williams-Sonoma web site. They wish to promote outside cookware.

Visible hierarchy is important to efficient internet design.

The most important eye-catcher is the large piece of meat (make me need it), adopted by the headline (say what it’s), and a name to motion (get it). Fourth place goes to a paragraph of textual content below the headline; the fifth is the free transport banner, and the highest navigation is final.

That is visible hierarchy—a timeless precept of internet design—effectively executed.

Train. Surf the online and consciously rank the weather within the visible hierarchy. Then go have a look at your web site. Is one thing vital (i.e. key data that guests search) too far down within the hierarchy? Make it extra outstanding.

2. Divine Proportions

The lower-case Greek letter phi is used for the Golden Ratio.

The Golden Ratio is the magical #1.618 (φ). Designs that use proportions outlined by the golden ratio are, it’s believed, aesthetically pleasing.

Then, there’s the Fibonacci sequence. Every time period is the sum of the 2 earlier phrases: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and so forth. The fascinating factor is the 2 seemingly unrelated subjects produce the identical precise quantity.

Right here’s what the Golden Ratio seems to be like:

Many artists and designers use proportions to approximate the Golden Ratio. A well-known instance is the Parthenon, inbuilt Historic Greece:

pantheon example golden ratio

Can the Golden Ratio work for internet design? You wager. Right here’s Twitter:

golden ratio twitter

Right here’s a remark, from years in the past, by Twitter’s inventive director, Doug Bowman. The design selection wasn’t unintended:

So, in case your structure width is 960px, divide it by 1.618 (=593px). You realize that the width of the content material space ought to be 593px and the sidebar 367px. If the web site top is 760px tall, you possibly can break up it into 470px and 290px chunks (760/1.618=~470).

If you wish to study extra, take a look at this text on how you can apply the Golden Ratio to typography.

3. Hick’s Legislation

Hick’s Law says that with each further selection will increase the time required to take a call.

You’ve skilled this numerous instances at eating places. Menus with large choices make it troublesome to decide on your dinner. If it provided two choices, making a call would take a lot much less time. That is just like the Paradox of Selection—the extra selections you give, the simpler it’s to decide on nothing. Each ideas come into play with internet design.

The extra choices a consumer has in your web site, the harder it’s to make use of (if it’s used in any respect). We have to get rid of selections. To make a greater internet design, give attention to eliminating distracting choices all through the design course of.

In an period of infinite selection, folks want higher filters! When you promote an enormous variety of merchandise, add higher filters for simpler decision-making. Wine Library sells an enormous quantity of wine.

They do a superb job with the filters:

wine library use of product filters

4. Fitt’s Legislation

Fitt’s law stipulates that the time required to maneuver to a goal space (e.g. click on a button) is a perform of the distance to the goal and the dimension of the goal. In different phrases, the larger an object and the nearer it’s, the simpler it’s to make use of.

Spotify makes it simpler to hit “Play” than different buttons:

spotify fitts law button size

On the cell phone app, in addition they place the play button in an easy-to-tap location.

Larger isn’t all the time higher. A button that takes up half the display isn’t a good suggestion, and we don’t want a mathematical research to inform us. Even so, Fitt’s Legislation is a binary logarithm. Because of this the expected outcomes of the usability of an object run alongside a curve, not a straight line.

A tiny button is far simpler to click on when given a 20% dimension improve, whereas a really massive object, given the identical 20% increase in dimension, received’t ship the identical advantages in usability.

That is just like the rule of goal dimension. The scale of a button ought to be proportional to its anticipated frequency of use. You should use mouse monitoring to see which buttons folks use essentially the most, then make well-liked buttons greater (simpler to hit).

Let’s think about there’s a kind you need folks to fill. On the finish of the shape, there are two buttons: “Submit” and “Reset” (clear fields).

submit and reset buttons same size

99.9999% wish to hit “Submit.” Therefore, the button ought to be a lot greater than ‘reset’.

5. Rule of Thirds

It’s a good suggestion to make use of photos in your design. A visible communicates your concepts a lot quicker than textual content.

The most effective photos observe the rule of thirds: A picture ought to be divided into 9 equal elements by two equally spaced horizontal strains and two equally spaced vertical strains. Vital compositional parts ought to be positioned alongside these strains or at their intersections.

Beneath, see how the picture on the proper is extra fascinating? That’s rule of thirds in motion.

rule of thirds example for website images
The rule of thirds is a straightforward design precept to observe for photos.the (Image source)

Utilizing stunning, huge photos contributes to good internet design. In case your photos are extra fascinating, your web site can be extra interesting.

6. Gestalt Design Legal guidelines

Gestalt psychology is a concept of the thoughts and mind. Its precept is that the human eye sees objects of their entirety earlier than perceiving their particular person elements.

Right here’s what I imply:

example of gestalt design

Discover how you would see the canine with out specializing in every black spot that the canine consists of? A founding father of gestaltism, Kurt Koffka, defined it this manner: “the entire exists independently from the elements.”

Because it pertains to internet design, folks see the entire of your web site first—earlier than they distinguish the header, menu, footer, and so forth.

There are eight so-called gestalt design legal guidelines that permit us to foretell how folks will understand one thing. Right here’s how every pertains to internet design:

1. Legislation of Proximity 

Folks group issues collectively which might be shut collectively in area. They develop into a single perceived object.

For efficient internet design, make it possible for issues that do not go collectively are usually not perceived as one. Equally, you group associated design parts collectively (navigation menu, footer, and so forth.) to speak that they kind an entire.

gestalt law of proximity
The Legislation of Proximity exhibits how the thoughts naturally teams (or separates) objects based mostly on their distance from each other.

Craigslist makes use of this legislation to make it simple to grasp which sub-categories fall below “on the market”:

craigslist gestalt law of proximity example

2. Legislation of Similarity

We group related issues collectively. This similarity can happen within the type of form, shade, shading, or different qualities.

law of similarity gestalt design

Right here we group black dots into one group and whites into one other one, as a result of, effectively, dots of the identical shade look just like each other.

What’s this seem like when utilized to internet design? Mixpanel makes use of an analogous design for hyperlinks to case research, so we see them as a single group, every reinforcing the opposite:

3. Legislation of Closure

We search completeness. When shapes that aren’t closed or elements of an image are lacking, our notion fills within the visible hole. We see a circle and a sq. though neither form truly exists within the graphic beneath.

With out the legislation of closure, we’d simply see totally different strains with totally different lengths. However the legislation of closure combines the strains to kind entire shapes.

Utilizing the legislation of closure could make logos or design parts extra fascinating. A great instance is the World Vast Fund For Nature brand, which was designed by Sir Peter Scott in 1961:

law of closure example for logos

4. Legislation of Symmetry

The thoughts perceives objects as symmetrical, forming round a middle level. It’s perceptually pleasing to divide objects into an excellent variety of symmetrical elements.

Once we see two symmetrical parts which might be unconnected, the thoughts perceptually connects them to kind a coherent form.

gestalt law of symmetry

Once we have a look at the picture above, we have a tendency to look at three pairs of symmetrical brackets slightly than six particular person brackets.

Folks choose symmetric appearances over uneven ones. Alternating columns of photos and textual content, centered sliders, and a three-column checklist add to the visible enjoyment of the Trello homepage design:

5. Legislation of Frequent Destiny

We are inclined to understand objects as strains that transfer alongside a path. We group collectively objects which have the identical pattern of movement and are, due to this fact, on the identical path.

Mentally, folks group collectively sticks or raised palms pointing someplace as a result of all of them level in the identical path. In your web site design, you should utilize this to information the consumer’s consideration to one thing (e.g. a sign-up kind, worth proposition, and so forth).

web design example with law of common fate

For instance, if there’s an array of dots, and half the dots transfer upward whereas the opposite half transfer downward, we understand the upward-moving dots and downward-moving dots as two distinct models.

law of common fate example

6. Legislation of Continuity

Folks generally tend to understand a line as persevering with its established path. When there’s an intersection between objects (e.g. strains), we are inclined to understand the 2 strains as two single, uninterrupted entities. Stimuli stay distinct even with overlap.

Fixel makes use of this to attach faces to bios:

There are different gestalt legal guidelines, too, reminiscent of Figure and Ground or Law of Good Gestalt. (Objects are typically grouped collectively perceptually in the event that they kind a sample that’s common, easy, and orderly—just like the Olympic rings.) Nonetheless, those coated above are the perfect guiding ideas for internet design.

7. White area and clear design

White area (additionally known as “destructive area”) is the portion of an online web page that continues to be “empty.” It’s the area between graphics, margins, gutters, area between columns, area between strains of sort, or visuals.

It’s not simply “clean” area—it’s an vital component of internet design. It permits objects inside it to exist. White area is all about the usage of hierarchy for data, typography, shade, or photos.

A web page with out white area, crammed stuffed with textual content or graphics, dangers showing busy or cluttered. Usually, it’s troublesome to learn. (Folks received’t even trouble.) That is why easy web sites are scientifically higher.

The correct amount of white area makes a web site look “clear.” Whereas a clear design is essential to speak a transparent message, it doesn’t simply imply much less content material.

A clear design makes the perfect use of the area it’s in. To create a clear web site design, you might want to know how you can talk clearly through the use of white area properly. makes use of white area effectively:

The positive use of white area makes it simple to give attention to the principle message and visuals, and the physique copy is straightforward to learn. On the whole, white area promotes magnificence and class, improves legibility and drives focus.

Learn extra about white space and simplicity.

8. Occam’s Razor

When given a number of competing speculation, Occam’s razor urges you to decide on the one which makes the fewest assumptions and, thereby, presents the only rationalization. To place it within the context of internet design, Occam’s Razor argues that the only answer is normally finest.

In a post about their Angelpad experience, Pipedrive’s staff writes:

The Angelpad staff and mentors challenged us in some ways. “You’ve too many issues on your private home web page” was one thing we didn’t agree with at first, however we’re comfortable to check. And it turned out we had been improper certainly. We eliminated 80% of the content material, and left one sign-up button and one Be taught Extra hyperlink on the house web page. Conversion to enroll elevated by 300%.

pipedrive simplified homepage design

It’s not simply concerning the seems to be, but additionally about the way it works. Some firms—like 37Signals—have turned “easy” right into a enterprise mannequin. Right here’s a quote from the guide Rework, written by founders Jason Fried:

Numerous folks hate us as a result of our merchandise do lower than the competitors. They’re insulted once we refuse to incorporate their pet function. However we’re simply as happy with what our merchandise don’t do as we’re of what they do. We design them to be easy as a result of we imagine most software program is just too advanced: too many options, too many buttons, an excessive amount of confusion.

Easy, minimalist design doesn’t assure that the design will work. However, in my expertise, easy is all the time higher than the alternative—and, therefore, we must always attempt to simplify our internet designs.


Efficient internet design and artwork are usually not the identical. However many psychological and design ideas apply to web sites. You may design an incredible web site by making use of the related features of these legal guidelines to your structure, typography, and pictures.

Design for the consumer and your corporation aims. Good internet design can ship aesthetically pleasing and financially rewarding outcomes.

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