Want to learn how to balance visual aesthetic and UX design? Read on for our top tips for designing a perfectly balanced website.
It can be easy to get carried away with web design. However, by focusing on the design alone, you might complicate the navigation or usability of your platform, negatively affecting the user experience. Your website should be more than just a pretty face – it should also be easy to use.
As the name suggests, UX (User Experience) design is the totality of user interactions with an app or program – from merely observing the branding and color scheme to the ease of use and functionality of different features. UX design covers all these aspects and determines how satisfied the users will be with the product.
UX design and graphic design are meant to complement each other, with the end goal of increasing the quality of your user experience and accessibility. Here’s how to strike the perfect balance between aesthetic and UX design, and 8 tips for designing a visually balanced website.
Try to avoid extreme designs when it comes to both accessibility and aesthetics. If you think your UX visual design is too much, here are some website elements to reconsider.
How the letters on a webpage are laid out and presented can affect how users see your webpage. Choose a typeface that’s easy to read, compatible across most devices, and easy to skim.
The layout refers to how your text and pictures interact on a page. Choose a coherent and consistent design across your web pages that’s eye-catching, reflects your brand, and doesn’t overwhelm your user.
Emphasis can exaggerate certain aspects of your site and make them stand out to the viewer. You can emphasize specific design elements such as text, color, or shape to draw attention to certain parts of your webpage.
Including imagery that complements the rest of your web page is essential. Whether you use illustrations, graphics, photographs, or a combination, images should work well with your branding and add something of value to your website – either aesthetic appeal or information.
Here’s an example of typography, layout, and emphasis working together to draw the viewer’s attention:
Your website’s overall look and feel should be consistent with your branding, other marketing channels – such as email marketing and social media – and separate web pages. Here are three crucial areas in which to maintain consistency:
A picture says a thousand words! Remember to choose images that complement your fonts, text, and layout when optimizing your website’s UX and visual aesthetic. Feel free to get creative with your visuals and design, but ensure any images add value and context.
Images, videos, or GIFs can also help to reinforce your brand or service and show your products in use. Motion graphics, animations, and videos are also more eye-catching than static images, so they can help draw attention to a particular area of your website.
Users might feel confused or overwhelmed if you offer them every possible item or option at once. Keep things simple by providing limited, relevant options and only displaying information related to the specific page they’re browsing.
The more options your visitors have, the longer it will take them to decide on an action. Too many choices could create a roadblock in the customer’s journey and even hinder their user experience.
Have you ever heard the expression “less is more”? Utilizing white or negative space on your website can help create visual breathing room and highlight essential page elements.
Take, for example, this picture of oral care company Quip’s homepage:
The white space allows the viewer to immediately take in the tone and messaging of the brand and product. While the user interface is simple, the white space emphasizes the product and call-to-action button.
The ideal website navigation should be efficient, user-friendly, and frictionless. Your visitors should be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. To achieve this, you can:
Collecting your users’ feedback is vital to finding out what they want. You can do this by:
There are a few failsafe web design principles all designers should keep in mind. These tried-and-tested guidelines will help you to create a polished and functional website that engage your audience.
The Gestalt Principle describes the way people see the world. It explains how humans combine similar items, recognize patterns, and process complex images.
In the simplest terms, gestalt theory is the idea that the human brain will attempt to simplify and organize complex images or designs by subconsciously arranging the parts into an organized system that creates a whole rather than just a series of elements. Designers can apply this principle to UX design to make the most seamless, efficient, and visually pleasing design possible.
Whether you’re a practiced visual designer or a novice, your UX design should harness the principle of visual hierarchy. Visual hierarchy is the design practice of arranging website elements to draw users’ focus to the most critical aspects.
How you organize visual elements can direct viewers to specific actions, like a CTA for a free trial of DocuSign alternatives or a link to compare products. This visual direction helps users navigate your site and complete desired steps in the customer journey.
Using contrast on your website can help you make specific elements stand out. By utilizing contrast as a UX visual design element, you can balance your webpage in a pleasing way to the eye and the overall aesthetic appeal.
Designing a website can be a tricky balance between images, context, tone, and usability. By practicing the rules, principles, and suggestions in this article, you should be able to navigate the design process with ease, no matter your skill level. In the end, it’s possible to have a website that’s both pleasing to the eye and usable – remember to strike the right balance.
Nick Shaw is the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) of Brightpearl – a retail-focused digital operations platform encompassing sales and inventory management software, accounting, logistics, CRM, and more. It is responsible for EMEA Sales, Global Marketing, and Alliances. Before joining Brightpearl, Nick was GM and Vice President of the EMEA Consumer business at Symantec and was responsible for a $500m revenue business. Nick also published articles for domains such as Cincopa and Paperform.