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10 Principles Of Good Web Design: How To Create Usable Websites

Updated: May 24, 2023

Web design is an integral part of creating a website. A good website design can make a huge difference in terms of its overall success. However, this does not mean that it is easy to create great websites. In fact, most designers struggle with creating a perfect design that appeals to users and ultimately makes them spend time on the site.

Principle 1: Hierarchy

If you want your website to be usable, it must follow a hierarchy. A hierarchy is a system in which elements are arranged in an order that makes them easier to find and use. When designing a website, start with the most important elements and work your way down. This will help users find what they're looking for quickly and make the site easier to navigate.

Most websites use a three-tier hierarchy: header, main content, and footer. The header contains information such as the website's name and URL, while the main content contains the bulk of the information on the page. The footer usually contains links to other pages on the website or contact information.

When designing a website, always keep in mind where users will likely look first. Place important information at the top of your page so that it's easy to spot. And make sure all of your content is well organized so that users can easily find what they're looking for.

Principle 2: Use Clear and Consistent Navigation Structure

Every website should have a logical navigation structure—including the main menu, sub-menus, and tabs. This will help users find what they're looking for quickly and make navigating your site easy.

Make sure all your menus are clearly labeled, including the main menu, sub-menus, and tabs. And always include an "About" page that provides information about who you are and what your website is all about.

Principle 3: Keep Your Pages Short and Simple

Don't bombard users with too much information on each page. Keep your text concise and to the point, so users can easily understand what you have to say. And keep your images small and unobtrusive—they shouldn't take up a lot of space on each page but instead serve as effective graphical elements that support your text.

Principle 4: Use Clear Typography & Design Elements

Choose typefaces that are easy to read at a glance; use simple designs with limited graphics; and make sure all content is well organized (by topic or section). This will help ensure that users can easily navigate through your site without getting lost.

Principle 5: Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are an essential part of any website design, and they play a key role in making websites easy to use. Breadcrumbs help users navigate your site by taking them from one main section of the website to another. They also make it easy for users to find their way back to where they started if they need to go back down a path.

There are two main types of breadcrumbs: global and page-specific. Global breadcrumbs appear at the top and bottom of every page on your website, while page-specific breadcrumbs appear only on pages that have been specifically designated as breadcrumb destinations.

Principle 6: Onboarding Flow

A well-designed website should be easy to use from the get-go. This principle is especially important for websites that are meant to be used by visitors who are not familiar with web design or internet navigation.

Start by displaying helpful information immediately upon entering your website. This could include a Welcome message, instructions on how to find what you’re looking for, or a list of recently updated content pages.

Consider how users will interact with your website once they’ve found what they were looking for. For example, is it necessary for users to fill out lengthy registration forms before accessing essential content? If so, make sure those forms are concise and easy to complete. And if not, consider providing introductory content or features that can be used without signing in first.

Principle 7: Call To Action

Good web design principles include creating usable websites. A website is useable when it is easy to find what you are looking for, and the information on the site is organized in a way that is easy to understand. There are five principles of good web design that can help make your website easier to use.

1. Use Clear Navigation Bars and Labels

A navigation bar at the top of your page or a sidebar on your page can help users quickly find what they are looking for. Make sure all the buttons in the navigation bar are easy to click, and label each button with a clear name so users know what it does.

2. Use Simple Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

Your website's style may be one of its most important features. Make sure all your text is placed within <strong> tags, and use plain vanilla CSS instead of custom styles that will only complicate the website's layout. Your website's style should be consistent across all pages, not just the home page.

3. Avoid Using Too Many Flash Files

Flash files can slow down your website's loading time, and many browsers do not support them anymore. If you need to include a flash file on your website, make sure you have a backup plan in case someone cannot view your site because of their browser settings.

Principle 8: Subheadings

1. Use subheadings to break up your content into manageable chunks.

2. Use subheadings to organize your information.

3. Use subheadings to make your website more user-friendly.

4. Use subheadings to keep your website clean and organized.

Principle 9: Images And Text Together

  • Images and text together form the content of a website.

  • Text should be concise, clear, and easy to read.

  • Images should be relevant, accurate, and helpful.

  • A website's layout and design should be functional and visually appealing.

Principle 10: Test Data Before Launching New Features

Testing is an important part of any web design process. You should test your designs before you launch them to the public. This way, you can be sure that your website is usable and error-free.

One way to test your designs is to use real data instead of fake data. This will help you determine whether your designs are effective and user-friendly. You can also use real data to test different design options.

You should also test variations of your design concepts. This way, you can find the best design for your site's specific audience and context. Finally, always keep in mind the user's experience when testing your designs.

Principle 11: Responsive Design

Responsive design is a technique that helps make websites that work well on different devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and phones. It makes the website automatically adjust its content and layout to fit the size and resolution of the device being used. This can help users access information more easily, while avoiding frustrating or time-consuming errors.

Responsive design is not a new concept; in fact, it was first introduced in 1998 as part of what is now known as “responsive art”. However, it has become increasingly popular in recent years because it allows web designers to create websites that are both visually appealing and usable on a variety of devices.


In this article, we have discussed principles of good web design, and how to apply them in order to create usable websites. By following these principles, you can ensure that your users are able to navigate your website with ease and find the information they are looking for. In addition, a well-designed website will look professional and be aesthetically pleasing, making it an appealing option for both business owners and consumers. So whether you're just starting out on your web design journey or you're looking to improve upon current standards, following these principles will help you reach your goals.

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