5 Graphic Design essentials on a Website

You want your site to look great, to function without flaw and to inspire confidence and credibility in your brand.

Graphic design is essential for each of these goals and it is one area where the devil is most definitely in the detail.

So, here are 5 graphic design elements that must be taken care of to make your site rock:

Page Stretching

With content king online, a great graphic designer will plan for page stretching due to added copy over time.

This is important when content is placed beside an image.  If an offer is added or a news update or just more information to educate the user then the page needs to accommodate this by wrapping the text around the image rather than leaving the image placeholder stranded.

One other point to note is that if the background of the site is complicated in its design, it must be able to respond to large monitors or even the best graphics on the net will be left looking wanting.

HTML elements

In amongst all the great design, images and forms there is going to be a body content section where the basic html needs to be clear and consistent throughout the website.

This is the headers, the paragraph text, unordered and ordered lists, tabular data, form fields, images, bold and italicised text.

Design will lend itself to a particular font type, size and colour.  Keeping this consistent throughout the site maintains the aesthetics but also aids the credibility and professionalism of the brand.

Forms

Forms are on the site for a reason.  Therefore the whole page must be planned and designed properly to maximise its chances of the user taking action and actually filling it out.

Too often forms are added as a standard plugin.  But setting out a brief description of what the form is for and what the information submitted will be used for along with a link to the company’s data protection policy all help.

The design of the form should be as brief as possible and have clearly formatted examples of what is and isn’t to be submitted for information.

Link Design

Links on your site must look good in all 4 states, normal, hover, active and visited.  Getting this right so that users understand a) they are a link and b) when they have visited the link on the variety of colours in the template and body copy can be challenging.

But great linking design offers an opportunity to display branding creativity and depending on the site inform the users further of key messages and/or entertain them with word changes appearing in the hover state and different coloured linking structures on dark backgrounds to white. 

Status Messages

Just as users need to know their form has been submitted successfully, status messages to confirm actions or communicate error messages or warnings need to be designed carefully to blend into the website design and to ensure the users clearly understands what has happened.

There is nothing more annoying to a user than filling in a form and wondering if it has been received by the company or constantly getting an error message and not knowing which piece of information is incorrect.

There are lots of other important elements that are taken into the design of a website, but you know, at times it’s the little things that make the difference between a site that is professionally designed and one that has been built using a template design for a Fiver!