Website Design Best Practices Part 1

For the techie and non-technical person, how to design a ‘good’ website always depends on some basic concepts – yes you can be baffled with terminology a we designer likes to impress you with, but remember KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).

So with this in mind below is the first part of the list of ‘best practice’ ideas that are easy to implement and test when designing a new site or refreshing an existing one.

 Page Layout

  • Ensure it is appealing to target audience.
  • Use a consistent site header/logo and consistent navigation area.
  • Create informative page title that includes the company, organisation or site name.
  • Always have page footer area include copyright, last update, contact e-mail address.
  • Plan to use good basic design principles: repetition, contrast, proximity, and alignment.
  • Wherever possible display without horizontal scrolling.
  • Try to balance of text / graphics / white space on page, with good contrast between text and background.
  • Ensure header and navigation menus occupy less than 25% of the browser page.
  • Create a Home page that has compelling, interesting information above the fold.
  • Speed up Home page downloads and images are loaded properly.
  • USE responsive page layout for smartphone and tablet display.
  • Test Browser Compatibility, i.e. the pages displays on popular & current versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari (both Mac and Windows) and on popular mobile devices.


  • Main navigation links are clearly and consistently labelled.
  • Navigation is easy to use for target audience.
  • If main navigation uses images, clear text links are in the footer section of the page.
  • Navigation is structured in an unordered list.
  • Navigation aids, such as site map, skip navigation link, skip navigation link, or breadcrumbs are used.
  • ALL navigation hyperlinks “work”, i.e. they are not broken.
  • Use SEARCH boxes and functions if possible.

That’s my take on best practice for web site design, more will be coming next post – what’s yours? Post a comment or drop me a note by email.

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