Web design tips

Full-page header design has become one of the most amazing web design trends in 2021. UI/UX designers can create various header versions, but the most common set up includes the key text or CTA buttons to the left of the header with visually pleasant pictures on the right. You may wonder why? It is because users usually concentrate attention on the top-left of a web page.


5 Tips to Simplify Your Web Design

Simplicity rules! It makes a websites look sleek, reduces navigation confusion and it helps to achieve desired goals and results (I.e., more signups, subscribers, and sales). But too often it seems elusive to simplify your website design. No matter how hard you try, you can’t make your work look like Apple’s. So what does a website designer really needs to do? Fret not, for there are 5 starting points to simplify your website design.

A simple website design shouldn’t be a daunting all-or-nothing ordeal – you can simplify your design by taking small steps. Simple tasks like putting the focus only on the essential elements of your website, getting rid of the unnecessary, reducing the number of pages your site has, getting more content above the fold, and limiting the number of colors you use. You can always fine-tune and improve your simple design, but the important thing here is to get started.

Focus Only On Essential Elements


This first step probably seems forehead-slapping obvious: of course I should put the focus on the essential elements in my site, what am I, an idiot? But a surprising number of websites fail to achieve this and the result is a big mess of important and unimportant elements spewed onto a page. I’m as guilty of doing this in the past as anybody. It’s hard to be objective and prioritize what’s important or not, because everything seems essential. If you want your website design to be simpler, identify what needs to be focus, just like with any good visual design or piece of art. And that means putting the focus only on the essential elements.


Collage is another amazing web design trend expected in 2021. It adds more authenticity and uniqueness to a website design, allowing brands to stand out from other companies in the tough digital competition. Collages are becoming even more often used on websites. People love to see them during their web journeys, as this is another place on the web where they can switch attention from usual operations and digital activity to a piece of art and relax a little bit.

Abstract design, geometric shapes, and 3D elements are taking the place in 2021. At least, we anticipate them on the web soon. During the last years, many companies have been actively incorporating AR and VR technologies into their web experiences. It has given birth to a new trend, 3D design, expected to embrace the web in the upcoming year. 3D images, 36-view videos, and animations will appear on websites even more frequently.

Moreover, we will also see the rise of geometric design that is expected to be particularly popular in its 3D implementation. The combination of these two trends will result in something new and amazing. This mind-blowing visual design tendency may significantly enrich the web user experience and empower companies to create even more outstanding web presence.

Other webmaster tips

O1. Don’t steal content.

It’s not acceptable to copy and paste articles from other sites and place it on your own, unless you get permission from the site owner. It’s not legal to do so, either. Just because it’s easy to do doesn’t mean it’s not sleazy or against the law. Copying content is also a good way to get the search engines to make your page or site rank a whole lot lower, too.

O2. Don’t hotlink to other sites’ images or MP3’s.

Any image you link to should be on your own server. That is, your code should look like and not . Embedding images into your pages from other sites is called hotlinking, and is considered a theft of bandwidth from the other site (and possibly a violation of copyright). It also screws up the other site’s visitor stats, because every time someone visits your page with a hotlinked image, that counts a a visit to the other site, although there was no actual visit to the other site. Hotlinking images can also come back to bite you, if the webmaster of the other site changes the image you hotlinked to be something very offensive (like hardcore porn, or a message specifically insulting you).

O3. Don’t ask for "permission" to link to a site.

It’s not neccesary to ask whether you can link to a site. For what possible reason would it be? The whole point of putting a site on the web is so people can see it, so why would a site owner not want more people to see it? Imagine someone writing the following letter:
Dear Mr. Lyman:

I read your book No More Bull! and enjoyed it immensely. I would like to recommend it to several of my friends, so I am writing to ask your permission to do so. I realize that in writing your book you did not in fact want it to have the widest possible audience, and that you want strict control over who has the authority to recommend the book to others, so I will not mention your book to anyone else until you tell me that it’s okay to do so. Just a Yes or No is fine, I’m sure you don’t have anything better to do than to respond to messages like this one.

Thank you,

A reader

Asking permission to link to a site isn’t just ridiculous, it’s bothersome. If the thousands of people who linked to my articles had asked permission first then I’d be drowning in an avalanche of email. Fortunately the overwhelming majority are smart enough to simply link without asking.

Note that simply linking to a site is completely different from copying and pasting an entire article, which you do need to ask permission before doing. It’s necessary to ask before republishing because doing so without permission (1) is illegal, (2) deprives the publisher of advertising revenue, which is how they make the money to be able to publish articles in the first place, (3) removes the ability of the publisher to correct any misinformation that a reader might see, because the pubisher can update only his/her site, not hundreds of sites all over the Internet.

O4. Don’t ask to exchange links with other sites.

Link exchange requests are only a little less annoying than "permission to link" requests — and completely useless. Link to other sites if you think they’ll be of value or interest to your readers — not because the other site links back. If you want links to your site, make your site worthy of being linked to, link to other worthy sites, and then ask those other sites for a link (not a link exchange). Don’t make your link to them contingent on whether they link back or not. If they’re worth linking to, they’re still worth linking to even if they don’t link back. Here’s more on why link exchange requests fail.


Web design tips

"Don’t wait for other people to ask you to try something new or to challenge you," says Ben Howdle, developer at Wapple.net (opens in new tab) . "In the downtime between jobs, when you’ve finished pitching, you should always be creating new portfolio work. The more inventive, the better."

Set garish outlines

File this in the "simple acts of genius" folder – a tip from Christopher Murphy of Web Standardistas (opens in new tab) that makes cross-platform design so much easier. "When working with media queries, set an outline in a garish colour," says Murphy. "For example: . This enables you to instantly see which exact rules are being applied to what you’re currently looking at."

"45-75 characters per line is generally accepted as safe for comfortable reading," says Trent Walton, founder and designer with Paravel (opens in new tab) . "There’s a quick trick to ensure your responsive or fluid design supports this. Place a line of dummy text on your page with an asterisk at character 45 and an asterisk at character 75. Now test the site to make sure it resizes within these parameters."

Want to learn design and coding for FREE? Join our Coding Camp!

1. Visual Design

It might seem obvious that you need design knowledge to be a web designer, but what exactly does that mean? Well, web design is actually a subset of the larger field of visual design, so it makes sense to start there.

At Skillcrush, we teach visual design because it focuses on digital products and sets you up to succeed across design careers, including web design. When you learn visual design, you learn the fundamental design principles you need to be a web designer.

Design principles are what determine the look and feel of a site, and are one of the most important concepts for web designers to know. They can range from proportions, to typography, to grid systems, to color theory. Learning visual design means creating mood boards and type hierarchy and experimenting with web fonts and color palettes.

UX stands for user experience, or how people feel (calm, frustrated, etc.) when they use a website. Above all else, UX design is about approaching your designs from a user-friendly and user-first perspective — how can you produce a website design that helps them get exactly what they need?

To do that, you’ll research your users and create “personas” (profiles of imaginary ideal users). You’ll lay out the pages and content with a site map. You’ll figure out the path users take on your site in user flows. For example, do they always click straight through to social media? Or are they just looking for contact information? You’ll use responsive design to account for different screen sizes and improve functionality for all users, regardless of device.

woman in glasses with hand on face, thinking

Create a Media Kit

Why It’s Important:

How It’s Done:

The best practice is to assemble a media kit that includes materials such as information about your organization and cause, original quotes, case studies, photos, etc. Then, upload it to your website as a downloadable resource.

A strong about us page can help members of the media write the best possible story about your organization. Make it clear and easy for the press by providing a designated media contact for them to reach out to.

Erie neighborhood house has a page full of designated contacts for their programs. By having a publicized designated media contact, they are making media coverage more probable for their nonprofit.


Web design tips

When creating page forms such as request a quote forms or checkout pages, it is important to avoid long page forms. Many people don’t take the time to scroll below the “fold” to see additional content. If your checkout or CTA button is present only at the bottom of a lengthy form, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Many visitors will navigate away from the page in frustration or before they’ve had the chance to fully consider your offer and act.

In this example of better contrast, the lines of text follow the color-contrast ratio recommendations and are legible against their background.

25 Web Design Tips To Honor 25 Years Of The Web

When the internet emerged more than 25 years ago, the first websites were akin to a magical land of unicorns and casinos, resplendent with scrolling marquee text, flashing lights and bright sparkles. It felt like a visit to the Red Light district every time a user connected to the brave new Internet World via modem at the blistering speed of 14k. Companies didn’t realize what a great business asset an effective web design could be. Instead they structured their sites to serve as giant “About Us” pages as a way to invite recognition for their traditional brands.

In the last 25 years the internet has changed substantially, and consumer behavior has changed even more. Websites now dominates the way we communicate, the way we shop, and the way we make decisions both online and also in the face-to-face world. The glorified About Us websites are gone, replaced by mobile and secure business sites that serve as powerful lead generation tools for anyone with a business-to-business or business-to-consumer product or service or information resource to sell.

To commemorate 25 years of the Web, I’ve invited Gabe Shaoolian, founder and CEO of web design and online marketing firm Blue Fountain Media, to provide 25 tips for current best practice in making your website the best it can be as a vehicle for capturing more leads and conducting a better business, as follows:

Remember that you have just five seconds to explain your value proposition to users when they enter to your site. The back button is the most widely used command on the web. If you don’t answer a user’s needs right away, he or she will click “back” and exit your site. Make sure your site features compelling copy that draws readers in and gives them reasons to stay.

The most important aspect of a site is its messaging. The most effective sites feature clear, concise, bit text messaging in no more than a few words. Do not put long paragraphs on your homepage. Your homepage is a gateway into your site. Use short messaging that gets to the point.

Look at any successful ecommerce or service provider site and you will notice they include a CTA, or a “Call To Action.” The most common calls to action are “Request a Quote,” “Buy Now,” and “Work With Us.” The best CTAs clarify what you are offering as opposed to forcing people to figure it out on their own. Calls to action should be in the top masthead area and body of a website (above the “fold” that requires the viewer to scroll). If your page is long enough, having another CTA on the bottom of your page is beneficial as well.

Building trust is critical if you are selling products or services online. Zappos became successful by offering free shipping and a great return policy. By leveraging the positive experiences of their audience through customer testimonials, Zappos was able to build brand loyalty and grow their business. Similarly, other sites highlight their guarantees and feature certifications or a phone number potential customers can use to contact a real person if any issues occur. These features can make the difference between someone hitting the dreaded back button and making a purchase.

Content is still king. You don’t want visitors to your site to see outdated content and think your business isn’t active online, which could affect your bottom line. Your site is your company’s face to the world. Make sure your site shows that your company is up to date on industry trends and is actively engaged by regularly creating new content.

Social media is one of the best ways to build loyalty and establish a brand voice. Make it easy for your audience to share your content by integrating social media into your web design. This simple step provides a great opportunity to create brand advocates who will attract new customers and help your website to drive more sales for your business.

User experience is the key to any good web design. People should be able to navigate throughout your site without confronting dead ends that cause them to navigate away from your site. Your website’s layout should straightforward so that users can easily move from page to page.

In the early days of the internet, a lot of business websites concentrated on themselves. They went to great lengths to show what they did and why they were a great company. While this hasn’t exactly changed, these days the internet’s best sites are much more focused on what a business can do for a user. Concentrating on what you can do for the user instead of what you want the user to know about you will help your site to become a more effective sales tool.

Today’s internet is accessible to users at blistering speeds beyond the wildest dreams of the web of 25 years ago. One of the best ways to take advantage of this new speed is to put multimedia and videos to work for your business. Video allows customers to see what your business is about in a highly relatable way that builds stronger bonds than copy alone.

Designing the user flows

The first thing to consider is your user flow, or the path by which the visitor will navigate through your website. After all, web page design isn’t about creating a collection of individual pages; it’s about creating flows. This path is a series of steps that the visitor takes from the entry point (the first page where they land) toward the specific action you want them to take (typically a conversion action, such as a sign-up, purchase, etc.). The following will help you determine your user flows as you design your website.

Information architecture

Information architecture (IA) is a discipline that allows you to organize information clearly and logically for your visitors. Information architects analyze how users structure information and create a hierarchy that aligns with the user’s expectations. Good IA is a result of solid user research and usability testing.

There are several ways to research user needs. Often, an information architect will take an active part in user interviews, card sorting, and moderated usability testing where they observe how people interact with the existing design and share their opinions on it.

Card sorting is a simple technique that allows UX practitioners to understand how users group and organize content.

IA is also used to define the site’s navigation and menus. When UX practitioners finish working on a menu, they use another technique called “tree testing” to prove that it will work. Tree testing happens before designing the actual interface.

Tree testing is a reliable method of finding out whether users can work with the proposed menu structure.

Global navigation

  • Select a navigation pattern based on the user’s needs. Navigation should accommodate the needs of the majority of your website visitors. For example, it’s better to avoid hamburger-menu navigation if the majority of your users aren’t familiar with the meaning of the icon itself.
  • Prioritize navigation options. A good design team will prioritize navigation options according to common user tasks, considering both priority and frequency of tasks.
  • Make it visible. Minimize the user’s cognitive load by making important navigation options permanently visible. When we hide navigation options we risk that visitors won’t be able to find them.
  • Communicate the current location. Failing to indicate the current visitor’s location is a common problem on many websites. If visitors have to ask, “Where am I?”, that’s a clear indication that your navigation needs some work. For large websites, offer location indicators like breadcrumbs.

Visual and functional design of web links

“Back” button in a browser

The “back” button is perhaps the most used button in the browser, so make sure it works according to user expectations. When a user follows a link on a page and then clicks the “back” button, they expect to return to the same spot on the original page. Avoid situations in which clicking “back” brings the user to the top of the initial page, instead of where they left off, especially on long pages. Losing their spot forces the user to scroll through content they have already seen, which leads to unnecessary interaction cost.


On the Best Buy website, breadcrumbs support the primary navigation.

Example of poor breadcrumb structure; distinguishing between the different levels of this breadcrumb trail may be difficult for users.


Some visitors come to a website looking for a specific item. Since they know what they want, they probably won’t use the navigation options to find it. The “Search” feature will act as a shortcut in this case. Visitors should be able to type text in a search box, submit their search query, and find the page they’re looking for.

According to one study, the top left or top right of your pages is the best place for a search box.

To draw attention to your search bar, use an icon like a magnifying glass.

Designing individual pages

Content strategy

When it comes to web page design, the most important thing is to design around the page’s objectives. Content strategy—which refers to planning, creating, and managing content on your website—will help with this exercise. Each page has its own goal, such as informing visitors about something or encouraging them to convert. Once you understand the goal of the page, only then should you work on the design or write the content.

Example of a step-by-step checkout process.

Page structure

A properly structured page will help visitors find each user interface element. While there are no one-size-fits-all rules, there are a few website design guidelines that will help you create a solid structure:

A 12-column grid is good for web page design. Adobe XD’s layout grids help designers create consistent, organized designs for different screen sizes and manage the proportions between elements.

A 12-column grid is good for web page design. Adobe XD’s layout grids help designers create consistent, organized designs for different screen sizes and manage the proportions between elements. Image credit Adobe XD.

Example of a low-fidelity wireframe created in Adobe XD.

Visual hierarchy

People are more likely to quickly scan a web page than to read everything there. Therefore, it’s a good idea to optimize your web page design for fast scanning. You can help visitors find what they need with a good visual hierarchy, which refers to the arrangement or presentation of elements on a web page in a way that indicates their importance (that is, where their eyes should focus first, second, etc.). Good visual hierarchy can significantly improve page scannability.

Example of an F-shaped pattern on the CNN website.

Example of a Z-scanning pattern on the Basecamp website.

The “Pick a Plan” call-to-action stands out in this example.

Example of a high-fidelity mockup created in Adobe XD.

Scrolling behavior

Subtle animation (such as Tumblr’s loading indicator) tells the user that more content is loading.

Tumblr’s signup page uses scroll hijacking, which isn’t an ideal user experience.

Content loading

While an instant response is best, there are occasions when your website will need more time to deliver content to visitors. A bad Internet connection could cause a slow reaction, or an operation itself could take a bit more time to complete. But no matter the cause of such behavior, your website should appear fast and responsive. Here are some ways to achieve this:

Skeleton screens are an excellent alternative to this. These containers are essentially a temporarily blank version of the page, into which information is gradually loaded. Rather than showing a loading indicator, designers can use a skeleton screen to focus users’ attention on actual progress and create anticipation for what’s to come. Because information is incrementally displayed on the screen, it feels like things are happening immediately.

Facebook uses skeleton screens to fill out the UI as content loads incrementally.


A good website design guideline is to be clear with your button text so that users understand what the interface element does.

When designing buttons, consistency leads to better usability.

Designing a Website Layout for Corporate Services

Corporate sites don’t have to be dull, although this sector often suffers from bland, cookie-cutter site layouts. Business services will benefit from a touch of creativity in their website designs, but designers can keep the tone appropriate by making company branding and clean type the focus of the site design.

The goal of a corporate website should be to build client trust through professional presentation and reassuring information, such as awards and existing clients. It can be an opportunity for a company to introduce employees to the outside world, showcase work, or keep clients updated with the latest news.

Simple Website Layout Design Tips Anyone Can Follow — Website Layout Design Tips ouiwill

The clean and intuitively-scrollable website design for digital agency ouiwill.

The site layout for digital agency ouiwill is an excellent example of clean and effective web design, that retains a corporate-appropriate spirit. The black and white palette, clean sans-serif web fonts, and bright, airy photography add slick style to the endlessly scrollable pages. The pages themselves alternate between vertical and horizontal scrolls, adding a dynamic element to the site.

Designing a Website Layout for Restaurants, Hotels, and Events

Creating a website for tourism, leisure. or travel can be a challenge, since the goal of the website to be immersive, giving online visitors a flavor of the destination. The immersive experience needs to be balanced with functionality, allowing users to easily find opening times, ticket info, and booking details.

Simple Website Layout Design Tips Anyone Can Follow — Website Layout Design Tips Frans Hals Museum

Website for the Frans Hals Museum by Build in Amsterdam.

Designers might want to add more interactive or immersive content to tourism-focused sites, such as virtual tours, games, or maps. Interactive elements, videos, and exhibition-standard photography can all make for stunning site layouts. However, web designers will need to work around potentially long loading times.

The website for the Frans Hals Museum in Amsterdam is an awwward-winning study in pitch-perfect web design. Created by Build in Amsterdam, the site is a tribute to the museum’s dual contemporary and classic collections. Spliced images that clash Old Masters with modern art pieces is a consistent feature of the site. Punchy colors, pop-out transitions, and interactive elements such as drag-and-drop features add to the playfulness and broad appeal of the site.