Rules of Thumb for Web Designs

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Creating web designs can be difficult if it’s not your specialty. Despite this challenge among small business owners, it's fairly common with nearly one-third of small business owners opting for the DIY route (PR Newswire, 2021). Particularly with the surge of website builders such as Squarespace and Wix, it has become easier now more than ever to create a starter website on your own.

Before embarking on your own web design journey though, there are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind in order for your website to be effective and be of benefit to your business.


Ensure mobile responsiveness and friendliness

This may seem obvious in this day and age, but we want to differentiate between responsiveness and friendliness. Being mobile responsive means being able to view a website on different screen sizes with the functionality and general aesthetic being unchanged. Similarly, being mobile friendly means being able to easily use your website on smaller screens such as tablets or phones. 

Tips for Mobile Responsiveness

Tips for Mobile Friendliness


Declutter the navigation of too many items

Before we talk about your navigation, you should understand the importance of the term, “above the fold”. Above the fold is the portion of a web page that is visible in a browser screen when the page first loads. This is a very important section of your website because it's what gives the first impression and should captivate the attention of visitors to keep them on your page. Typically, one of the main elements that should be above the fold is your navigation bar. Your navigation bar should contain three key items, the menu, logo, and call-to-action. You may find some navigation bars that also include contact information or search bars. Choose only the most necessary items to be in your navigation bar to keep it simple and not busy or distracting from the overall design.

Web Usability: Importance of Fold in Web Design - blog.icons8.com
Above the fold is the portion of a web page that is visible in a browser screen when the page first loads (Source).

Use colors to your advantage

The study of color or color psychology looks at humans and their innate perceptions of different colors. For example, the color green typically symbolizes wealth, nature, or growth whereas the color red typically represents passion, energy, or even anger. When creating your brand, you should be intentional about the colors that you choose and what they represent. You should think of how the colors you choose reflect on your target audience. For example, a luxury brand may use light greys or nudes to signify opulence and elegance, but a makeup brand may use pastels or bright colors to show light-heartedness and fun. Of course, your website’s color palette is largely dependent on your brand’s color palette. Choosing the right colors for your brand can be translated onto your website, for example with colored hover states or typography, in order to elevate your design while playing into color psychology.

How To Use Color Psychology To Give Your Business An Edge
The study of color or color psychology looks at humans and their innate perceptions of different colors (Source).


Keep call-to-actions simple and conspicuous

Call-to-actions (CTAs) are marketing directives that prompt a visitor, for example “book now” or “schedule a consultation”. CTAs encourage visitors to do something in order to engage with your business, especially if the look and feel of the CTA is convincing enough to click. You may create a low-risk CTA that offers a free trial or a straightforward contact button on your home page. Either way, the CTA should pop out and not blend in with the rest of the page so that it can easily be seen by a scrolling visitor, and it should be simple enough to not scare away the visitor from clicking on the link. Remember, the CTA doesn’t have to be a directive to immediately engage in a service, however, the CTA should guide the visitor along the proper user journey to eventually make a purchase. 

Examples of CTAs:


By no means is this a thorough and comprehensive list to building your own website, but these tips will help you create a strong foundation for an effective website that will work for you. Need help creating your own website? No worries, contact us today and allow us to take over and not only apply these tips but many more to construct a website that will help increase your reach, leads, and revenue.

PC: Hal Gatewood, Christin Hume