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5 Overlooked Rules of Web Design

By Xavier M on 03.16.2023

Scrabble letters forming the words "Web Design".

Web design is a crucial aspect of any online business. It’s the first impression users get when they visit your site, and it plays a significant role in determining whether they’ll stay or leave (no pressure, right?).

Many designers focus on aesthetics and popular trends, but some essential rules are often overlooked.

In this article, we’ll discuss five underrated web design and UX principles that can make a huge difference in your website’s efficiency.

1. Optimal Line Length for Readability

One of the rules that gets most often overlooked is the importance of an optimal line length. An optimal line length makes it easier for users to read and absorb information, leading to a better overall experience.

According to the Baymard Institute, the optimal line length on the web is between 50 and 75 characters per line.

Some great examples to follow are the New York Times or Washington Post. Their articles keep a line length of about 65 to 70 characters per line on average. While reading them, you’ll definitely notice how easy and comfortable they are to read. Take a look:

Annotated New York Times article, showing perfect width, font size, and characters per line.

Now, compare this to that article on… readiblity (!). You will quickly notice that the full width text is quite exhausting to read.

While there are other factors to consider (i.e. carefully selecting your fonts, spacing, paragraph length, etc.), just a few elements can make a world of difference.

When creating your website, do not allow your text to span the whole screen. Aim for a compact line length to ensure that your content is easily digestible and visually appealing.

Effectively, the optimal line length can easily be achieved by making two simple changes:

  1. Increase your font size. Your main text should be somewhere between 16px and 20px.
  2. Reduce your article’s width. The ideal width on desktop could range from 600px to 850px, depending on your font size, letter spacing, the number of characters per line you want, and your website design.

2. Eye-catching Call-to-Actions (CTAs)

A well designed CTA with a background color that pops and compelling text.

Call-to-actions (CTAs) are an essential component of any website, as they guide users towards a desired action.

For example: using your contact form, purchasing your product, or subscribing to your newsletter.

Despite their crucial role, those CTAs often use the same color scheme as other links. They get lost in the design, making them less effective.

To avoid this, make sure your CTAs stand out by using contrasting colors, bold fonts, and clear messaging.

A well-designed CTA can significantly improve conversion rates and user engagement.

3. Accessibility Features

Accessibility is a vital aspect of web design that is frequently overlooked.

A truly inclusive website should cater to all users, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.

Two key accessibility features to consider are keyboard navigation and color contrasts.

  1. Keyboard navigation

Keyboard navigation allows users who cannot use a mouse to navigate your website using their keyboard. To do so, ensure that all links, buttons, and forms can be accessed and interacted with through the keyboard.

  1. Color contrasts

Color contrasts are essential for users with visual impairments, as they make it easier to distinguish between different elements on a page.

Use high contrast colors for text and backgrounds, and test your design using online accessibility tools to ensure that your site is usable by everyone.

4. Site Speed

Most people tend to check their websites only with their own internet connection. In that situation, it becomes easy to forget about users with slower internet, whether because they are live in areas without fast internet, or may be traveling and using some bad cellular network.

And yet, a slow website can be a deal-breaker for many users, as they expect websites to load quickly and efficiently no matter where they are.

Finally, site speed is a ranking factor for search engines. so it’s essential to optimize your website’s performance. Some ways to improve your site’s speed include:

Lately, the easiest way to get a fast website is to get a static website.

Need help? At Kalyxo, we build and host static websites! Contact us for more information.

5. Mobile Responsiveness

Granted, this one rule is no longer overlooked by too many people.

But we can still find websites here and there that don’t work well on mobile.

And in today’s digital landscape, having a mobile-responsive website is of utmost importance.

Make sure your website is designed with mobile users in mind, using fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries to create a seamless experience across all devices.


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