Great Web Design Qualities Your Website Needs To Have

What are the principles of great web design? Before we jump into that let’s consider what a website actually is. A website is an intangible. You can’t touch it. You can’t taste it. You can’t order it from Amazon. A website walks the fine line between art and science. Like a fine German pilsner in which the brewmaster must have an intimate knowledge-base of ingredients and a knack for how they come together in the strive for perfection, a website is the result of craftsmanship. A good web design, therefore, is the result of good craftsmanship and storytelling.

A great web design serves a function. It effectively conveys a story to its intended audience. It engages its audience and drives it to take action. It is accessible, simple and elegant. A great web design yields results that are both qualitative (aesthetically-pleasing) and quantitative (measurable).

When discussing the qualities that make for a great web design we will break down the formula into its component parts, which will include word-smithing, architecture, design, user experience, accessibility and visibility.

Here Are 11 Web Design Qualities Your Website Needs:

Great Web Design Quality #1. Know Your Audience

great web design

This is the critical first step in defining your narrative and setting up effective storytelling. Who are you trying to connect with? What are their demographics and psychographics? What are their needs? How can you provide a solution for their needs? How can you drive them to take action? If your business provides IT services you will need to convey technical expertise. If you are a college, you need to connect not only with students and prospective students, but to their parents, faculty, media, etc. If you own a winery, you need to paint the beauty of the vineyards and the joy of a fine wine tasting experience.

Knowing your audience is an important aspect when setting the tone of your story, and creating a great web design.

Great Web Design Quality #2. Make Them Care

target audience

On so many levels – aesthetically, intellectually, emotionally – your website needs to make your audience care. Give them reasons to do so. Create your web design around your audience, guide them through the user experience, show them that YOU care and demonstrate why they should care about you. Make this perfectly clear in your craftsmanship, because if it’s not clear to you it will not be clear to your audience.

Great Web Design Quality #3. Establish The Narrative Quickly


Great storytelling engages the audience. Great web design does the same. The narrative is the premise and purpose of the website and must be consistent throughout the entire user experience. Create a firsthand experience of the narrative for your audience and drive them through effective storytelling to take specific actions.

A great web design accommodates the needs of the audience through elegance and simplicity. Given the very short period of time you will have to engage a visitor, the website must establish the narrative quickly less you risk losing them. Create a home page that is compelling, informative, aesthetically pleasing and provides very clear calls to action. Use vivid imagery, strong colors and unique fonts to set your canvas, but do not get mired down in the weeds. Ensure that the user experience is equal on desktop, tablet and smartphones by employing responsive web design.

Web Design Quality #4. KISS

keep it simple stupid

KISS, or Keep It Simple, Stupid, is an important design philosophy when considering user experience and storytelling. Less experienced designers tend to over-think, over-complicate and ultimately over-design for their clients. A bloated, messy design with unnecessary treatments and elements will distract your audience from the narrative. It will confuse them about what they are looking for and how they can find it. It will detract from the overall usability and performance of your website. Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Simplicity is a gold standard for great web design. This has never been more relevant than with todays mobile users. A website that looks great on a larger desktop may look squeezed and difficult to read on a smartphone. The navigation may get lost, rendering the website useless. Stick with simplicity as your guiding principle. As we discussed previously in this article, imagery, use of color and font types are core elements of good web design. But don’t over-do do them. Create a visual user experience that works for your audience and the devices they are using to visit you.

Web Design Quality #5. Content

website content

As they say in marketing, Content is King. This rule applies to the web with equal weight. Content is ultimately what creates a website. Content creates the narrative. Content drives the storytelling. Content is a critical quality in making a great web design.

This is where your skills as a word-smith come in to play. A great web design requires strong, convincing and “evergreen” content that is unique and free of any potential plagiarism that can ruin your reputation and search rankings with Google. Great web design has great content, which is a critical factor in converting site visitors to customers.

Web Design Quality #6. Navigation

great web design

If content is king, navigation is its queen. Simple, intuitive and consistent navigation is a critical factor in user experience and website performance. Good navigation allows users to find what they are looking for with the minimum effort and allows them to engage with the website as they see fit. Poor navigation leads to high bounce rates, as once the user becomes confused or frustrated they are likely to leave your website in search of a better experience.

Good navigation is based on sound Information Architecture, which is a process that takes place early on in the development of the website. We describe this process in detail in our article entitled Website Redesign: Our Methodology.

Web Design Quality #7. Custom UX Design

custom website design

Custom design is the hallmark of all great web designs. Custom design differs from template designs in that it is created from the ground up, based on the custom brand assets and unique needs of the client that takes place in an iterative, hands-on process. A custom-designed website is the absolute best way to represent your brand and your business to your audience.

To learn more about the differences between a custom design and a template design check out our article How Much Does A Website Cost?

Web Design Quality #8. Speed

website speed

The speed of your website is an often overlooked but painfully undervalued quality of a great web design. How important is website speed to the overall success of your online presence? Pretty damn important. Consider that for every one-second delay in load time your website’s bounce rate – the rate at which someone visits your website and leaves after viewing just one page – increases by 15%. As a matter of statistics, if your website takes longer than 4 seconds to load you will lose half your visitors before they even finish downloading your home page! Consider also that more and more people use mobile devices as their preferred choice for exploring the web. With mobile web traffic we must factor in latency and bandwidth issues on mobile networks. By increasing you website speed by just one second you are creating a better user experience, higher engagement and increased customer satisfaction.

Website speed is important for all aspects of your website. Browsing multiple pages, making purchases, downloading documents – all of these add up to increased load time. Faster website speed leads to faster online experiences and quicker transactions, leading to higher conversions and happy customers that will tell their friends about you.

To learn more about the factors involved in website speed check out our article How To Increase Website Speed For WordPress.

Web Design Quality #9. Mobile Friendly

responsive web design

In 2020, more people use their smartphones to access websites than their desktop computers. The need for a strong customer experience on mobile devices has never been more relevant. A clean, consistent user experience on desktop, tablet and smartphone is a requirement in today’s great web design. The solution is called Responsive Web Design.

A responsive website is an approach to web design that places User Experience (UX) at the forefront of importance. A responsive website will adapt to the screen size, device and orientation of each user, creating an optimal UX for desktops, tablets and smartphones. A responsive website does not represent a new technology, rather it represents a new approach to existing technologies. A responsive website is built using a responsive framework, such as Bootstrap and Foundation.

To learn more Responsive Web Design check out our article What Is A Responsive Website?

Web Design Quality #10. Accessibility

ada accessibility

If you’re running a business today, having a website for your company is absolutely essential. Regardless of your industry or sector, having a well-designed online presence is one of the best ways to extend your reach and to increase your customer base. However, even though websites are a necessity these days, they aren’t as easy to set up as you might think. In fact, they raise a number of ways in which you and your business can fall foul of regulations. For example, have you heard of ADA Title III compliance? If not, it’s time to find out more about the importance of having an ADA-Compliant website now and to learn how you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself so that you can avoid a potential lawsuit.

The issue of compliance has become a major discussion in 2020. The world wide web has evolved to the point that it must meet or exceed many of the laws and regulations we experience in the real world. This includes accessibility. To learn more ADA-compliance check out our article ADA-Compliant Website: Why Is It Important?

Web Design Quality #11. Visibility


What is the point of having a great web design if no one knows it exists? This brings up the subject of visibility as our final principle of great web design. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is aimed at increasing your website’s visibility. SEO requires patience and expertise to be successful and the marketplace is flooded with so called Black Hat charlatans that can actually do more harm than good. Every successful SEO campaign begins with a technical review of your website to identify problems that will need to be corrected before your SEO campaign can truly begin. All the SEO strategies in existence will not be successful until you have a website that is properly search engine-friendly. Without proper SEO you will not have a great web design.

Check out our article Looking To Hire A SEO Expert? What You Need To Know.

D E E P B L U E Knows the Market

Top California Digital Marketing Agency

D E E P B L U E is a Bay Area web design company that delivers measurable results. Learn more about our web design services and contact us to schedule a complimentary needs-assessment consultation.

When it comes to these hot new trends, the team here at D E E P B L U E is ready and willing to use them when designing your site. In fact, many of the new trends follow the work we have completed, making us proud web design trendsetters. If you want to get your hands on a site that is innovative and designed beautifully then give us a call, we’d love to work with you.

Frank Farris

Frank Farris is Founder and CEO of DEEPBLUE. He has been an active thought leader in the practical application of emerging web technologies and web standards since 1998.

More Posts - Website

Posted in Responsive Web Design, Design