What’s the difference between okay web design and a great web design? How can you take your site from 1999 to 2017, even when you’re not a professional coder? We got with one of our most badass web designers to bring you our best web design tips, so here are 5 necessities for web design that doesn’t suck.

WK’s 5 Best Web Design Tips

1. Pay Attention to Hierarchy

One of the most important things people overlook when designing their site is that all web design is about communication. Chances are, there is a lot of information on your site. It all needs to be there, but all that information can get chaotic fast if you don’t organize and present it well. When you’re building your website, make sure you’re considering hierarchy so that you can clearly communicate what’s important.

So what is hierarchy? In web design language, it’s the way you communicate what is most important, or what you need to look at first on a site. Really good web design utilizes hierarchy to clearly communicate ideas through words and images. Hierarchy can be communicated through the use of size, color, contrast, alignment, repetition, proximity, density and whitespace, and style and texture.

Those are a lot of technical words, but what you really need to know is that, when you want something to be noticed or read first, make it stand out somehow (change the color, size, and so on). Just keep in mind that if everything is important, then nothing is, so don’t overemphasize everything.

2. Don’t Go too Crazy with Typography

Let’s be honest, typography is super fun. The font, or typeface, you choose can show the personality of your company in a very simple way. However, the worst web design decision you can make is to pick eleven different typefaces and use them randomly. Pick a maximum of three and use them strategically. Make sure they compliment each other as well. Most of the time, one typeface has another one that is meant to compliment it, so make sure you’re choosing ones that work together.

Keep in mind readability versus legibility as well. Legibility is all about how clear the typeface is. To determine this, you’ll need to consider what you want to use it for. Some typefaces are better when you need larger words, such as headlines. Some are more ideal when the words will be smaller, such as words in longer paragraphs.

Readability is all about how easily and quickly people can read your content. It focuses on arranging words and groups of words so that it’s easy for people to read. When you’re thinking about readability in web design, consider font size, line and letter spacing, and (here it comes) hierarchy. Great web design always makes it easy for readers to tell what they’re supposed to look at first.

3. Make Sure You Have a Responsive Layout

Ten years ago, very few people had smartphones that could browse the internet. Most people looked at websites on their computer, so those websites only needed to look good on a computer. But it’s a different era now and nearly everyone has multiple smart devices. What that means in terms of web design is that your site needs to look good on every type of device, whether it’s a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. Responsive websites do that. Many website builders, or content management systems, automatically make your design responsive, meaning it will keep its design qualities across devices. Always double check for this and test on multiple devices.

4. Consider Usability

During your web design process, keep in mind how easy it is visitors to find information. Organize it well and make sure it’s all clear. When a visitor clicks on “About Us”, make sure they’re actually taken to that page. Don’t make people dig for the info they want, make it easily accessible. This means a healthy mix of simplicity and being as informative as possible.

5. Reign in Color Choice

Another huge web design mistake people make is picking too many colors for their site. Please, please we beg you, only pick a maximum of three colors and stick to them. This actually goes for graphic design, too. Any more than that and your site visitors will be looking more at the insane rainbow that is your site instead of reading the important information about how awesome you are. There are a lot of helpful graphics and tools online that will help you find complimentary colors. Try to make your colors unique, but keep in mind readability (white words on a yellow background is going to make your content impossible to read, we don’t want that).

Web Design Tips: A Conclusion

Consumers care a lot about web design. In fact, they care about it now more than ever before. Beautiful web design could be the difference between attracting clients over the competition and losing money by repelling them. Keep in mind the web design principles of hierarchy, typography, responsive layouts, usability, and color and your site will be your greatest salesperson.