Little Things That Mean a Lot in Web Design

Robbie Moore

Most web design advice is about going big: Using bold colors, choosing strong type and going for large images. But little details matter too, and they can make the difference between a good website experience and a great one. There can be a subtle difference between a strong typeface and an authoritative one, or a bold color and a harsh one. We like to dig into the details that make your web design shine, even if most people don’t notice them consciously. These tips can help you make your website shine.

Simple Structures

“The less buttons and menus in your user interface (UI), the better the UX will be. The UI is like a skeleton. In an average person, bones account for about 12 to 15 percent of body weight. If you cranked that up to 50 percent, people would be immobile or clumsy. The same goes for UI. Give it enough mass to provide structure, but don’t let it paralyze the experience. In the future, we’ll see innovators cut back UI by building more intelligence. Consider self-driving cars: one day, automation will eliminate the need for a steering wheel, gas pedal and rearview mirror. AI will simplify the UI of the car yet improve the experience.” — Read more at The Next Web

The Hamburger Menu

“Just because a user is accessing your site from a desktop doesn’t mean they suddenly stop identifying with the hamburger. This shift in thinking can provide you with additional options for your navigation. The best practice has always been to keep a main navigation at around five options, more and it’s just overwhelming to not only the user but the page. The hamburger menu let’s you move outside this rule. With a hamburger, the menu stays hidden until a user makes the conscious decision to access it. From here, you can incorporate as many options as necessary to deliver a user with the best experience possible as opposed to a contrived and condensed menu.” — Read more at Business2Community

Just-Right Scrolling

“There’s a small battle going on between those who advocate long scrolls and those who are trying to find appropriate means to replace them. The thing that makes scrolling so effective is quite obvious — it’s easy. Websites that have recently implemented long scrolls report that new visitors stay on them longer. However, there’s one problem with it — scrolling makes scanning harder. If you structure your website around long scroll, it can make your visitors and potential customers wander endlessly trying to find a piece of information they actually need. Having just the right amount of scroll on your landing page, combined with a navigation menu that’s appropriate to your type of content should be the winning combination here.” — Read more at The Huffington Post

The Perfect Type

“A modular scale sets the visual harmony of your design. You use it like a ruler to set type sizes or to measure and set the size of any element or negative space in your composition. Body text size is a good base to establish your scale, also fixed-width images, for example. The modular scale calculator by Scott Kellum and Tim Brown provides valuable tips to choose a base and ratio for your design and uses these values to calculate your scale. Once set, you can get your scale as a Saas or JavaScript plugin, or you can reference your calculated results right on the site. A great tool to achieve responsive typography.” — Read more at Smashing Magazine

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