When Can You Break the Rules in Website Design?

Website design is essential to creating an easy-to-use website; it is also vital for good branding techniques and leaving a good impression on your potential clients. An eye-grabbing color scheme is just one part of creating the perfect website; you must also consider readability, navigation, and font size/style. 

Traditionally, website design follows stringent rules and should never deviate from these unwritten “rules,” but UX Design knows that certain rules can be broken while still creating a unique and easy-to-use website design. 

Know when you can break the rules in website design and create a fun and exciting website that your clients will love.

Only Use a Few Different Font Sizes in Your Text

a letter and black watch

It's custom to use just a few different font sizes for the text portion of your website because it keeps a coherent and structured look. Using the same font size and style is one way to create a website, but utilizing different fonts is a better way to increase versatility. In addition, you will create a unique and fun website experience when you change up the type of fonts you use frequently. 

Using larger fonts to emphasize essential points or italics to give the reader a more diverse reading experience is quite helpful when trying to capture an audience. Using different font styles and sizes is also a great way to keep the readers' attention and avoid a high bounce rate (the percentage of users that leave your website after clicking on just one page). 

You should remember that when using different font styles and sizes, just be sure that they all blend well together. As long as the fonts look good together and create an easy-to-read experience for the user, exchanging the font sizes is a great way to build an excellent website. 

Always Use the Same Format for Each Page

When formatting a website, you must keep in mind the webpage's navigation and a cohesive design. A common rule when designing a user-friendly website is to use the same format for each page. When the user goes from page to page, they want to be able to distinguish which page they are on easily. You want them to know they are on a different page but also that they are still on the same website. 

Using the same format achieves the goal of creating a commonality between the pages, but it lacks character and style. Switch it up a bit and create unique formatting for different pages. Readers will be more in tune with what they're looking at and remember more about your business. Users will also feel more engaged with the information that is being portrayed. If all of the pages are formatted exactly the same, information could start to get lost in translation and it could confuse your website visitors. 

Recent studies show that people are more likely to stay on a webpage that creates visual stimulation. Adding variance to how your webpages are formatted throughout your website will keep more readers' attention than one that is all the same. So, be sure to mix it up and create each page in its own unique way. 

Social media is indeed taking the digital world by storm, but not every website needs to include links to social media pages. In fact, a study by the University of Pennsylvania reported that social media causes depression and low self-esteem in young adults. Of course, this doesn’t mean that by not including social media on your website, you are preventing people from using it. Still, it is a unique feature on your website since most use social media links to attract readers.

There are also certain topics and things that should be left as a website alone, and incorporating social media just wouldn’t make sense. For example, a website that explains mental health and medical terminology might not need to use social media to promote itself, as mental health is a very private topic for most people. 

In UX Design, social media additions to your webpage are only ever recommended when suitable for your business. However, knowing when and how to use social media within your website can be challenging, so let the professionals be your guide. 

Keep Your Website Simple

Another popular rule in webpage design that just asks to be broken is the rule that says you must keep your website simple. Sure, a simple webpage design can be effective in some cases, but it doesn’t always have to work that way. 

People like to be “wowed” by what they’re looking at, primarily online. So creating a website that is too simple will cause your customers to get bored and possibly leave before even getting the relevant information you want to display. 

Bright colors, unique styles and designs, and fun fonts are all ways to spruce up your otherwise “simple” website. People also like large fonts and paragraphs that are easy to read. People are much more likely to stay on your webpage if they are intrigued and if the design captures their attention. A simple website design would deter potential customers and possibly bore them enough that you’d lose their business altogether. 

If you create a less-simple design, you will be able to create a fun user experience by adding pops of interactive pieces into your webpage design. Adding moving parts that aren’t a distraction and an element of excitement and intrigue to your website is another way to create a bold statement through your webpage design. You can also include big images, colorful backgrounds, and unique, brand-specific icons. 

Avoid Bright Colors for Your Background

A common rule in web page design is to avoid using bright colors as your base background color. The idea behind this rule is that reading a font layered on top of a bright background is more difficult than if the background was dark. Although this may be true in most cases, you certainly can use bright colors as a background as long as you use fonts that are dark enough to be seen.

Pages such as Wikipedia prove this theory wrong as it uses a plain, bright, white background with black text and is a highly successful website with a large amount of traffic. Bright backgrounds are a good choice for websites with a lot of information and need a blank slate to lay the ground for the bold and informative text. 

The Three-Click Rule

The three-click rule is one of the oldest website design rules in the book. The three-click rule states that everything on your webpage should be reachable within just three clicks from your homepage. Although this is still a good rule, it doesn’t always hold true for every webpage you design. 

You want your website to be easy to navigate, which means fewer clicks, but three certainly isn’t the magical number. However, if your website is easy to use and navigation takes little to no effort, then you have achieved your goal. 

Other ways to make navigation easier that don’t include the number of clicks it takes to get to a certain page that you can utilize are; font sizes, bold and italic font depictions, gifs, and other animated images and pop-ups.

Never Use Distracting Images as a Background

Using a distracting image as a background is never recommended when discussing webpage design. Images create a distraction to the eye, which can take away from the information on the page. Although this is all true information, certain background images do look great and make the perfect backdrop to a webpage. 

A fun yet simple background image will add character to your website and provide a unique user experience. If your business is based on customer engagement and creative design, using an image as a background might fit your brand perfectly. Just be sure to use an image that isn’t too distracting and complements your website. 

It’s also important to note that when using an image as a background, choose one that doesn’t have bright colors that could cause the text to get lost in the background while scrolling. Instead, choose a basic image that has natural colors, and it will be easy to distinguish the text from the background image. 

Hire a Professional To Handle Your Website Design

Website design is a daunting task, yet when handled correctly, it can do so much good for your business. This is why hiring a professional is a good idea if you're struggling to come up with a solid website UX design and plan. 

A professional webpage design company will create a website that captures your client's attention and effectively displays the information that needs to be apparent. They will also create an easy-to-use experience for your readers and reduce bounce rates significantly. With a top-notch website, you'll drive more traffic to your webpage and, ultimately, more paying customers.