Elements of Good Website Design

Website design is ever-changing. While some constants remain, like the need for relevant, engaging, and timely content, additional elements that can increase your website’s impact continuously emerge. These elements might help tell stories and explain the essence of your small business, or they may work to immediately capture the user’s interest, ensuring they visit page after page.  

Though there are many different elements of good website design, we are not listing them all, so you use each one on your site. But we want to provide a comprehensive list for your small business so you can select specific elements that align with your brand and website goals to help boost overall impact. 

Unique Typography 

If you are working with a marketing firm or have an internal marketing team, there is a good chance your company has a set brand guide with colors, fonts, logos, and other elements it should use to create a cohesive brand image. This helps your customers immediately identify you against your competitors.  

Using unique typography can indicate subtle hints about what you represent. Is your business fun or serious? Functional or informational? Regardless of what font you choose, be sure your designer considers its applicability across browsers and device types. Choosing a font that is not supported by common browsers could mean your website will display awkwardly on different devices. 

Engaging & Responsive Hero Images 

First, a hero image is a website term used to describe an oversized banner image at the top of your website. This is a tried-and-true method for evoking the appropriate feeling your website is trying to convey. These are often placed in the background with text and other content overlaid on top; however they can look different or be more useful. A hero image could include a call-to-action button, social media buttons, a logo banner, or just an image. Whatever you choose to use, it is a promising idea to both brainstorm hero image ideas and get feedback from multiple sources to see which option offers the biggest impact. 

Background Videos 

Videos that automatically play in the background can add a lot of intrigue to a page and serve as a brilliant way to get the visitor to stay on the page longer. They can be used to tell a story and significantly reduce the amount of text or other content needed to explain your business. 

Background videos focus on enticing the visitor from the moment they land on your page, and it allows the visitor to understand the key points about your company without ever having to read a single line of text, which is a good thing since video is processed 60,000 times faster by our brains compared to text. Someone who is lukewarm about your company may be hesitant to read a block of text, but an effortless video can be consumed quickly and without much struggle. 

Semi-Flat Design 

Simply put, flat design is any element that does not include or give the perception of three dimensions, such as shadows. Not only is flat design easier for users to understand, but it also loads quickly on websites without overly complicated or technical elements. 

Flat design helps the visitor understand your content quicker, and adding some elements of depth can bring it to life. Regardless of whether you fully design your website flat or utilize shadows and other elements, it is important to be consistent throughout your website. 

Hamburger Menus 

Most websites are more than one page, which creates the need for navigation for the viewer. You can either lay out each page across the top of your screen or use something called a hamburger menu. This hidden menu option gets its name from the three lines it displays, which look like two hamburger buns and a patty. 

The disadvantage of having navigation across the top of your screen is that it takes up a ton of valuable screen space, whereas the condensed hamburger menu saves space and is intuitive for users to navigate. This increases the likelihood that users will find the information they need to complete a desired action, distraction-free. 

Card Design 

With the rise of Pinterest, designers and marketers alike have become fascinated with cards. Individual cards help distribute information in a visual way so the visitors can easily consume bite-sized pieces of content without being overwhelmed. By breaking up different pieces of content into cards, users can pick and choose which items they want to expand. This helps keep the homepage feeling clean and organized without relying on large blocks of text. 

Having cards is not enough, though; they must be responsive. This means that as the screen size gets smaller or larger, the number and size of cards shown should adapt accordingly. 

Feature Videos 

In addition to background videos, short product or feature videos are also on trend as they can be used to highlight a specific topic. These short videos are great at bringing your solution to life without overwhelming the visitor with a long experience they have to sit through. 

These can be used for testimonials, product specs, examples of your services, and more. 

Mobile-Friendly Layouts 

When we started designing websites, we only had computers to consider, which resulted in point-and-click mouse control with large screen accommodation. However, with the rise of mobile devices came the need for a unique experience altogether. After all, more than 54 percent of all web traffic worldwide comes from a mobile device. 

Mobile-friendly website layouts were created to leverage the principles of responsive web design, which allows website elements such as images, text, and user interface (UI) to automatically rescale and resize depending on the device used to access our website. 

White Space 

White space used to be a popular element for minimalist web design, but it is now a critical feature across effective modern site frameworks. By balancing content with similar amounts of white space, viewers are naturally drawn to key aspects of your site, creating higher user satisfaction. 

There is no specific standard for the amount of white space needed on your site, but a good rule of thumb is to create at least some white space between every piece of content. This web design element can help stand out or highlight a piece of content’s importance compared to the rest of your site. 

Speed Optimization 

Having a gorgeous, responsive, content-rich website means nothing if it takes forever to load, causing your potential customers to browse elsewhere. This means optimizing all images to balance image quality and file size. It is also a good idea to compress any files hosted on your site to significantly reduce file size without loss of function. Site owners should additionally consider their hosting environment. 

According to Google, as page load times increase from 1 second to 10 seconds, visitor bounce rate rises by 123 percent. As a result, even small investments in website speed optimization can pay significant dividends. 


Modern web design requires regular evaluation to ensure your website delivers exactly what you envision. By using the above elements of good website design as a starting point and partnering with a company like Rooted Web, you are setting your small business up for ultimate success. Contact us today to see what our team can do for you! 

Samantha Prost

Samantha Prost is a digital content writer with almost 10 years of experience who uses her upbeat and creative energy to write fresh, fun and custom content for our clients.

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