A well-designed page layout is important for a number of reasons. A good layout can make your content easier to read and digest, ensure that your call-to-actions are prominently displayed, and help guide your users through your website in a way that makes sense. In short, a well-designed page layout can make the difference between a website that's successful and one that's not.
Creating a good page layout isn't always easy, but there are a few things you can keep in mind that will help. Here are five tips for designing better page layouts:
1. Keep It Simple
When it comes to page layouts, less is almost always more. A simple layout is easy on the eyes and won't overwhelm your users with too much information at once. Stick to a single column whenever possible, and use plenty of white space to separate different sections of content.
2. Make Your Call-To-Actions Apparent
Your call-to-actions—the buttons or links that you want your users to click on—should be front and center. They should be the first thing your users see when they land on a page, and they should be designed in a way that makes them impossible to miss. Use contrasting colors and/or generous whitespace around your call-to-actions to make them stand out from the rest of your content.
3. Use Hierarchy and Visual Cues
Hierarchy is important in design because it helps show your users what's most important on the page. The hierarchy can be established using size, color, font weight, or even position on the page. Use hierarchy judiciously, though—too much of it can be just as overwhelming as too little.
In addition to hierarchy, you can also use visual cues—such as arrow graphics or directional lines—to help lead your users' eyes through the page in the way you want them to go. Again, use visual cues sparingly so as not to overwhelm your users with too much information at once.
4. Be Mindful of Placement
The placement of certain elements on a page can have a big impact on how easy those elements are to find and use. For example, placing a search bar in the upper right-hand corner of the page is standard because that's where our eyes naturally go when we land on a new webpage. Placing items in an unexpected location—such as putting the navigation menu at the bottom of the page instead of the top—can actually make them harder for users to find. So when placing items on a page, think about where users will expect to find them and put them there instead of somewhere else.
5. Test, Test, Test
As with anything in design (and life, really), nothing is set in stone. Just because something works well one way doesn't mean it won't work better another way. The best way to find out is to test different variations of your page layout and see how users respond to each one. Do some A/B testing or create different prototypes and run user tests until you find a layout that works best for your particular application. And then test some more just to be sure!
Creating Effective Page Layouts
Designing effective page layouts isn't always easy, but it's definitely worth it. A well-designed layout can make your content easier to read and navigate, ensure that your call-to-actions are prominently displayed, and overall improve the user experience on your website. Keep these five tips in mind next time you're designing a page layout: 1) keep it simple; 2) make your call-to actions apparent; 3) use hierarchy and visual cues; 4) be mindful of placement; 5) test, test ,test!