CONVENTIONS

1. Logo Placement

Logos are typically placed in the upper left corner of the page. When there are multiple windows open on a user’s computer or they are browsing through various pages on your site, consistently having the logo on the top left allows them to easily acknowledge which site they are currently accessing.

2. Main Site Navigation

The Main Site Navigation should generally appear in a bar across the top or left side of your site. This convention is another that, if broken, may frustrate users and cause them to leave your site. Read up on the “Visual Hierarchy” page to understand better why this is.

3. Link Styling

Clicking links has become second nature for web users. Users want to know instinctively what’s clickable and what isn’t – as soon as the rules are broken, it becomes confusing and forces users to think. There is no real benefit to getting fancy with links, so sticking to the convention is your best bet. Something must be clearly stand out and be identifiable as a link, but pushing this boundary too much can also be a bad thing.

4. Button Functionality

A button is a great feature to include in your web design because they are extremely intuitive. They stand out and look clickable, making it clear that you should, in fact, click them. What does this mean in terms of convention? Be sure that all buttons actually link to something. A button that doesn’t cause anything to happen will be confusing to users.

5. Standard Icons

Icon conventions are particularly useful because they provide a clear explanation without words. An envelope icon signifies email, a shopping cart or bag icon signifies the checkout page, and social media icons signify social sharing. But icons only work if they are common enough that no explanation is necessary.

6. Visual Hierarchy

We encounter visual hierarchies dozens of times per day: newspapers, billboards, invitations, even cereal boxes use this hierarchy to let us know what to read first, which information is the most important and what comes next. We don’t realise this is happening because we are so accustomed to this convention. Using visual hierarchy on your webpage brings readers back to this familiar structure. Processing the page becomes almost automatic and users know where to go. Losing this hierarchy is only going to confuse viewers. For more information on this, visit our dedicated page on Visual Hierarchy.

7. Clear Naming

With so many companies competing for attention on the web, it’s important to use creativity to stand out. But all too often, creativity sacrifices clarity. Cute and clever naming is fun and catchy, but remember, users want information first, cute second. Sometimes simplicity and formality can be more appealing.

 

Here is a PDF of some of the above sections to give you a more visual idea of what’s being explained – CONVENTIONS