Core Principles Of website User interface Design

Crafting an effective user interface involves a delicate balance of aesthetics, functionality, and user-centric design. This article delves into the core principles that serve as the foundation for creating compelling and user-friendly web interfaces. From consistency and simplicity to the strategic use of color and typography, understanding these principles is essential for designers seeking to elevate the user experience.

Content first

A content-first approach in website interface design is highly important as it prioritizes the delivery of meaningful and relevant information to users. By focusing on content first, designers ensure that the interface serves the primary purpose of providing valuable information or functionality.

This approach helps in creating user-centered designs, improving readability, and guiding users through a seamless and purposeful experience. It also contributes to better SEO performance, as search engines prioritize content relevance. Starting with content ensures that design decisions are driven by the user’s needs and the goals of the website.

The content should always be the most dominant element. If people read something on a website then the design has been successfull to some degree.

Furthermore, Good design can be judged on whether or not it restricts content. Take for instance an image gallery that only supports five images due to design restrictions. this is not good design. Good design should support erratic and different amounts of content, odd and even numbers.


Well-chosen fonts and proper typographic hierarchy help guide users through content, emphasizing important information and establishing a clear structure. Consistent and readable typography contributes to a polished and professional appearance, enhancing the credibility of the interface. It’s important to consider factors like font size, line spacing, and font styles to ensure accessibility and a positive reading experience for users.

  1. Limit the use of the amount of font styles.
  2. Limit line widths to 60 characters on desktop And 30 to 40 characters on mobile.
  3. Choose legibility when choosing fonts
  4. Use spaces between paragraphs to allow the user to rest after reading a chunk of text.
  5. Line heights should be set at approximately half the height of the characters.
  6. Do what you have to do to align the baselines of text. So if you have two columns of text insure the bass lines of each column the text aligns. Use three different styles to differentiate content regular, italics, and bold. Sometimes this can remove the need for more than one front entirely.
  7. Never Centre paragraph text.
  8. The closer together the letters are the more intense feeling is created, the more space Between the letters the more easy-going it feels.
  9. If using multiple fonts, Choose font families with similar spacing between the letters.


Color in UI design serves various purposes, such as conveying information, creating visual hierarchy, and eliciting emotional responses. It helps guide users’ attention, differentiate elements, and enhance overall user experience. Careful selection of colors can improve readability, communicate feedback, and establish a brand’s identity within the interface.

  • Use color to create and influence interaction
  • Color should be used as functional not decorative
  • Always ask yourself - would this be just as functional for somebody with color blindness?
  • Choose colors based on brand, emotion and associations
  • Contrast trumps color in regards to drawing power of elements
  • Contrast creates focus
  • Color creates connection and continuity

Choosing greys

Greys or neutral tones in UI design often play a crucial role in providing balance, reducing visual clutter, and supporting the overall color scheme. They are commonly used for background elements, helping to highlight more vibrant or important content. Greys also contribute to a clean and modern aesthetic, allowing other colors and elements to stand out while promoting a sense of sophistication and professionalism in the user interface.

  • Choose greys to contrast your btns ie: if you have green btns then use blueish/cool grey to get more contrast


The layout in website interface design determines the arrangement and structure of elements on a page. It plays a pivotal role in guiding user navigation, emphasizing key content, and ensuring a visually appealing and intuitive user experience. An effective layout helps establish hierarchy, organizes information logically, and optimizes the flow of interaction, contributing significantly to the usability and overall success of a website.

Good layouts are held together by harmony, rhythm and balance.

  • Dominance directs user focus
  • Establish order by starting with a dominant element.
  • Reduce cognitive effort by improving balance. This is done by grouping elements together. This is done by reducing the amount of white space between each element in a group. Which makes it clear to the user that these elements belong to a group.
  • Every block/layout should provide One primary action.


Alignment in website user interface design is crucial for creating a visually cohesive and organized layout. Consistent alignment of elements helps establish a clear structure, making it easier for users to understand the relationships between different parts of the interface. Whether using left, right, center, or justified alignment, maintaining a unified approach contributes to a polished and professional appearance, enhancing readability and overall user experience.

  • When in dought align everything with everything else

Follow conventions

Following user interface design conventions is highly important as it contributes to a user-friendly and intuitive experience. Conventions, established through common practices and user expectations, help users navigate websites with familiarity. Adhering to these standards enhances usability, reduces cognitive load, and makes it easier for users to understand and interact with the interface. While creativity is encouraged, straying too far from conventions without a clear reason can lead to confusion and hinder user engagement.

The more the product looks like the uses mental model, the easier the product will be to use. In other words, it needs to look like the user expects it to look.

  • Conventional btns,
  • Conventional image gallerys.
  • Conventional slideshows.
  • Conventional blog feed,
  • Social icons. etc.

Avoid decorative elements

Decorative elements that serve no purpose, only serve to create clutter and distract from the content.

  • You can add branding elements to a design, but only to enhance featured content.


Consistency in website user interface design is paramount. A consistent design creates a cohesive and predictable user experience, reducing confusion and enhancing usability. Consistency extends to elements like color schemes, typography, navigation patterns, and overall visual style. When users encounter familiar patterns and behaviors across different pages or sections of a website, it improves their ability to navigate, understand the content, and builds trust in the overall design. Consistency is a key factor in creating a seamless and enjoyable user experience.

Apply consistency when applying spacing, font sizes & colors. Professionalism is all about consistency


Simplicity is crucial in website user interface design because it improves usability and user comprehension. A simple and straightforward design reduces cognitive load, making it easier for users to navigate and understand the content. Clear and concise interfaces enhance user engagement and satisfaction. Additionally, simplicity often leads to faster loading times, contributing to a better overall user experience. Striking the right balance between simplicity and providing necessary information is key to creating effective and user-friendly website interfaces.

  • Remove repetitive titles and text
  • Reduce clutter by removing decorative elements unrelated to the brand
  • Group related elements together
  • Add padding, add margins, the more space around elements and visual rhythm allows the user to the skim read and scan.
  • Separate labels from content by differentiating fonts.

Create strong Btns

The use of strong, engaging, and conventional buttons in user interface design is crucial for several reasons. Strong and visually prominent buttons draw attention to key actions, guiding users toward desired interactions. Engaging buttons, through thoughtful design and clear calls-to-action, encourage user engagement and contribute to a positive user experience. Conventional buttons, following established design patterns and user expectations, enhance usability by providing familiarity. This combination helps create an intuitive interface, reducing friction in user interactions and increasing the likelihood of users taking desired actions. Ultimately, well-designed buttons are integral to a user interface’s effectiveness and overall success.

  • Differentiate primary secondary and tertiary button actions by styling each button differently and with clear hierarchy.
  • Btn size should be 48px x 48px for mobile usability

Images and Icons

Imagery and icons in website user interface design serve multiple crucial roles. They enhance visual appeal, making the interface more engaging and memorable. Icons provide a quick and recognizable visual language, aiding in navigation and conveying information efficiently. Imagery, when used thoughtfully, can evoke emotions, tell a story, or emphasize key content. Both elements contribute to the overall aesthetics and brand identity of a website, creating a more immersive and cohesive user experience. Striking the right balance between imagery and icons ensures that they complement the content and functionality, enhancing usability and user satisfaction.


  • When choosing icons always choose the most recognisable symbol familiarity is key with icons.
  • Always use labels with icons
  • Icons need to have the same visual weight, same line thickness


  • square images are easier on the eye as its a commonly used shape with equal dimensions.
  • When choosing images choose images with narrative. Show the product and it’s real world context.
  • Images of humans are more distracting than images of objects. Humans are more drawn to look at other pictures of humans.
This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

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