The Most Important Website Design Elements: Content, Headers, & Menus
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The Most Important Website Design Elements: Content, Headers, & Menus

website design elements

If you are in the process of having a custom website built, you are asked to provide opinions and guidance on many things. It can be tough to know where to begin when you are faced with offering opinions on the design proposals for your website. For you to get the website you want, it helps to know a little about the most important website design elements you are critiquing.

Learn about the most important design elements for modern website design. Find out what options exist for you to choose from. And, discover how website design elements are crucial to engaging users and driving conversions. 

Most Crucial Website Design Elements in 2020: Content, Header, and Menu

When you first receive a design proof for your website, you are asked to provide any opinions that come to mind regarding the website design elements and choices. This question can leave you feeling a little bit at a loss, in light of the mere quantity of elements at play. Knowing what type of feedback designers are looking for helps you to get the website you want. 

There are three primary website design elements that you should be focused on, including content, headers, and the menu bar. These three elements are constant throughout the entire theme of your website, and largely determine the overall visual design. 

Full-Width and Boxed-Width Content Design?

First, consider whether you want content displayed in a full-width or boxed-width presentation. The content width is an overarching design choice that holds consistent across every page. Full-width content is contemporary and great for creative businesses. Boxed-width content exudes a professional, straightforward aesthetic.

Full-width fills the browser window from edge-to-edge with an image, video, gallery, or any other content. It gives a limitless feeling to the website pages and allows content to flow seamlessly. On the other hand, boxed-width contains content within the boundaries of a frame.

In contemporary website design, full-width content is the most common. It allows for more space in which to provide tabs and menu options without the page feeling claustrophobic. And, full-width content is mobile responsive for adapting to screens of any size. 

Boxed-width content is traditional, professional, and clean. Content remains at a fixed size, no matter the screen size, providing a uniform visual experience. For law firm websites, government websites, and academic websites, boxed-width content is a good option. 

Remember, it all depends on what you want your website to convey. Don’t feel that just because your website is for a law firm that you have to go with boxed-width content. You can customize your website any way you like, so this is just a good way to get you thinking in the right direction. 

Choosing a Header Layout for Your Websites Design

Your website includes a header layout that remains uniform across all pages. When it comes to your header design, it is purely a question of aesthetic preference. There are, however, several contemporary layouts that website designers favor. 

The header displays the primary information users receive on any specific landing page of your website. On the homepage, the header displays the site title and primary navigation options to the user. But, how the header is displayed is an important aspect of the design process. 

A static header might feature an image with no text content. The best use of static headers like this is to showcase beautiful and relevant photographs. For example, a photography studio might feature a static image header without text to engross the user in the image. A website where users come to find specific information, however, may be better served by a static header with text content. 

A static header with text content is one of the most popular choices among modern website designs. It can feature a large background image with a headline and text field overlaid. The text serves to focus on the purpose of the photography, and guide users to the next relevant section of the page.

To display several images in the header, try a slideshow header with text content. Slideshow headers work well to display businesses’ main services or make clear the main options users are coming to the website for. Generally, slideshow header layouts encourage users to spend a little more time interacting with this area, rather than guiding users forward. 

The most modern header layout option is a video background header. This option offers a very engaging way to draw the attention of users and provides a contemporary flare. A video header is a great way to feature a manufacturing process, on-the-job activity, or clips from recent events.

What Type of Menu Bar Design Do You Want for Your Website?

The main menu bar is often the first thing users interact with on your website. It impacts how website visitors judge your brand and overall value. When looking over the different website design elements, give special focus to the menu bars positioning and layout design. 

The menu displays the roadmap to your website, so it should feature clear options without overcrowding the eye. It also serves to focus the user’s attention on what is most important. In general, menu bars should feature a clean, simple aesthetic. 

Be sure that the most important options on your menu are the closest position to the upper-left corner of the page. The menu bar positions to choose from include top horizontal, side vertical, and bottom horizontal. Top menus are best for users coming to your website to access numerous pages, whereas a bottom menu encourages users to engage with on-page content. 

Your Logo Brings it All Together

Finally consider your logos positioning in the menu bar. Since users tend to look at web pages in an “F” shaped pattern, most designers position the logo in the top-left corner or the top-center of the menu bar. Focussing your logo on the side of the menu guides users to the menu selections, whereas, placing your logo in the center focuses the user on your business’s brand identity. 

Knowing which website design elements to focus on in design revisions can allow your creativity and ideas to flow more freely. The best design elements for your website are the ones that best serve your business and communicate its message. If you’re not sure what options to choose, contact a web design specialist to get a free consultation on your website design elements.