Creating a unified feel or consistency throughout your website is one of the most important factors in web design. Changing fonts, backgrounds, page themes and behaviours can make your site difficult to navigate. This in turn directly impacts how users interact with your site and will ultimately lead users to look elsewhere.
So, here’s a breakdown of what you need to think about:
Arghhh, don’t get me started on the incessant use of different fonts throughout a website. By all means choose a ‘Show’ font for your headings or Page headers, but stick to something simple for the rest of your text and don’t chop and change between pages. For more tips on avoiding font overload check out this post.
Consistency is really important, and so is a pleasant and easy-on-the-eye palette that has good contrast. If you really do want to include dark colours in your website, consider using them as accents, menus or borders instead of the whole page. A black website with white writing is very tiring on the eyes after a few minutes.
Using images is fantastic, especially if you are running an online shop, but do try to keep the feel of your images the same throughout your website. Photograph products on the same or similar coloured background and ensure images are consistent in size and shape. If you have rounded corners on some images, have them on all images. You can use free programs such as Canva to create images and PicMonkey to edit your photos. Make sure these are consistent for your site and don’t select random effects for each image that you post. Oh, and try to steer clear of obvious stock images too!
This is something that often gets overlooked when building a website, but the way that a user interacts with your site needs to be consistent throughout. If they click on a link on the left of each page to show them an example, then don’t randomly move that same link to the right side on the next page. This just gets confusing and puts the user off. If customers have to invest time learning where things are on your site, they just won’t bother.
Using a theme is a great way to ensure that you maintain consistency on your site. In most websites you can select from a range of themes and then customise the colours and fonts to suit you. Just don’t mess with them individually on each page or things will get messy and look extremely unprofessional. The real benefit of using themes is that if you choose to alter it at a later date, all pages within your website will change to match your new look. It’s really simple and a great way to update your whole site without starting from scratch.
If you’re just starting your website journey I hope these pointers give you something to think about, and if you already have a website, take a look at it and see if you can improve it using any of the consistency tips above.