4. We find that people quickly evaluate a site by
visual design alone. When designing your site,
pay attention to layout, typography, images,
consistency issues, and more.
— Web Credibility Project, Stanford University
5. Like dressing up for a job
interview, putting your
best design foot forward
makes a good first
7. What makes your website feel credible?
- Does the look and feel of the website match your
stated brand values?
- Are the visual elements internally consistent?
Good, up-to-date design
- Garish or dated designs feel amateur and cheap
- Good design doesn’t have to be flashy or trendy
8. Is your website consistent with the rest of
• Users will want reassurance that they are in the right
• If the branding is significantly different in style and
quality to your printed materials or to the image you
put forward (e.g. high-end) users may start to distrust
9. Your overall design should be internally
• Consistent overall tone/mood
• Unified visual style
• Consistent colour palette
• Use of one or two fonts
• Establishment of a consistent approach to
photography or illustration
21. Be consistent in font use
Too many fonts and font styles can be confusing and distracting.
Pick one font and use it consistently
22. Fonts – pick one and stick to it
• Select 1-2 fonts
(maximum 2 – one for headings one for body text)
• Use different weights/colours/sizes and case
(e.g. all caps vs. sentence case) to create an
• Do not center align text – this makes it difficult
for users to scan
There are at least 4 fonts being used:
23. All caps
White on black
Blue on white
Use consistent heading & body text styles
Black on white
24. Make sure people know where to click
Be consistent with the colour and style of links and buttons.
26. Have a consistent link style
• It is essential for users to know
what is “clickable” on the
website. As web design moves
towards a more minimal
approach, colour becomes one
of the primary cue for users
• A colour should be reserved for
links and other interactive
elements that is not used in any
other way on the site
Would you know which of these is clickable?
28. Alignment & Spacing
• Inconsistent and tight spacing
makes a site feel “uncomfortable”
or “amateur” to users.
• Use consistent alignment to a
base grid throughout the site.
• Allow whitespace and breathing
room between elements, in
particular, between text and other
visual elements (lines, boxes etc.)
Everything on the
page should align
to an underlying
29. Whitespace. A designer’s best friend
Look at any high-end brand’s website. Look at how much space
doesn’t have anything in it.
Add whitespace, and then add some more.
31. Colour. The days of web-safe colours are
Pick colours for consistency, sophistication and usability.
32. Choose a colour palette stick to it
Do these colours work together?
• Don’t have too much variety — Make
sure that all the colours feel like they
come from the same “families”
• Tone — Is the palette consistent with
your corporate culture? Neutrals, subtle
variations and calmer colours create a
more sophisticated and trustworthy feel
• Usability — The lime green tone is vivid
and “vibrates” on the eye, causing
legibility problems and eyestrain
34. When choosing a colour palette…
• Make sure the colours relate to each other (e.g. they feel like they go together)
• Ensure that the palette has enough range in colours/values to serve your
purpose, but don’t go overboard.
• Make sure your colours can support:
- Links (should use a unique, dedicated colour)
- Call out/emphasis boxes
- Backgrounds etc.
35. When choosing a colour palette (cont’d)
• Chose more muted colours for text or backgrounds. Extremely vivid
and/or pale colours can be hard for users to read
Text Text Text Text
• Vivid colours can certainly be used, if done carefully, however they
should be balanced with more neutral colours to prevent the design
from becoming garish
• Always keep accessibility in mind, visually challenged users need strong
contrast in text for legibility – Check out this great tool for testing
accessibility of test colours: jxnblk.com/colorable/demos/text
36. Oh, and content helps too.
Obviously your content will go a long way to establish your credibility
as well, but if not presented with a baseline of good design, users may
not get far enough to read it.