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9 Core Elements of Modern Web Design

Shreya Bose, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack -

Table of Contents

Post-2020, the world has gone completely online. That means people use websites from grocery delivery to financial transactions to streaming BTS all day. Since everyone is heavily dependent, they expect their patronage to be repaid with optimal online experiences.

  • Come 2022; your web design elements are at the core of providing a fulfilling online experience.
  • Modern web design has come a long way as websites cannot appear as Classified newspapers.
  • No site stands a chance if it doesn’t function flawlessly while the design is either clean, simple, striking, or just all-out spellbinding.

Effective website elements create visual appeal and boost the overall SEO and CRO efforts, thereby supporting your marketing and revenue channels. While there are hundreds of design elements to choose from, a few indispensable core elements of modern web design are listed here that will escalate your visual and functional appeal.

1. Mobile-Optimized Design

In the second quarter of 2022, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 58.99% of global website traffic. This trend will catch hold of people taking to their phones as their primary source of online access.

  • 85% of adults think a company’s website design features on mobiles should be as good or better than its desktop version.
  • Any website that is not responsive will offer an unsatisfactory UX, leading to traffic, revenue, and credibility loss.
  • Mobile-optimized design enables a responsive website – a strategy that adapts to different screen sizes without compromising usability and UX.
  • Consequently, implementing a mobile-first design lies at the core of modern web design.

To implement this, you can inch towards a mobile-first design by running a quick test using BrowserStack’s Responsive Design Testing. Designers can quickly check the overall mobile-friendliness to optimize the website for different devices.

Screenshot 2022 08 04 at 4.20.06 PM

How to use BrowserStack Responsive to optimize mobile web design elements?

  1. Enter the URL of the website that is being tested.
  2. Once you sign in, enter the website URL and click Check to test responsiveness.
  3. When a particular device is selected, the user will see what the site looks like.

Try Responsive Testing for Free

2. Consistent Typography

One of the core website elements must feature safe, clean, and bold typography – a pillar of minimalist design.

Clean typography must include the following:

  • Appropriately sized text, which is usually larger than 16px
  • Black/gray typography, per the background hues or images
  • Web-standard fonts
  • Adequate space between lines to facilitate easy reading

Most organizations use a particular font or typography as their brand identity. For example, The New Yorker uses Adobe Caslon to create its highly recognizable typeset. Consider adopting a font for your website that will remain consistent across pages and other online resources you may provide.

3. Hamburger Menus

Most websites offer a long menu of options and features for users. While this may make for more straightforward navigation (since the user can go directly to whatever option they want from the home page), it also takes up a lot of screen space – especially on mobile devices.

Solve this quickly with a hamburger menu – a button that opens up to a broader menu or navigation drawer. This saves space and keeps the interface clean and uncluttered without removing navigational ease for website visitors.

4. Optimize for Speed

A slow-loading website design is not only one of the common web design mistakes but also a blunder for all your SEO and CRO campaigns. A mere 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% conversion reduction. Stats like these depict the significance of speed in modern web design – both on desktop and mobile devices.

In the age of instant gratification, websites are expected to load immediately, or they will be abandoned. Fortunately, building core aspects of web design to increase speed is not a difficult task. A few quick steps would be:

  • Optimize all images, regardless of size.
  • Choose a robust hosting environment, be it VPS hosting, shared hosting, or even a server dedicated to your site.
  • Use compression to keep files smaller.
  • Minimize HTTP requests in Chrome’s Developer Tools.

Using BrowserStack SpeedLab you get consolidated reports on how fast (or slow) the website is in terms of site speed metrics.

web design elements - Page Speed

You also get access to crucial improvements and insights that your frontend team can work on.

web design elements - Page Load Insights

Use SpeedLab for Optimization

5. White Space

As an element of minimalist design, white space is essential for modern homepage design that lets it breathe. Since the internet subjects every user to an infinite barrage of information, they can quickly reach a point of intellectual exhaustion. Using a balance of white space and content ensures that the site looks clean, organized, readable, and easy to navigate.

When it comes to white space, one can take inspiration from Apple on of their pre-launch days. No wonder they’re synonymous with one of the design leaders in the tech space.

6. SEO Optimized Elements

Modern website design elements can go a long way in improving a site’s SEO-based ranking. Some of them are invisible, such as meta tags, heading tags, and other HTML coding hacks belonging to the website’s back-end code. Insert, tweak, and optimize these elements so the website can reap the full benefits of Google’s SEO algorithm.

Know that Google is speed-obsessed with its products and services. Therefore developers and designers should be aware of the SEO implications of their web design elements.

7. Ensure Cross-Browser Compatibility

Every design element being coded into a site needs to be displayed and function perfectly on every device and browser with which the site is viewed. The only way to achieve this level of consistency is through iterative testing on real browsers and devices. That means every batch of designs pushed into staging must be verified through a browser compatibility matrix.

Run Browser Compatibility Test of Website

8. Intuitive Navigation

Intuitiveness and modern web design go hand in hand. If your website cannot be used by children and elders alike, consider your design to have a major flaw. Whether your team opts for hamburgers, accordions, drop-downs, or mega menus, do a quick analytical check to see whether your target audience can intuitively grasp your website design and navigation.

Any error or overlapping navigation will put a question mark on your brand. Visual testing is an industry-leading technique that will help you solve this.

  • For example, your food delivery app and website need thorough testing of different screens for navigation screens.
  • Automated visual testing will help you scan the entire setup to highlight the improvement areas.
  • This would ensure zero hiccups when speed and accuracy through food visuals are essential.

9. Ecosystem-based Design

Remember that design for design’s sake would not work for you. Your web design elements should reflect your brand USP or key offerings. If you’re designing e-commerce websites, your color palettes should ideally revolve around red, yellow, blue, and green. Similarly, if you’re creating a health and wellness website, think of soothing schemes full of sky blue, white, purple, and orange.

  • Designing for the ecosystem that your website caters to should encompass every other core element in some way or the other.
  • As product designers, understand the user’s goals and intentions at various stages in their website journey.
  • Keeping complexity in mind, allow your visitors to discover easier pages first and then lead them to deep dive into your complex sections.

Design for the Ecosystem

Key Takeaways

Hopefully, you were able to deep dive into these 9 core elements of modern web design that can transform your website’s effectiveness, functionality, CRO & SEO-friendliness.

Since every website must compete with thousands, sometimes millions of options online, it cannot afford to release anything but the most effective and aesthetically pleasing design. When discussing web design elements and plans, use these guidelines as best practices, and continue to build creatively without excluding these stipulations.

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UI Testing Visual Testing

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