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Why it pays to maintain visual consistency in web design

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Lawrence Gould
March 09, 2018

Lawrence Gould

Lawrence Gould has spent 20 years in web design and is now a consultant to various companies including some of the leading SEO services Boston MA. His love for writing drives him to write regularly on design topics. Lawrence is fond of gardening and maintains a small beautiful garden at home.

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The sky is the limit when we talk about creativity and innovativeness in web design or any visual art, but for web design, you must follow certain rules.

Only if you follow the rules that you should be capable of creating efficient web designs like the ones you find in the WordPress themes. Whether you are creating a website from scratch or re-designing a website for WordPress, you can choose the theme according to the design you prefer. While you might sometime dare to break the rules to experiment with something new, one rule that you should never tamper with is consistency in design.

Consistency in design aims at providing a comfortable experience to users when browsing the website by making the common user elements appear in the same place on the website pages. It means that the user would know exactly where on the website they could find the company logo, page content, site navigation, etc. This would make them more familiar with the website design that leads to a much more comfortable experience. Why it is important to maintain consistency in web design and how sometimes it benefits in deviating from the rule will become clear on going through this article.

The importance of design consistency

The users, website owners, as well as web designers all, stand to gain from design consistency.  When the layout of the design features that relate to the structure and basic framework of the website remain consistent, it would appear on in the same way at the same place on every page of the website.

As users can anticipate it in advance, it becomes comfortable for them to navigate the website, as they know exactly where things are located on the page, and this saves browsing time leading to the better user experience. It benefits the SEO services Boston MA too because user experience matters a lot in SEO. Consistency saves cost and time of web designers who can repeat the same template on different pages and would use fewer templates too. Consistent color schemes used for creating a corporate identity often helps to reinforce brand identity across different media.

Build a sense of identity

Uniformity in the use of the design elements helps to build a sense of identity for the company or brand. To achieve it, you must maintain similar layouts on all pages; use some particular varieties of fonts and texts so that there is a fixed pattern emerging from it.  Creating a set theme is essential for building an identity that helps to relate to the brand quickly.  Adhering to a particular writing style, using the same fonts and sticking to some fixed colors helps to create a symphony that develops an identity and theme that is easily recognizable. It elicits a positive reaction from viewers who can get closer to the brand. The organized approach in design builds trust for the company that also seems to be organized and trustworthy.

Make it easy to navigate

There is no doubt that consistency in design leads to easier navigation. The sooner users become used to the website ways, more comfortable they would feel when using it. Lesser being the surprise elements on each page, users feel more at ease. To make it easy for users, the navigation bar located at the top right-hand corner of the page should be accessible from any page. Placing a search bar suitably so that it is accessible from all pages is also helpful.  Using fonts and colors of a specific pattern helps to build consistency of design of such websites.  There would be minor variations in design to make it compatible for mobile devices, but there should be enough similarity in style that leads to a consistency so that users do not get confused about the identity when accessing the website on different devices.

 Communicate information effectively

 Consistency in design is vital for communicating information to users.  By placing information consistently on the website, it becomes easy for users to find the relevant information.  Pay attention when using italics or bold fonts to draw the attention of users to special types of information. The information that you want to highlight should be the same level of importance so that there is some consistency in the way you highlight it or else it would lose its purpose.  Restrict the variety of fonts that you use because using too many types of fonts would conflict with the consistency plan that you want to achieve.

An exception proves the rule; you can also sometimes deviate from the rule of consistency. To draw the attention of people to some special information, you can use some color that is different from the chosen scheme because the unlikely color would appear striking. However, avoid the tendency to go overboard and stick to the basics as far as possible.

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