Yes, there are some basic web design principles to follow, no matter what kind of site you’re doing. We’ll leave the finer points up to your creativity and ability, but all successful designers follow these three principles, whether they’re designing for a Singaporean client or anyone else:
Don’t Forget Mobile Users in Web Design.
If somebody hits your page from a mobile device, they won’t expect exactly the same experience as from a desktop, but they do expect a reasonably full experience — certainly all key functionality and content. And Singaporeans are big mobile users, according to Web designers.
There should be essentially the same content and — especially — the same functionality available on the mobile site as would be on the desktop site. Content, images, all other major design elements — grids, what have you — should all reconfigure smoothly for the screen sizes your site would be rendered on for mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
There is a school of thought that says you should design your mobile sites differently from your desktop sites. There are pros and cons — yes they can be cheaper options, but redirect doesn’t work perfectly, and you really don’t want people having two different experiences on different devices, that’s not presenting one face to the customer. It’s your call, but we would lean towards one design across all screens.
Kill Inessential Content During the Web Design Phase.
And we mean kill it across all devices. You might hear “Oh, that’s not essential, make sure it doesn’t go on the mobile setting.” My friend, if it’s not essential, what’s it doing in any setting?
It’s an overused example, but the Google homepage is a masterpiece of cutting all inessential design. Inessential elements distract from the essential ones — if they’re both presented, how’s the viewer to know what’s important and what’s not?
The mind and eye both gravitate towards simplicity. Base your design on it. Don’t make your viewers do the hard work of choosing and deciding what to concentrate on, do it for them. It’s your site, you’re in control of the experience.
Web Design Is For Humans to Navigate.
You have people accessing your site from Singapore and elsewhere. They need to know how to get around and find what they want. That’s why they’re there. They’re not on your site to be wowed by the latest design tricks and toys.
Help them out. Give them a site map, give them clear links labeled as such. Give them bread crumbs. Give them intuitive layouts, give them an easy path to all content. Navigation is not the place for jargon, it’s the place for “About Us,” “Prices” and “Contact.” Users like dropdown menus, and they like everything clickable. Site users pay your salary, be nice to them.
It’s possible to be creative — very creative — while maintaining a site’s clarity of purpose, usability and navigation across all platforms and screens. In fact, it’s the harder challenge to be creative and fresh while sticking to the basics of customer usability. That’s why you don’t see it done well all that often, just overdesigned sites you can’t navigate or boring billboard sites.
You need relevant, fresh, regularly-updated content on your site, of course, that’s what keeps people coming back. But your site can stand out positively with customers in Singapore or anywhere on solid, careful web design alone.