When it comes to digital interfaces, consistency has massive value. As we surf through the web, we find dozens of websites in many different styles, yet most of them have similar page elements. But to be both effective and appealing, one of the most important factors in a page design is its consistency.
But how do we reach consistency? The need for being consistent in web design is one of the first things many web designers learn. But even though it is a vital element of good design, this can be difficult to reach. In this article, we will look into some of the reasons why consistency matters – as well as some cases where a page may actually benefit from having it.
But what is design consistency and why does it matter in web design?
Design consistency refers to the act of keeping all of the repeating elements of a website the same throughout the site. This may include everything from the replacement of the icons and buttons to the fonts and colors you use. But while this may seem easy to achieve, the old saying “it’s much easier said than done” applies in this case.
The layout of a website has to be consistent enough as it reveals the overall outlook of the website. The layout of the website includes a basic framework and structure that determines where the text content, images, navigation, and other essential elements are placed on the page. So, if all these common elements are placed with harmony on every page, that means the visitors will spend less time trying to figure out the page, which will make the website more engaging.
Also, there is a time/costing benefit to consistent web design. For instance, when your website uses a consistent layout, it means the website developer only has to generate a small number of reusable templates for your pages. A consistent layout not only keeps a website engageable and easy to use, but it also reduces the overall development time of your website, which in turn can save lots of money.
To reinforce their brand identity, for example, a corporate website should use a consistent color scheme throughout the website. What makes a website consistent?
- Are you using the same color scheme throughout the website?
- Are there any consistent horizontal and vertical spacing between the elements in your page layout?
- How about the headings? Are they consistent throughout the site?
- Do you provide navigation menus in the same place throughout the site?
- Are text links the same color throughout the website?
- Do form elements such as text inputs, submit buttons, and select lists look alike throughout the website?
- Do your website icons look the same?
It provides a sense of identity
It goes without saying that different fonts and texts or multiple pages with opposing layouts will cause a website to lose its sense of identity, making it even less memorable. For instance, if someone would surf different insurance company sites in their location in order to choose a reliable agent, they’re less likely to opt for a website that doesn’t seem to have a steady theme.
Sticking with the same writing style and using the same fonts with a sole color code is something that all web design services would recommend to those seeking to establish a sense of identity. Visitors react to a sense of harmony. In the case of a company, people are more eager to believe the company is an organized business if their website feels and seems consistent. A messy and cluttered organization of ideas might lead visitors to believe that the company is equally unorganized, forcing them to look for services elsewhere.
Also, if a company has already used a certain logo and color scheme in its signage, leaflets, etc., using a whole different logo or color scheme on their website will create disharmony within the company and its brand. This might make visitors wonder whether the site belongs to the same company.
Consistency makes negation flow easier. For a company, its website navigation structure has a great impact on their conversions, sales, and bounce rates. For example, if visitors can figure out where to find their product or service on a website, they’ll leave. Without consistent navigation, the visitors can’t figure out how to find an email signup page, blogs, product listing, pricing, help docs, or contact information.
The way visitors perceive a website’s usability and aesthetics is vital for a company as they want everyone who pops on the site to have a good user experience. Here are some of the essential aspects of web design and development play into user experience:
- Fonts, colors, and images
- CTAs and Headlines
- Accessibility of contact information
- Page load time
- Form design
Website navigation is one vital element to consider; however, if the visitors can’t sort out a company’s web form, it doesn’t matter how appealing that it might be. Consistency in navigation allows visitors to flow from one page to another without exasperation and easily.
Better exchange of information
When it comes to contact information, consistency is also essential. It would be frustrating to find this information if they were plotted around a website. Often an improper use of fonts and colors will draw people’s attention only to different types of information ignoring the essential.
As we browse the web, we can notice consistency across almost every website. However, because each project is slightly different companies, and web design services always need to bear mind the UX before designing anything. From the consistency of color scheme to spacing in layout, navigation flow, and icons, all these are essential details that can make or break a company’s sense of identity and its web design consistency.