10 Commandments of User Experience (UX) Web Design

Before you build out a slick new page on your website, incorporate these 10 UX principles of usability.

  1. Consistency is king
  2. Design gives your site personality
  3. Prioritize usability
  4. Understand visual grammar
  5. Typeface is a powerful element of design
  6. Make your designs accessible for all
  7. Avoid complexity when possible
  8. Meet the basic needs of your users
  9. Understanding context
  10. Feedback is key to every good design

Understanding user experience (UX) principles is an essential element in today’s market. A well-designed site can encourage customers to buy products and services in a faster, easier manner. UX can lead to increased conversions, reduced shopping cart abandonment and improved user interaction—when done correctly.

Consider the following UX statistics:

  • 83% of online shoppers say they wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience.
  • 70% percent of online businesses that fail do so because of bad usability.
  • Only 55% of companies currently conduct any UX testing.
  • 53% percent of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
  • People form 75% of their judgment on a website’s credibility purely on its aesthetics.
  • Bad mobile optimization annoys 48% of users.


Here are the 10 commandments of top-notch web design.

Commandment #1. Consistency is king

Familiarity matters and user testing confirms it. According to one study, we’re most comfortable with the websites we use most—otherwise known as “familiarity breeds content.”

The more familiar users are with a product, the better they like it.

Commandment #2. Design gives your site personality

Your brand is more than logo and tagline—it’s a deep and engaging experience that doesn’t just represent the company you work for, but the people on your team and the product or service you sell. A great way to build on this narrative is to bring your brand to life with a creative and responsive design—one that features a distinct character or voice that speaks directly to your customers.

Personality-driven design is something that every designer should practice. From the colors to the copy, every single aspect of your product’s design can have a character of its own. The way you structure your marketing copy, for example, is just as crucial as the way you structure your product description or user flow.

Commandment #3. Prioritize usability

While aesthetics and features are important, the safety and ease of use will ultimately ensure that a user keeps coming back to your e-commerce site. The best user experience design gives you more than just a pretty screen: it helps you convert customers. That’s why the 2 most important principles of user experience design are usability and accessibility.

Commandment #4. Understand visual grammar

Visual grammar is a set of rules that applies to all visual communication. Whether designing, developing, or creating content, it’s vital to study visual grammar to design for better user experiences. For example, using color creates an emotional response in your viewer. Images can replace hundreds of words and fonts are among the most important details in any design.

Commandment #5. Typeface is a powerful element of design

Typography is an art that can transform boring words into captivating statements. Every business has a message to convey to its audience, either in the form of words or images. The challenge with text-based messages is that they tend to be hard to understand, especially with the use of abbreviations, jargon and memes. However, using the right font with proper spacing between letters makes even complex messages easy to comprehend.

The way you use typography can affect how users interpret your message. Not only does the type you choose impact how accessible or usable your site is, but it can set the tone of your brand. As you consider creating a typographic hierarchy to improve the navigation of your website, keep in mind how these choices can affect the user experience. Not only does typography speak volumes with its visual language, it also helps you deliver the message to your audience with ease.

Commandment #6. Make your designs accessible for all

Accessible design is one of the most important UX design basics to master. This means considering how people with disabilities interact with the products you make. It means putting in extra work to ensure everyone can use your products to their fullest capacity.

Moreover, it also means making sure that disabled people are able to do everything non-disabled users can do. In short, you should remove all obstacles from the design.

Commandment #7. Avoid complexity when possible

Less is more—it sounds so simple.

But what does it really mean?

Essentially, the most efficient designs are those that require the least number of steps to achieve the user’s desired result. With this principle, you can create a workflow that performs multiple tasks with just one step.

Simplicity is the defining principle of great design. Apple’s home page and iconic look and feel—the minimal interface—was born out of this philosophy. You can boil down everything from navigation to typography to its essence. Strip down every element on a website into one that makes sense and moves the conversation forward.

Commandment #8. Meet the basic needs of your users

Design with users in mind. UX design is about giving your users the best possible experience when interacting with your product, and it’s a collaborative process. An effective UX design is one in which you take into account both yours and the user’s needs and wants. Good UX designers know who their users are, what they’re looking for in a product and how to give it to them.

Commandment #9. Understanding context

Taking your users’ context into consideration is key to user-centered design. When moving with the current understanding of “context” (location, time, etc.), make sure you always remember to ask questions like:

  • Is the design appropriate for this location?
  • Is it too distracting?
  • Will people understand what to do?
  • Is it clear enough that it’ll work every time?

Commandment #10. Feedback is key to every good design

A user’s understanding of the product’s dynamics is crucial for building trust and encouraging interaction. You can use feedback to guide users, confirm actions, reduce mistakes and give them a sense of control over the device.

Human-machine communication is what makes the world go around. That’s why it’s so important to give your product some life so that people can engage with it and form some sort of relationship with it.

Without feedback, the design loses its purpose. By losing its ability to evolve, it becomes incomplete.

Why UX matters

Every step you take towards improving your online presence will help create a better experience for your users and customers.

Even the smallest design aspect can make a huge difference in how users interact with your brand. So take it slow and keep in mind that exceptional UX is built with an army of minor improvements. There is no secret formula to creating a flawless product, but your online presence will be a success with enough testing and research.

Need help designing with UX in mind? Our creative team of designers and marketers at Brown Bag is here to help you! Contact us today to get started.