UX Design

A Comprehensive List of Design Principles for Startup Websites and Blogs


A website and a blog can make or break a business on how well they are structured to meet the intended audience’s needs. 

People quickly decide whether they hate or adore your website or blog, and design has a lot to do with it.

The design of your website is mainly responsible for how visitors engage with your business and how many convert to customers. 

“70% say that demand for UX has increased in the past years- yet budgets stay the same.”


Without beating around the bush, let’s look at a comprehensive list of UX design principles you can work with to establish yourself in your market, regardless of your industry.

UX Design Principles for Your Website

1. Visualize before you speak

If you want to sell us a phone, we’d like to see it first. Take a look at Apple’s homepage. It only features necessary text and some immediate-conversion links on the page. If you want to learn more, they’ll take you to a separate page, or you can immediately jump to checkout. But before all that, they’ll give you a glance at their iPhones and the colors they’re offered in. 

Apple Homepage

Visitors love it when you don’t take much of their time explaining, so your design should focus largely on visual presentation.

2. Generously use white space

Subtle amounts of whitespace meaningfully sprayed on your website adds breathers to the design and makes it simplistic. White spacing doesn’t necessarily mean that the website background color needs to be white, just that there needs to be enough space between site elements.

For instance, increase line spacing for text, add white space in lengthy text blocks to the left and right margins and avoid putting images in line with text but position them above or below text blocks after meaningful spacing.

Related Reading: The Business Case to Stop Overcomplicating UX

3. Optimize for page speed 

53% of site visitors will abandon your site if it takes over 3 seconds to load. A one-second delay in page loading reduces page views by 11%. Ensure that website visitors can quickly accomplish their primary objective of landing on your site.

Any load times, waiting times and the quality of pop-up animations can largely impact the perception and experience of users on your site.

4. Visually segment design elements

One of the most important goals for UX site designers is to build a visually distinct page layout to create a flexible and engaging user path. Visually distinct elements make it easy for site visitors to find what they are looking for on your site with minimal effort.

  • Make the most critical elements of your site stand out, such as blog post headlines.
  • Add navigational tools to ensure users know where they are on the site at all times.
  • CTA buttons should be clear about where they lead to and distinctly accessible and readable.
  • Common elements such as contact form and search feature should be placed in the common places with the most prominently used design elements, such as the glass icon for the search function.
  • The text must be readable by way of contrast and color, which enhance readability.

5. Keep website pages consistent

Web design should be consistent as visitors feel uncomfortable and distrust unknown design elements. As per Gestalt theory, six principles are often applied to UX design and make for consistency:

  • Good figure – The human mind’s tendency to simplify means objects in a group are perceived as a single figure.
  • Similarity – The similarity principle states that objects tend to be grouped if they are similar.
  • Closure – Closure relates to the visual continuity in sets of elements that don’t touch each other in composition.
  • Proximity – The human mind groups objects together if they are close to each other.
  • Continuation – When there is an intersection between objects, the human mind perceives each as a single uninterrupted object.
  • Symmetry – The human mind perceives each object as a symmetrical shape forming around its center.

6. CTAs Should Be Central

Your goal is to make your visitors take action. So, don’t hide the CTAs. They need to be eye-catching and easily noticeable.

It is detrimental for a website to have CTAs in order to drive conversions. Yet, 70% of businesses don’t have any CTA buttons.

A call to action is most effective if implemented into a button. Determining where you should place your CTA buttons depends on the type of the page. A good standard is to place CTA buttons high on the homepage – preferably under your opening and in the corner of your main navigation. For an article page, the CTA buttons should be placed before and after the main text.

7. Emphasize effective UX writing

Amidst all the design, make sure that the message isn’t lost. Use language on your site that users are familiar with and create a seamless connection with the site visitor by way of words. Well-written text that speaks to the user’s motivation behind visiting your site can transform their experience.

81 percent of marketers say that interactive content is more effective than static content when it comes to grabbing consumers’ attention.

Use simple yet powerful language to convey what you want visitors to know about your company, encourage them to take action and leave them feeling satisfied.

Related Reading: Should You Indulge in Conversational UX for Your Startup

8. Make it responsive

As of January 2022, mobile is responsible for over 55% of the market and desktop devices follow at 42% market share. The remaining meager percentage attributes to tablet devices. This data is worldwide. Specifically in the US, 50% of people use a desktop to surf, while 46% of the market share belongs to mobile devices.

So, businesses like yours should focus on responsive site design to address the major chunk of their audience. Optimize your site for mobile devices by taking care of information placement. Place buttons in the center of the screen as people navigate using their thumbs.

It also helps to ensure that users can interact with a single touch and decide whether or not your users will use both hands on the mobile device to create a site layout for responsiveness.

UX Design Principles for Your Blog

Focus on the UX

Before we dive into the UI elements that deserve placement on your blog, consider the user experience. Determine the goals and desires of your audience as they land on your blog. What are they looking for? Why are they visiting your website? Where are they learning about you and your blog? What do they want to achieve through your blog?

To plan your blog for a positive user experience, take note of how your audience responds to each blog post. Do they need to be distracted by five pop-ups on your blog page? Will they appreciate the one pop-up about joining your mailing list? Streamline your blog experience for your audience by starting with them and then aligning their needs with your business’.

Focus on the font size

Font size makes a huge impact on how site visitors consume your content. Some people will scroll by if the font size is too small for them. While there is no specific rule for font size, Derek Halpern of Social Triggers has rich research showing it should be at least size 12 to perform optimally.

Set page margins

A web design fundamental is to increase page margins to make your blog posts readable. Smushing words between two huge margins makes the content easy on the eyes as we have to do less work going from one line to the next.

As an experiment, look at the blogs you really enjoy reading that easily cover 1500+ words in each post and see if they have wide margins on both sides.

Reduce clutter and options

Conversion Rate Optimization and User Experience both agree on this. Busy pages with many banners and links make it hard to engage with anything. Ensure that each page on your blog focuses on one kind of conversion, such as, “Follow me on Facebook”, “Sign up for my newsletter”, “Check out my most recent LinkedIn article”, etc.

The cluttered design doesn’t convert. Reduce clutter and options from your blog to make it easy for your visitors to take action.

Related Reading: Why Startups Fail to Get UX Right the First Time

Segment content on the blog

While blog visitors can find out all the content on your blog by clicking on ‘read more’ and sifting through the many topics you cover, segmenting blog posts by meaningful criteria can highly increase blog readership.

For instance, if you are an investment advisor to different age groups, segmenting content on your blog as per first-time investors, mildly experienced investors and pro investors can highly improve readership as your audience can find exactly what they are looking for without having to sift through a myriad of content.

What would be a meaningful way for you to segment your blog content?

Introduce search

A search function on a blog has quickly gone from a nice-to-have to a must-have as readers want to find what they need quicker than ever. If a reader wants to read a specific topic on your blog which doesn’t fall into one of the prominently mentioned categories you’ve created, they will be completely lost.

However, a search function would make it easy for them to discover information and consume it seamlessly, enhancing the overall UX.

Add a progress bar

No matter how interesting your blog is, your readers will wonder where it ends. That’s just how the human mind works, as it is goal-oriented and wants to finish things off. Adding a progress bar provides continuous information to your readers.

Users can anticipate the end of each blog post and also decide whether they want to read it word-to-word or give it a skim. Add a progress bar to enhance your users’ experience of your blog.

Build trust and credibility

The credibility of information is critical today amidst fake information and exaggerated news. Add the following elements to your blog to improve the trust and credibility of users in what you have to say:

  • Author Bio – Who is the author behind the words, thoughts and opinions? Even in the specialized tech sector, it makes sense for companies to have their writers recognized and mentioned in their content. When you put a face to it, you increase the credibility of your blog.
  • Links – Only add links on your blog to relevant and recent information. Linking to authoritative websites and credible information improves your credibility, too.
  • Social elements – The number of comments, likes and shares your blog posts receive are validating signals for all your readers. Incorporate these on your blog to increase trust.

Design for conversions

Your blog is a significant sales channel that works relentlessly to answer your audience’s questions and concerns around their challenges, proposes solutions and positions your business as a top choice.

To maximize this conversion opportunity, inculcate the following in your blog-

  • Balance hard and soft sells – Your blog content should meet the buyer where they are and then take them forward. Do they need detailed information about your product, or are they simply browsing through? How aware is your target audience about their pain points, and how ready are they to buy from you? Your blog’s UX will speak to those to balance hard and soft selling points.
  • Use metrics to inform updates – A few metrics that can inform your decision-making around your blog design and content are- bounce rates, dwell time, heat mapping, page load time and unique visitors.
  • Leverage email marketing – If you are in a business with a long sales cycle, as is frequently the case in B2B scenarios, keep your audience engaged through weekly emails directed toward their pain points that speak to their awareness of your brand and their needs. This way, you create a fully rounded experience for them and stay top-of-mind when they are ready to purchase.

A website and blog are a startup’s most significant digital assets. It makes sense to invest time and effort into ensuring they are set up for ROI and lead generation. A smooth UX will ensure high engagement as well as ROI from these critical digital touchpoints.

If you are in the initial stages of designing the UX of your site and blog, speak to one of KiwiTech’s UX consultants today.

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