Web design is a complicated design discipline that can take a lifetime to master. And as if that weren’t bad enough, it’s also an area that’s evolving every second as technology advances. For this reason, these tips are essential to becoming a pro designer or creating your own website that packs a punch.
It is something that pretty much everyone at the executive level of a company has to deal with, but only design experts really understand. If you want a great website, you need to learn the basics so you can communicate what you want. Even if you hire an expert for Responsive Web Designing, you still need background information so you can tell a talented designer from a mediocre one and explain what you want them to do.
We know how hard it is for non-designers to figure out this whole design thing, so we’ve created this handy guide to walk you through the basics. Here are the top designing tips you need to know (plus some useful dos and don’ts), broken down into three categories: composition, aesthetics, and functionality. Whether you hire a designer or do it yourself, keep these ten basics in mind when designing your final website.
First, let’s talk about the most common web design beginner mistake: a messy screen. Most people have a list of all the things they want on their website, and because they don’t know any better, they just throw it all on the screen – and on the same page.
Use enough white space
How are you going to fill the whole space after you clean up? May we suggest filling it with nothing?
Negative space (aka white space) is the visual arts technical term for areas in an image that do not draw attention. Usually, these are either blank or white, like a cloudless sky or a colorless wall. Although boring when used on its own, negative space can complement and enhance the main subject when used artistically, improve readability, and allow the image to be “picked up” better.
Guide your user’s gaze through a visual hierarchy
If a technical term like “negative space” doesn’t throw you off course, what about “visual hierarchy”? It refers to using different visual elements like size or placement to affect which elements your user sees first, second, or last. A big, bold title at the top of a website and tiny legal information at the bottom is a good example of using a visual hierarchy to prioritize certain elements over others.
Choose your colors purposefully while creating a web design
Now that you are familiar with the principles of good composition, let’s talk about the ins and outs of this composition. We’ll start with color, a powerful tool for any designer.
First of all, each color has a different emotional connotation. If your brand identity is passionate and energetic, an energizing red would suit you better than a calm blue. In addition to choosing the right colors for your brand, you also need to apply them correctly, such as using contrasting colors to create a visual hierarchy.
Don’t skimp on photography
While it’s optional if you decide to use real photography, do it right. Effective, meaningful photography can advance your business goal. Poor-quality photos, on the other hand, can slow it down.
Using photography follows many of the same guidelines as good photography in general. An amazing photo in an art gallery can be just as amazing on a website, but the mood, style, and themes have to match.
Tweak typography to build your brand for web design
Even though the words you or your copywriter choose are already extremely powerful, you can make them even more effective by giving them the right look.
Typography includes all visual parts of the text, especially the fonts, but also other elements like size, text color, style (italic, bold, etc.), and the spacing between letters, words, and lines. All of these elements influence the visual hierarchy and how your brand is perceived.
Finally, we come to functionality: what your site can do. The conversation about functionality should always start with navigation, the backbone of any website.
Everyone has their own methods of navigating a website. A good Responsive Web Designing agent tailors its navigation to its users so that it feels intuitive. The fewer users have to think about it, the better.
This is not an easy task. It starts with how the whole site is laid out: what gets its own page, what gets pushed to a subpage, and what gets shown in the main menu and what doesn’t. Each of these questions must be answered before the actual web design can really get started.
Prefer mobile devices
Older (but not old!) People tend to think of websites in terms of desktop screens, but the truth is that people mostly browse on their mobile devices these days. That’s why you need to make sure your mobile site is in perfect working order. Not only for your users but also for Google. The Google algorithm includes the mobile capability of a page in the search results.
With these web design tips, you can do it!
It’s one thing to read these tips, but another to fully apply them to your own site. Areas like color theory, typography, composition, and mobile are very in-depth, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it all right away. Only professional designers can truly gauge the nuances of these areas. Hiring someone who instinctively understands these basic rules is usually the surest path to great design.
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