An Amateur’s Guide To Web Design
Website designing is a huge industry. Professionals belonging to different parts of the world design websites for the clients or for themselves. They make enough money for a good living or sometimes run multi-billion businesses for themselves. Every website is unique and there are various parameters that need to be set in order to make it a success in itself. However, there are some standards which are common and need to be followed as they represent the current industrial demands. Here is what you need to follow in order to get the results you dream of:
The building force behind every artist and designer is motivation. A designer well motivated can do wonders. Whenever you come across a website that looks like a masterpiece to you, don’t be awe-struck! Get some motivation from it. Try to get to the core of the design and think the way that particular designer might have thought like. Don’t reproduce someone else’s ideas, just get some motivation, you never know, it might add a spark to your creativity!
Before you begin the planning, set some parameters about your area of focus. Take down notes about which area will you be emphasizing on more; the layout, the contents or the colors? This will help you experiment more with the whole design. You will know whats needed where and what you will require for the final results. However, you can give equal attention to all these areas. This is only to give you an insight into your own thoughts and will lessen some burden off your shoulders!
Playing With White Space or Negative Space
There are many people who don’t realize the importance of white spaces in website design. As a designer you should realize that your web page should not look too cluttered. Don’t leave the visitor choking. Leave some breathing space for them. Don’t stuff in ads wherever you won’t find space. This gives a very unprofessional look to the whole website. Common internet users will easily recognize such websites a spam. Inculcate the whole design in a form that it looks friendly to the eye and leaves some room for the eye to rest. Don’t use jumpy colors or don’t make it look like you are imposing everything all at once. At the same time, the most useful information should be present at dispense of the visitor, this way the visitors would not panic rather they would want to explore the website more.
Don’t confuse the user. Present only those forms that require a user to fill in a minimum number of fields. Disable already used buttons, so that the user may not submit the same information twice. The user interface of the website should not be confusing. Present a proper navigation to other web pages on your website. It is tempting to use fancy looking buttons and controls but it is more important that they should be functioning and can be easily loaded through any browser. Use drop down menus in order to reduce clutter that is brought by additional navigation buttons and links.
Use of Images & Graphics
Don’t compromise on quality, always use high-resolution images or illustrations. It should be relevant to the content and should help in creating interest or explaining things which would otherwise not be possible. However, it is never advisable to use images as background of some text. There is always an extra amount of time associated with loading images. Never use a multi color theme. The text becomes too obscure and it is never easy to read.
Pay special attention to the typography when you are designing a portfolio website (however, typography is not restricted only to that type of websites, though). Never use fancy fonts which are difficult to read. Look for the right size of font; test it on different browsers to check the appearance. Visitors always desire for text having a lot of contrast with the background so that it is easy for them to read.
Learn A Language Or Two
It’s good to be a designer, but it’s even better to learn a few languages as that will make your work even faster and better. Sometimes, the designers have great ideas but they could not be implemented because they lack the knowledge of web programming languages. For that they need the help of web developers and that slows down the progress. HTML is basic, Java, ASP, PHP can help you do some better web design and development jobs if you have an edge on them.
The visitors who have just entered your website do not know what it is intended for until you get the message across. The focus should be on why you made this website, don’t make them keep guessing, do not make the visitors realize that they made a big mistake by entering your website. Present to them what you have to offer and make sure you do that in the best way.
Do Your Research
Before getting started with the work, you have to lay aside everything else and research on what you will create. The main focus should be on gathering all the information and data that will be used in the website. Take a notepad and note all the things that come into your mind. Sketch your existing ideas, look for new ones, read books, search on the internet, ask professionals and keep yourself inspired.
Many web designers or owners want to monetize their websites using Adsense or other affiliate programs. Studies have shown that there are some “hot” areas on a website where users click more often. Strategic placement of ads is a very important component of website design these days. Usually, sidebars and top left corners are the most suitable places for displaying ads.
The main aim of a good web designer is to attract the attention and interest of the visitor. For this the web designer has to exercise some tradeoffs. Keeping pace with the latest standards and holding on to the basics would always be your best supporters. Never lose them!
Good article! Many web designers could benefit from these principles.