Web Design Tips for Beginners: Everything I Wish I Had Known When I Started
As we do every so often, we reached out to our Twitter followers to help us show one of the best things about the online design community: Its willingness to share its knowledge. We asked our community members to share their top design tips with us. They responded in large. We received so many great responses, we felt that it would have been a waste of time to not compile them and share them with the entire community.
We were able to distill the many fine responses into one comprehensive post. Here’s a list of some of the best design advice available to everyone who files within the community.
We also received a popular response that falls under the K.I.S.S. umbrella. White space was another popular response that we received. It falls under the K.I.S.S. umbrella. It is vital that white space is used and not cluttered with clutter. This seems to be a problem for many designers who try to fill every inch with their products. There are many benefits to using white space, but it is important not to make your design look cluttered. White space allows page elements and by extension the people viewing them, to breathe. White space can help relieve the tension in cluttered designs.
Images can be as effective as empty space. Use empty space to your advantage
“Good design is as simple as possible.” (Dieter RAMS)
It is better to be less than you think.
I think the best design tip was “reduce. Reduce. Reduce.” That’s when you know that you are done.
Use white space and rich, harmonious colors.
White space is not to be avoided
Follow the directions and don’t forget to leave white space.
White space can be as important as content in design.
Avoid cluttering up your web page with too many images, backgrounds, and colorful fonts. Keep it simple.
White space isn’t lost space.
Do not think that you must fill every inch of space. Cramming in every media form, packed with useless facts, will do you no favors.
White space is your friend and not your enemy.
color is another area worth considering. Every design has its own color scheme. Not the least, there are many factors to consider. Many of the tips shared stressed how color plays an important role in communication. Designers need to know at least some basics about color theory and how to use color on a website. Many designers believe too many colors can make a design unwieldy and detract from its effectiveness.
This is a quick color scheme that a non-designer can use: Start with a base color and then select darker and lighter versions. Adjust saturation, but not hue.
Do not be afraid to use color.
If you are choosing colors for clients, be sure to do so near a window. The sun is the same for all, but indoor lighting isn’t.
A color palette should be simple. You can use more shades to create a variety of colors. 2011 is the year when less is more.
Consider the contrast of adjacent elements when choosing a color scheme. Black curtains and white walls.
The Learning Curve
Another problem that was brought up repeatedly was the learning curve. We designers must never stop learning. We must continue to learn and improve our skills in order to be relevant in this constantly changing field. We have no reason to lose sight of the wealth of knowledge that the community provides.
Learning is like the horizon. It has no limits (a Chinese proverb). This is true for design, I believe.
Your passion for learning should be nurtured
Try to learn something new and push yourself with each new project.
Focus on the User
Always keep the user’s best interests in mind. This topic was brought up many times. This is the most important aspect of any project. While form and flair are great, they must not compromise the usability or usability of the design. Websites are often interactive, so it is important that functionality and user needs take precedence.
Also, you must focus on the user to determine what design to make. It will be difficult to build a user-friendly website if you don’t know who your target audience is. Keep in mind the intuitive interactivity you want to create so that anyone can navigate the website easily.
While designing with the client in your mind, for end users. Everyone will be satisfied in the end.
Although it may seem boring, here is my tip: Form follows function! Good design is when the user can get what they want in the way that they desire.
This next piece of advice would be near the top if we ranked the tips we have received in order of importance. This tip is simple, but it’s vital: Save your work. Save often. This tip is easy to forget when you get so caught up in the excitement of a task. It will come back to bite your if you do. It’s easy to lose hours because you are too busy at work. You can lose hours of progress in an instant if there is a glitch in your app or system.
When you have created a design, place elements and create a visual hierarchy. Communication with users is an essential aspect of any design. To guide users and highlight interactive and navigable features, ensure that there is a hierarchy in place. Users will feel lost, confused, or helpless if they don’t have any clues or attention grabbers. Although some users might take a while to understand the concept, they will make up for any shortcomings of the designer.
Each page requires a visual anchor. This is something that draws users in and dominates the design.
A clear hierarchy should be established. It should be obvious which elements to focus on first, second, and third.
To maximize the experience’s effectiveness, place controls and content where they are most relevant. Also, make sure to focus on the most important things.
Make sure you look at your design in grayscale. This will allow you to see the true contrast and give you a sense hierarchy.
Your eyes are your best friend. You better move them if they don’t naturally gravitate toward the most important parts of the layout.