Having at least a basic knowledge of web design will take you a long way. Whether you’re a computer expert, or new to it, or you’re someone who’s transitioned to it from another line of work, having an understanding of how to design your own sites, is an excellent skill for you to put on your CV. Web design is a vast subject area, so it may seem quite complex, confusing at first, but over time, you’ll discover that it’s much simpler than you initially thought. Plus, it’s something you can learn and practice while at home. Below are a number of web design tips you should know.
1. Look at Different Design Types
As someone who is new to web design, you might feel that you have to come up with your own design style. Something that will make you unique from your competitors. But one thing to keep in mind is that it can be quite difficult and time-consuming to come up with your own visual style. For that reason, you may want to delay that effort, at least for the time being.
As you design websites, you will notice your own unique style start to emerge. The objective is for you to look at and attempt many different styles, this way you will be able to determine what works best for you. Sometimes, depending on the project and task at hand, we are forced to alter our visual style. So while you’re going through all the different visual styles of other web designers, you should make a note of the things you feel work best for you.
You want to look at these styles and determine what about them catches your eye, what about these projects do you find most pleasing, from there you will be able to design a framework for your own projects. For your first project, you should make it a goal of yours, to implement features into it that you personally like, and then make alterations to them, to make them uniquely yours. And if you come to the conclusion that the initial style is no longer to your liking, you can quickly switch it up. You should always be exploring new ideas, and you should never be afraid to implement your own style and techniques into whatever you’re working on.
One thing you can notice, just from looking at a website, is its blandness, as a result of not having any pictures. Having pictures on your website makes everything look more alive. It ultimately enhances your design and makes everything feel more interactive for the viewer. When choosing images to use, the size of the image and the image type are things for you to consider. It’s always best to start with larger images, which you can later crop down to meet your requirements.
3. Use Stock Images
When it comes to picture selection, it’s recommended that you go with your own photography, first and foremost. However, if this isn’t an option, there are techniques that you can use to choose your own image, the right image, using stock photos.
Stock photos save you a great deal of time, which would otherwise be spent creating your own images. However, many websites tend to choose the most cliché images, when they go down this route. Another thing you may discover is that a lot of websites may be using the same bunch of stock photos, which doesn’t help you, if you go down this path, especially when it comes to credibility.
If a viewer had a negative experience on a website while viewing a particular image, then they will protect that experience from the image. Which is bad news for you.
So when it’s time for you to choose your stock images, you want to avoid the more obvious ones. You may see pictures of people sitting down in a perfectly lit room, with corny smiles on their faces. Or a group of people high-fiving one another while smiling unnaturally. There is a wide assortment of stock photos to choose from, many of which may appear natural, while others may not.
You want to go with the images that project scenarios that are realistic, relatable.
The first thing you want to do is go for pictures that were taken in properly lit environments. This may be in an office room, in a sort of meeting, or in casual business attire. You also have the over-the-top pictures of people on their computers or laptops, or people heading seminars, writing on a whiteboard. These images are the ones that people tend to gravitate more towards and find the most authentic. You also want to go with the most candid photos, ones that depict real-life situations the closest.
4. Keep Your Design Simple
While surfing the web, it’s more than likely that you have come across some really well-designed websites, and were intrigued enough to want to create something just like it. But before you go ahead and do that, one thing to keep in mind is that the best-looking sites aren’t always the best-designed ones. There are designers out there that make the mistake of using too many colors while placing elements, which have no significance, all over their pages – just to give it that wow factor. But in reality, much of this work is inefficient. If the viewer has difficulty getting around the website, has difficulty finding what they’re looking for, then they will quickly leave the site, no matter how nice it may look.
The best approach is to start with something small, and then branch out from there. You want to think about all the various aspects of the site and how people may interact with it. You want to stay true to the KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) principle, at all times. In truth, simplicity is the most important and vital aspect of web design. Research has shown that such designs tend to have the most impact on the viewer and always score the highest in the area of conversions. So you want your sites to adopt a clean design, without any of the fancy art styles.
5. Get Feedback
As a fundamental aspect of learning, not just in web design but in life, feedback is crucial for your development. Getting critique, although it may not be to your liking, will help improve your web design skill set, helping you to create better-looking and feeling sites. If you want feedback from other designers, there are specific sites you can go to for that, so I suggest you search for them.