Web design is a true craft. It takes not only coding skill, but also serious creativity and artistic vision as well as a feel for how the user will navigate through it. You don’t have to look far to find a website that’s any combination of garish, ugly, unintuitive, unreadable and poorly-optimised. And we all know from experience that poor website design can turn us instantly off, while a crisp, inviting design can draw us in to something we might otherwise not have been immediately grabbed by.
This all takes huge amounts of practice, and that’s not something a short list can give you. But it can give you some tips, tricks and, most importantly, inspiration to play, experiment and get better at this crucial skill.
There’s little more off-putting than loading a new website and being assaulted by a barrage of options and menus. As Elegant Themes mention in their tips and tricks, heatmap research shows that users hardly use those sidebars anyway. They’ve instead been co-opted for various promotions and email opt-ins and adverts that users don’t want.
So strip down your website to the bare essentials. The difficulty in this is to not sacrifice usability, functionality and intuitive navigation. This bit’s hard, but will pay dividends. Get friends and family who’ve never seen the website to use it. Watch how they navigate through it, take detailed notes, and adjust your design accordingly. It’ll make a world of difference.
Plan Out Your Theme
Theme here is a broad term. You want your website to have a cohesive design. And this means colour palettes, it means font choice, it means the way buttons work and so on and so on. Precisely because the theme of your website factors in so many things is why it’s crucial to plan this stuff pout beforehand. Pick complementary colours and sort them into a palette, draw out mock-ups. As the saying goes: measure twice, cut once.
It helps to tie your theme in to the name of your website, business or domain name. For example, Vikingslots capitalise on their name with a strong, evocative and, most important, cohesive theme that runs through the website. This helps give your brand a strong identity that sticks in the users’ minds.
Don’t Neglect Your Font
The words are (usually) what people are at your website to see. It’s what they’ll read to get all their information, to navigate around, and to consume your content. And yet too many websites settle for ill-thought-out font selection that just hamstrings their site. So do your users a favor and read up on typography if you haven’t already.
And remember that font encompasses not only the typeface you choose, but also the size, the kerning, the line spacing and so on. Take time over this. Make sure your font fits your theme and doesn’t clutter the screen. Bold, simple, big fonts work well for this, with the added advantage of being more accessible too.
Keep Your Images Top Notch
If you’re designing a website with a lot of images (a shop, for instance), the last thing you want if for those images to let down your design by being poor quality, low resolution, poorly-shot, or poorly positioned. This can not only hurt the aesthetic appeal of the site, but can also reduce the perceived value of your stock.
Don’t settle for second best. If you need new images, get them, because they form the focal point of your website’s content. If you don’t want to shell out too much for this purpose, we have some good tips for you.
Keep It Accessible and Responsive
Responsive design means that your website adapts to the user’s device, optimizing itself for the type of screen they’re using. Accessible means catering for different types of people such as the visually-impaired or those using older devices. In 2017, these practices aren’t as optional as they once were. Users expect to open a website on their phone and have it work just as well as when they opened it on their laptop. Likewise, it’s not fair to exclude people from using your website on the basis of things they can’t control, especially when all it takes is a little forethought in the design stage.
Many designers today are very familiar with these design practices. But if you aren’t, take some time to brush up. You might just learn something.As we’ve said, there’s plenty more to the complex world of web design. But every tip, every trick, every project help to boost your skills and your website.
The last crucial thing to remember is to pick a good hosting plan. After all, the best design in the world won’t matter if you can’t get the website out there. Check out our guide to finding a reliable shared hosting plan.