Website Design Fundamentals
Have you ever tried to design a website, but found yourself unable to articulate
what you envisioned? When it comes to website design, many people experience mental blocks from time to time. The following are a number of ideas to help inspire you, stimulate your creativity, and break you out of a creative funk.
Feedback From Clients
Bar none, the most vital aspect of designing a website is getting input from your clients. Although your ideas about designing a website might sound good on paper, the one youâ€™ve envisioned might not meet the criteria of the person or company youâ€™re making it for. Youâ€™ll need to press your clients about their expectations before anything else! Here are several questions I tend to ask:
Using these exploratory details, youâ€™ll have the ability to put together a number of design prototypes and sketch some layouts that are in accordance with the vision of your client.
What Makes the Design of a Website
Either Good or Bad?
The most integral aspect of any website is interaction. The last thing you want is a site that looks bad but works great. If a site isnâ€™t in line with the
branding identity of your client, then, by contrast, it is not a good website.
You could have the best-looking website in the world, but if people canâ€™t
figure out how to get from one page to another, then what good is it?
Visitors should be as intrigued by a siteâ€™s design as much as by its content. The websiteâ€™s main menu must be easy to find on every page. Tabs and links must contain title descriptions. Buttons on the menu can subtly change their appearances to establish which section or page a user is currently on. You can use breadcrumbs (for example, â€œHomepage > Books > Web Design Manualsâ€) to help people navigate through your site.
General Cohesiveness of Website Design
A fundamental theme should be maintained on every page, even if some pages look different than others. When such cohesiveness is achieved, you connect and hold together the websiteâ€™s overall design.
Keep Things Basic
Youâ€™ll find that a majority of websites share the same structure. Youâ€™ll find logos in the left corner, banners on the right, and content in the body serving as a webpageâ€™s focal point. While there are a number of ways these elements can be organized, not very many of them are intuitive. It is in your best interest to maintain a basic and intuitive autonomy for each page of your website.
Negative space (a.k.a. white space) is a portion of a website layout that is vacant (missing imagery or wording). Many web design beginners believe that all empty spaces on a page of a website need to be filled in (perhaps with content or pictures). These people do not understand that negative space is as integral to a webpage as content and visuals are. With a lack of white space, the design is a whole will come across as unbalanced and cluttered. Visitors to your website will have difficulty figuring out what to concentrate on.
The divine proportion (a.k.a. the â€œGolden Ratioâ€) â€“ in addition to other traditional website design patterns – allows you to do to produce layouts that are easy on the eyes. Historically, Renaissance artists used the Divide Proportion to create paintings, architecture, and sculptures. As such, if you use this sensible and fundamental principle, youâ€™ll know what guidelines to follow for the sake of crafting layouts that appeal to people.
Your website will feel unified when the elements of the design work together (as opposed to website components that run individually). Various elements need to be connected to each other so that a websiteâ€™s overall design comes across as strategized and systematic.
Resolution of a Screen
The preferred layout for a 1024 x 768 monitor is the
fixed-width setting (at least it was when this article was written). As such,
your layout should not exceed a width of 950 pixels. The last thing you want to do is force visitors to scroll right and left as they navigate through your website.
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