Web Design Recipes from our Master Chefs
Working for a web presence company for 8 years, I somewhere began to regard myself as a designer. I sure as hell talk the talk, though I cannot walk the talk.
Even though I’ve never really used or worked on any web design tool in my life, it comes very easy for me to pass judgments and comment on work done by my team of designers. Over a period of time, I realized that this is pretty much the reality in any web designer’s life. Both, the freelancer and a designer working full time for a company have to deal with clients who think they know more about design than the designer him/herself. I respect the efforts a web designer has to put in to create a design, its art being created in front of my very eyes. Admittingly, not all output is a Monalisa but nevertheless has a significant amount of effort put into it.
As an individual representing BigRock, my company and I have tremendous respect for the efforts and dedication web designers put into creating every new piece of design, be it an online banner, an app or a full blown website. It is an Art and Science at the same time, it is a marriage of Creation and Invention – It is Epic. This article is an ode to you all, creators and inventors – this article is our effort as a company to chip in a little to make your lives better, a little easier. This is a list of Design Tips that we have from our designers to You. We hope this can help you in some little way in the great art that you create.
- Keep at it till the “Aha” Moment: This is the most important and probably the most basic tip we can offer. Designing is not a chore, its creation so rushing in will never help. Don’t turn in your project till you are convinced that what you have is the best you can do for it. Take some time out, walk around, get a coffee then come back and take a look at your work again and if you have that “Aha” moment then you have a winner.
- Learn and Understand Color Combinations: Colors make up everything, a good UI is useless with the wrong colors. There are plenty resources that will help you with this, try any of these really cool tools to get the best combinations. But before you jump on to these sites a word of advice, trust your gut and look & learn.
- Practice: I guess this is the time when we pull out a fancy quote to convey this – “Practice makes Progress” and its so true in this context. The more you do the better you get at everything. Starting from color combinations to design selections, even your knowledge of tools will get better overtime giving faster turn around times and greater efficiencies.
- Understand your Client: In the end you need to remember who you’re designing for. Customer is king and this holds true in all walks of business. If your design doesn’t appeal to the customer it’s pointless debating how good you are. Take time to understand your clients requirements, tastes and preferences and build on that. You’re free to add your expert touch but your design needs to appeal to your customer. If the customer is happy, he’ll go spread the good word for you which means more money in the bank!
- Method to Madness: A great designer is precise. If a certain element doesn’t have a purpose on the page then it probably shouldn’t be there. Every element on your canvas has to serve a purpose, add value to your vision.
- Keep Looking: Look around for inspiration, there are some really great sites that help to this effect. We’re not asking you to plagiarize someone else’s design, but learn from it, see how the colors are used, different design elements that form the design and start thinking on those lines to improve yourself over a period of time. Here are a few of the best ones we know:
- Plan Ahead: Before starting any project, make design sketches on how your want to go about the work. It’ll save you a lot of valuable time when actual designing begins.
- Know thy Typography: Design is 95% typography. Before starting any project make sure you’ve selected the right fonts and sizes. Make sure you’ve selected fonts according to the project i.e print or web based project. Make sure your fonts have enough Kerning and Tracking for better readability. Don’t use too many fonts per project, it looks very unprofessional. Instead play with the weight and size of the font for distinguishing content.
- White Noise: Let there be enough white space between text and images, creating enough breathing room to absorb the features. It helps by keeping viewers focused on the necessary content and flow of the page.
- Keep it light: Reduce image sizes while keeping best quality, reduces website load time big time. Make simpler but effective web elements for the website project.
That’s all for now folks, we’ll be back with more soon, we promise. We hope this helps you in some little way. If you’d like to share some pointers feel free to drop a comment – we believe we can all get better by sharing information and tips.