Web designers love to come up with unique and creative designs. Even so, there are basic rules that all web designers should follow – at least to start with. As the saying goes, you need to fully understand the rules before you can break them!
People who’re new to web design, or design in general, often try to pack as much as possible into the overall design. This is rarely a good move, and can actually detract from the aesthetics. Instead, you should focus on only including the necessary elements, and making sure you leave lots of blank areas – or white space – to let the design breath.
Functionality before Flare
We all know of websites that look fantastic, but are actually very difficult to navigate and use. These websites might make you go “wow” when you first see them, but you probably won’t visit the site regularly.
All web designers should focus on functionality before adding the artistic touches that make a website stand out. The secret to great functionality is to think of what the user wants from your website. All the most popular links to other sections should be above the fold, and if possible you should avoid hiding links in drop down boxes (which are also considered “out of date” in modern web design). If there’s a choice between a functional design element and one that looks great, always try to choose the option that’s best for the user – not your design portfolio!
It can be difficult for beginner designers to understand how colours relate to each other. Some colours complement others, while some combinations create tension or a specific mood. You can use colour wheels, which can be found for free online, to automatically create a palette of complementary colours.
Use Latest Standards
As a web designer, your main focus is on creating a beautiful website that’s attractive and functional. Even so, many designers overlook the fact that people use a variety of browser, including Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox. These browsers all display HTML and CSS slightly differently, so it’s important to use the latest standards. If you use old or deprecated code, the chances of cross browser compatibility problems are greatly increased. On a side note, you should always check your website design in all the main browsers before you go live.