If you have ever had to create a new website (which, if you are a contemporary company, you should have), you know how intimidating that blank page can be.
“Where do you begin?” is the question.
You know what type of knowledge you want to offer and where you want to go, but how do you begin putting it out and making it ready for the masses? Here are some basic pointers to help you advance as a novice web designer/developer. Check out web design toronto for more information.
- Emphasize Simplicity
It is tempting to look at all those complex websites with crazy page transitions and components that slide into view as you scroll and believe that your site needs that.
While they are great, keep in mind that your design is not the content; it is how the information is presented — you do not want to wind up distracting visitors from the content with PowerPoint-like transitions flying about everywhere.
Aside from that, sticking to a basic design philosophy makes it easier to keep your site up to date, which means you can keep the material fresh.
- Update, Update, Update
Another important aspect of working with the internet is staying current. Having fresh, regularly updated content is one of the most effective ways to improve your search engine ranking (especially if that new content is optimized).
Yes, having optimized sites and pillar pages will help your position, but not to the extent that keeping a blog and posting one to three times each week would.
Keep this in mind and plan for it while designing and developing – make it simple for your content producers to publish and update.
- Tell a Story While Keeping Your Content Relevant
It is common to conceive of a website’s design and content as separate entities (particularly after my first point). In reality, your content shapes the design. Designing without content is art, not design – design serves a purpose, and your content is that purpose.
If it helps, think of a page as a narrative with a logical storyline that unfolds as you scroll.
Make sure your design highlights the most important information; this may be as easy as putting higher-level content higher on the page and more bottom-of-funnel stuff lower on the page (relatively). This is because, in general, the farther a person scrolls down your website, the more engaged they are in the page’s content.
- Maintain Professionalism
Remember GeoCities and how those sites appeared years ago? Unfortunately, your audience does as well.
There is no reason why a site need look anything like MySpace did when it first launched, thanks to platforms like HubSpot and WordPress. If yours doesn’t, no one will take you seriously.
The design does not have to be complicated, but it should be clean and sharp. You would not show up to an interview looking like Lindsay Lohan after a long night in Vegas, and you should not allow your website do the same.
- Maintain a Close Eye on Performance
Page speed optimization is a basic, yet frequently neglected, aspect of website development. A speedy site not only improves your search ranking (page speed is a signal that Google considers), but it may also increase your bounce and conversion rates.
Also, keep track of how many pictures you have – no matter how efficient they are, it will not matter if you overwhelm your visitor with 600 server requests. The same ideas may be used to CSS and JS.
Reduce the number of queries by keeping third-party libraries to a minimal and bundling them all together. The same is true for webfonts; attempt to load just the weights and styles that you need.
- Recognize existing patterns — and know when to break them.
If you look around, you will see a lot of similar UI patterns on most websites. By adhering to these recognized standards, you make it easier for users to use and navigate your site.
This is due to your users having seen, utilized, and gotten acquainted with certain patterns. Before reinventing the wheel, check to discover whether there is a well-established method to accomplish or display anything, and then attempt to improve on it if possible.
However, there is a delicate line between following an established pattern and creating something generic. It is your duty as a designer to recognize when you can break the mold in order to stand out and be creative.
- Never, ever stop learning.
This is the most critical action you can do. This industry operates at breakneck speed. You have already fallen behind if you are not learning and developing.
Find several sites that you like and subscribe to them. When you hear about anything new, attempt to create a short test project using it to get a feel for it.
You do not have to (and generally shouldn’t) integrate anything new you learn into your production job, but it will be affected by your improved ability and knowledge.
- Take Notice of Typography
Typography is more than simply a tool for communicating messages. It is one of the most crucial web design components that, in most instances, will have a significant effect on your entire project. Typefaces have the ability to provide a range of contexts to your design based on their form, size, color, and weight. What you must do is guarantee that they all have the same vibe as the main picture and are appropriate for the purpose of a website.
For example, if a website is devoted to handcrafted, beautiful goods, the typefaces used must convey the same feel. And, when it comes to choosing how many distinct fonts to utilize each project, we suggest sticking to no more than two or three. If your primary font has a lot of curved serifs, combine it with simpler fonts. Some font combinations work better than others, so experiment with a few different combinations until you discover the one that best complements your project.