Considering that there are multiple aspects of creating a website as a designer, you equally need to play various roles and be very knowledgeable about building practical and usable site layouts. The knowledge and lessons you learn in web design involve work experience, learning, and practising until you get it right.
However, there are some essential tips for website designing that every beginner should know. If you’re wondering what you need to know before you begin, this guide will help you out.
1. Focus on a Simple and Intuitive Design
The number one site design tip for beginners is to learn how to keep your website simple yet functional. As a beginner, you might get carried away and want to do too much. But it is vital to remember the audience you are designing for. Generally, no user wants to struggle when using your website, whether it’s the writing, navigation, or CTAs aspects. Aim not only to make your web design look visually appealing, but it should also be user-friendly.
Start with simple design websites, and then you can progress to more complex eCommerce websites. When several features crow your website, you run a risk of distracting your users from the purpose of the website. As a beginner, you can ask yourself these questions to guide you on the importance of each element of your web page:
- Is the aspect essential to the website?
- What’s the function of the site, and how does it help the user?
- Will users notice the absence of the element?
- What’s the overall goal and message of the component to the purpose of the site?
2. Understand User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) Basics
Another tip on how to do web design for beginners is to learn how to tailor your site to suit its audience needs. The end-user of the website you have designed should get the ultimate user experience. It is all about the positive impact the colours, textures, fonts, etc. the designs have on your website visitors.
By focusing on UX, you get into your audience’s heads and create designs through their eyes. These are some UX principles to guide you as a beginner:
- Keep your web designs intuitive and straightforward;
- Communicate concepts in a logical succession;
- Focus your user’s needs, and resist the urge to do too much.
Although UX and UI are often interchanged, they are two distinct areas of web design. While UX focuses on the overall feel of the design, UI, on the other hand, focuses on the specifics. The user interface should be designed to give your users the tools required to use your website with ease.
3. Use Fonts Wisely and Methodically
There are tons of fonts out there, but you only need very few to design your site. Look out for the web-safe fonts when picking fonts to use. If web-safe fonts don’t work well on your site, you can also consider alternatives such as progressively-enhanced website design tools that feature sIFR or Cufon.
Another vital factor to note when using a font is consistency. It means that your line spacing, font-size, and letter-spacing properties need to be the same at all times. Most designers are in the habit of cramping in too much text on a web page, which means the text size will be set at an uncomfortably small size. Try to keep the font sizes at 12px or above, if possible. Your headings can be visually-different from paragraph text, so the content is effortlessly scannable and enjoyable to read.
4. Understand Colour Accessibility
The contract between your web background and the text or visual content should be balanced enough for readability and low-vision users. A pink background with red foreground will strain your eyes. In contrast, a site with a white background and black and orange text as seen in this example has a high-contrast. These are known as complementary colours. You can also use the monochrome colour approach, which is playing with colours with the same hue or Typography approach, picking colours based on the nature of the business site you are designing. For example, whereas a law firm will have solid and dark colours, a candy store website will have more vibrant colours. Additionally, it is wise for you to use colours that users with varying forms of colour-blindness can adapt to.
5. Don’t Forget Search Engine Optimisation
Beginners also need to know the SEO basics for website designing. For instance, you need to know how to structure web content so that crucial keywords and long-tails are represented as headings (i.e., page title, description title, logo, etc.). You also need to make sure your content is relevant, and your page loading speed is not too slow to optimise your website functionality and improve your website ranking in any search results.
Furthermore, knowledge about the right semantic and standards-based HTML/CSS lets you realise what works best for your website. For example, you get to find out that DIVs are much better than tables for web layouts not because they give you an accurate representation of your website content, but also your search engine rankings.
6. Make Flexible and Maintainable Designs
Your website should not remain static forever. You should be able to make a few changes and tweak it up once in a while. What most excellent web designers do is create a site that can be easily updated or modified in the future. The web designs should be workable and also easy to maintain, and for that, we have platforms such as WordPress and page builders such as Divi. Always bear in mind that our designing industry is a very dynamic and ever-evolving one.
These changes occur frequently and will require you to create flexible web designs. Besides that, creating a site with simple design functions makes it easier for you to keep the site updated. Therefore, you can keep reinventing your designs and keep the site fresh.
7. Be Open to Feedback
Before hitting the publish button to launch your newly designed website, get some outside perspective on the site, you have created. You can reach out to friends, mentors, colleagues, etc. for their input because they are often delighted to help. Sometimes especially as a beginner, constructive criticism might be uncomfortable to take.
However, getting feedback is a regular and necessary aspect of the web designing process. Learn how to take the best parts of the criticism and advice and work on it. With more experience you gain, you will be able to identify and work on practical feedback and not take things personally.
8. Never Stop Learning
As we have already seen, the design industry is very dynamic. So you need to keep practising and keep learning. It will only help you to grow and get better at your craft. Find useful resources that suit your design style and learn a few new tips and tricks. Keep researching and looking out for something new. Related disciplines such as branding, product design, illustration, can further develop your creative senses.
These website design tips for beginners are an excellent start for your journey through web design. It certainly is not a day’s job, but with constant practice, research, and learning, you can only get better. Never give up and good luck with your web designing!
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