10 Web Design Concepts Every Developer Must Know
by Arina Smith Business Development 06 September 2018
With the average small business set to spend around $75,000 on their digital marketing, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for great web design. If there’s supposed to be a full team devoted to it, that cuts your money down by a lot. To buffer against limited budgets, familiarize yourself with some of the most important web design concepts.
Here are five that you have to know before you build a website or app for your brand.
1. Go Mobile First :
In the last couple of years, mobile browsing finally tipped the scale to be more popular than desktop or laptop browsing. If you haven’t made mobile the center of your web design universe, you’re wasting your time. As more users move to smartphones and tablets, focusing on desktop and laptop browsers is going to leave your web design in the dust.
Make sure if you’re starting a new project that you’re starting with a mobile-optimized design.
Your site will more easily scale to desktops and laptops than the other way around. Getting a desktop site to fit on a mobile device requires a lot more work than making a mobile site look good on a desktop.
In the next few years, people will be doing most of their important work on their mobile devices.
Be ahead of the curve and ensure that people see what you do by being where they are, on their mobile devices.
2. Put Users First :
If you’re not thinking of users first, you’re leaving the most important elements out of your web design. User-friendliness needs to be the most important aspect of your site or the app that you design. The great looking design is important but the design that ensures your users are able to do what they want quickly and easily is the most important element.
When you put forward your initial design, you need to come up with what guidelines you want to follow. Focus them on the user. Think about who they are, why they’re visiting your site or using your app, and what they need to get done before they leave.
Anything that gets in the way of their ability to do these things needs to be discarded. You need to be ruthless in this aspect.
When you’re working on projects of any size, you need to write out user stories. Write out a step by step narrative of how your users will move throughout your site, get the work done they need to get done, and how the site will behave.
Take the time to read more about how you can get into the mind of a user.
3. Details Matter :
Small details make the difference between a good design and a great one. While you might end up thinking you need to go one step further to make your design pop, sometimes you need to subtract to make the most out of it.
When you give attention to the details of your user’s experience, you can end up satisfying them in a unique way. Rather than having a one time visitor pleased with what they got, never to visit again, give them a reason to come back. When you add the right details, you can get them thinking about you beyond that one visit to your site.
The right shade of blue for your background or making sure you wrap your text the right way can make a big difference.
When you focus on details at the wrong time, you can slow down the design process. You need to be able to balance the details with the big picture. But when it’s time to make decisions and get down to business, you need to understand how the little details make a difference against the big picture.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Sketch :
While you might be deeply invested in creating the most complete design before you get feedback, sketches are important. When you’re trying to get an idea of the content you want to fill your site or your app with, a small sketch can get everyone on the right page. Giving everyone something to look at will ensure that you’re not talking too abstractly.
Understanding basic things like the hierarchy of the site, the flow, and what you expect people to see on the site can be cleared up with a sketch. Find the tools that work for you or even go with a marker and a whiteboard if you need to.
Experimenting with mockups is essential to the design process. Whether you’re working on a team or working alone, they’ll allow you to get more concrete ideas about what you’re doing.
Your sketches don’t need to be sophisticated. They merely need to exist to get the ball rolling.
5. Let Things Breathe :
While you might think that you want to wow your audience with your design, sometimes blank space goes a long way. It’s very hard for designers to hit the erase button or to get rid of an idea once they think of one. That’s what makes so many sites hard to look at.
Space gives us time to process information, think about what we’re looking at, and understand where one thing ends and another begins. This might seem obvious but if you look at a lot of web design, you’d think this concept was completely foreign..
Think about things in terms of fractions. Divide your screen up into six or 8 segments. Perhaps two rectangles on each side are blank, one at the top, another after some content, then put content in the other half.
Think of empty space as an actual concrete thing and you’ll feel less compelled to fill it.
Web Design Concepts Take Time To Learn :
While you may grasp the basic idea of these web design concepts, learning what they mean on the ground will take some trial and error. Build a few examples of the project you’re trying to make and you’ll find that you end up getting better and better each time. Once you try to execute strong web design, you’ll find it only gets easier.
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