The creative bug has been somewhat busy these few years since the internet suddenly seems to be brimming with creative web designers who showcase their talent through some of the most exceptionally designed websites. Innovation is no longer the secret ingredient for any designer. Apparently, it is the primary ingredient necessitated by the increasing competition faced by web designer all over the world. The standards for web designing are rising and if you don’t keep up with it, you may just end up dropping out of the race. We have 10 web design tips for beginners who want to ace the game.
Let Simplicity Steal the Show
Web designers have realized that flamboyance may get their website viewers but it may not help them get conversions. And so, simplicity has modestly stepped into the modern web-designing environment where designers are raging about fewer elements, simpler navigation, and flat design. Here’s how you can use simplicity for your web designs:
- Make navigation straightforward for your website visitors. They should be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
- Whether it is above the fold or below it, your viewers should be able to clearly understand why an element has been placed where it is.
- They should have no difficulties finding out the contact details of your entity.
Simple designs are clean and they attract attention to the main object or objective of the website. It also reduces the chance of errors on a website and removes distraction for the viewers. This means that you can bring their focus to the actual cause of the website. Simpler websites also make navigation easy for the users and it can increase the amount of time a user spends on the website which can improve the chances of a conversion.
Imagery or Illustration – Make it Count
Images and illustrations are a great way of improving the visual attractiveness of the website. The key is to use them judiciously. While a photography or a food blog will have tons of photos enticing users to visit the website, those with unique images are usually ahead of the competition. Stock photos are great, but exclusive images have an appeal.
Illustration is another way of bringing in variety for your users. If images aren’t quite your style, then turn to illustrations to increase the look of your website. Users like change. Depending on the type of audience you may be dealing with for the website, you can get an overwhelmingly positive response with illustrations.
Remember to keep everything consistent. If you are into illustrations then don’t let the users enjoy illustrations on the landing page only to find stock images used in the rest of the pages.
Give The Elements Breathing Space
All elements used on a page must be well-spaced. When you give every element adequate space, it helps the users find what they are looking for easily. It is important that the website is designed with cleanliness in mind. Users like to find websites elements in their usual place. So remember that creativity should not stretch to a point where they get confused in the design of your website.
Play with the placement of some elements but let the usual ones stay where they should be. Like the Contacts Us option is usually located on the top of the web page or right at the bottom. Users will look for it at the obvious places so don’t hide elements like these in your design.
We have noticed that a lot of beginners try to use everything they like in one website. It ends up creating chaos. One of the most important web design tips for beginners is to make sure that the elements are judiciously picked and they have adequate breathing space with the least amount of disarray.
Pick Fonts That Are Beautiful and Legible
Typography has somehow been one of the most understated facets of web design. We have come across a number of creative web designers who do exceptionally well with the design but the website ends up suffering at the hands of typeface. People love to see things clearly and beautifully.
There are two important things that make typography a success for your website:
- Size – Big fonts are becoming popular for the simple reason that they are catchy and users can read them quickly and without stressing the eyes. Pick a size that is suitable for your website users. One that will be comfortable for them to read.
- Consistency – Be consistent with typography. All headers and content should have some sort of regularity to them. Everything from the color of the font to the font family you choose should have constancy so that users can relate to the style of the website.
There are a lot of factors that come into play, browser compatibility being the biggest of concerns for designers when choosing typefaces; but sticking to the usuals may only make you part of the crowd with very less or no chance of standing out.
Let Go of Sidebars
Sidebars have had their time of fame, and it is past that time now. So are you still planning to stick with sidebars when the internet has already regarded it obsolete? The problem with sidebars is that it adds distraction. It has its own convenience which is the reason why it was originally added to websites, but with the internet becoming more crowded and the attention span of readers dropping to the bare minimum, distraction is something that you should not risk.
Keeping simplicity and minimalism in mind, just like we discussed earlier, people want a cleaner interface. So pick a design which gives the website a neat look. Where everything is adequately placed and you do not have a lot of elements like sidebars creating confusion when it comes to navigating around the website.
If your website really needs a sidebar then look for themes that allow you to publish full-width content without giving up on sidebars. Use it only when you have to. If you are in the habit of using sidebars then begin phasing out this practice and embrace newer themes that are light and clean.
Take a break from Carousels and Sliders
We’ve come across too many home pages that use sliders and carousels. With all the effort that may have gone in picking the images, creating the content and linking them with the brand, it appears that people don’t bother much about them. It may end up giving way too many options and it can work as a distraction too.
Pick a static design, one which clearly resonates with the ideology and personality of the brand. Big typography can be a hit. Sometimes bold yet simple typography can also look catchy. You don’t have to use pomp and show to get your users to stay. Instead, pull them to the core of your website’s cause. Serve it hot on a plate right on your home page.
The message should be clear right when your user visits the websites. They shouldn’t have to look for a cause in sliders or sidebars. Keep it simple and choose a theme with fewer diversions so that your users know exactly where to find things and they can easily understand the cause of the website.
One of the important web design tips for beginners is that there should be a flow in the website which makes all the pages and the elements in the pages fall perfectly in place. This balance helps users understand the main motive and focus on the message that you are trying to put across.
Balance is required in the colours, the fonts and the overall design of the website. Style guides can be very helpful in picking color palettes that can complement each other. Uniformity in your style will help your users feel more connected to the website.
When the styles go off balance, it reflects the work of an immature who has put in very little thought to bringing the entire website together as one. A good example of a style guide is the one that Google created for Material Design. You can look for other style guides created by professional designers who have been a part of the industry for a long time and understand styles more deeply.
Attract Don’t Distract with Social Media
After all the effort that you put in attracting your users to your website, the last thing you would want them to do is click on one of those social media icons and leave your website. Social media is powerful and it can be a good source for roping in users to the website. But don’t use your website as a medium for the users to return to social media instead of staying on the website.
You will notice that a number of websites have started placing the social media icons towards the end of the article or blog post or they may place it on the website footer. We feel this is a good place for social media icons because your users have to scroll towards the bottom of the page before they find the icons. This way, your users will be able to go through most of your content before they go away from the website.
Using this strategy is one of the web design tips for beginners that can be helpful in getting conversions or making users stay longer on the website.
Leverage the Efficacy of A/B Testing
A/B testing allows you to try two different designs and test them by having separate group of viewers using both these websites. The idea is simple, if you are not sure which design will work with your users, you use two different designs and test both on the audience to find out which one gets a higher response. Then you can pick that particular design for your final website design.
A/B testing is used by many designers who want to make sure that they come up with an effective design that will be most impactful when launched for the users. Sometimes, this can also bring out other flaws in the website which needs to be looked at.
For beginners, A/B testing can be very helpful in making decisions, especially when they are unsure of the targeted audience.
Look Around and Find Inspiration Offscreen
While there are lots of websites and blogs that will help you improve your skills, some of the best inspirations usually come when you look around. Your surroundings can help you find design ideas which you can use in your website projects.
Sometimes it is as simple as color combinations, and at other times you may be able to find the idea for an entire theme when you begin to look around.
There is no doubt that you may already be drawing inspiration from the things around you. Remember to look at things as a critic trying to find out if the particular design will fit into the world of your targeted audience.
Once you begin identifying certain design elements or techniques that you feel will be perfect for your website project then begin incorporating it in small ways and if the response is positive do it more often. Your uniqueness will shine brightly through when you start looking for inspiration in the world around you instead of sticking to the usual blogs and sites only.
Over to you
These are some of the web design tips for beginners which can help in improving design skills. Beginner or not, remember that the more you practice, the better you become in your work. So create a sandbox where you can try new things without the fear of getting a negative response.
When you put your practice into use when designing a new website; there is a chance that things may not tick in the first attempt. The idea is to continue practicing so that your flair in design improves and enhances to match the latest trends.