Many people assume that web-designing pertains to creativity and artistic skills. This is true to quite some extent, however, it must be realized that web-designing is not entirely the skill of artists. The basics of web design must be made more widespread, because of the increasing popularity of the web. Nevertheless, individuals with greater aesthetic sense can make the most out of web-designing.
In web designing, the most intimidating step is getting started. You must understand that designing professional looking websites is not related to fancy layouts and glamour. It is about an effectively designed information structure presented in a friendly and inviting way. You must first evaluate your audience trend and start designing, keeping the target audience in mind. A professional website must meet business goals and also satisfy the visitors.
Below we have highlighted the characteristics of good website design that you must cater for, while designing your website.
Emphasise the purpose of your website:
Define the purpose and functionalities of your website. The best way to learn web designing is through experimenting. Develop your personal website to kick off. You can make your personal web-site your portfolio. Let’s consider you want to design your website and showcase your potential as a web developer.
If this is the case, then your potential audience is your friends/ relatives and importantly, companies that can hire you. What is important then? Your layout must speak for your artistic skills and the content in the webpage must be to-the-point. The content must be visible and readable.
I have seen web designs that are colorful and embellished, but the content is indecipherable. This affects the functionality of the website adversely. In other cases I have witnessed that the website content is highly diffused. This causes the purpose of the content to lose its importance. The content must be comprehensive. If you own a hosting company the visitor must be interested in the packages and special offers. Therefore these details must be separately highlighted in distinct blocks, if possible.
Get acquainted with the web development team: If you are starting your career as a web-designer then you must know about the team you are working with. You must recognize the responsibilities of individuals in the team. In your team you might have content designers, media specialists, programmers, HTML experts for assembling webpages etc. Each of the members must understand the boundaries of their work. You must understand that your work is inter-dependent on the capabilities of the other team members. You must also have a thorough understanding of the production process.
Search about the client’s company before designing: When designing a website you must focus on the purpose of website. Spotlight the organization whose website you are designing. When you are designing for an organization you must render great effort. You must search out what that company does, if it has an existing website, what are the shortcomings, what are the aims and objectives of the company, etc. Having a sound knowledge of client’s company can be of great help while you start designing the website.
Search out tutorials when developing your personal website: If you are web developing at a smaller scale, I advise you to Google template tutorials and develop a facsimile of it. Later make tweaks and changes in the template to reflect your style. (When I started web development I essentially followed a flash web-site tutorial and searched out the functionality of each piece of code, online. Understanding the code made me able to manipulate it my style).
Maintain Balance: Another important factor is the balance. Maintaining balance between the different elements of the website is very essential. The elements you put up on your website must be in harmony with each other in terms of size. The content block must be given due importance and must comprise a major portion of the webpage. We will discuss the web-page-anatomy in our next post in detail.
Enliven your web-site with frequent changes: Focus on updating minor details rather than taking drastic steps in revolutionizing the entire look of the website. This implies manipulating the content, navigation panel, and to experiment with details. Do not take extreme steps of entirely changing the template at first. You can also modify the details regularly. This will capture the attention of your regular visitors and they will continue to be inquisitive about the newer look of your website.
Devise designs irrespective of technology to be used: When you are in the initial phase of designing you must formulate a design irrespective of the technology you will be using. Good designs go beyond contemporary graphics. You might have seen some awesome sites in the early days when modern graphic software was young. Good filters come and go but good website designs are eternal. You must design a website without keeping in mind of what technology you will later apply, may it be a CMS or Ruby on Rails.
Search good and bad designs online: You can find out for yourself good and bad designs that can serve as your source of inspiration. While you investigate bad designs you can avoid those pitfalls in your personal designs. While designing you must temporarily overlook the technological limitations.
Emphasis on final touches: When you have completed the web-site design, you must give due attention to final touches. Final touches can make a lot of difference on your website. If possible, do take the user input and ask them their experience of your website. Base your final touches on user input.
Employing technology for your designs: The website design should employ up-to-date web technology so as to increase efficiency, reduce costs, augment productivity, and most important of all, boost customer satisfaction.
Designing is not restricted to creative individuals. Once you learn the basics of web-designing you can design inspiring websites that can earn your organization internet presence. Once you grasp web-designing concepts, you can polish your creative skills by inspecting templates and graphics.