7 Useful Web Design Tips

May 12th, 2008 in Articles, Web Design Tips by

What do you think about web design? You can find the articles related to “how to” do web design everywhere by mentioning as “top tips” or else. However, I did read it and find it useful. I recommend them to those who are willing to step into this field or those who can’t get himself on the hot list for quite a long time. Here, I will giving some tips from my point of view and also some will be taken from other experienced web designers. I am not saying that I am so pro in this field and want to act here but just wish to share my opinion and tips.

1. Structuring

I found that this is even more important than what kind design you are going to use. To get this done, I need to do some analysis and research about the site I am going to build. For example, target users, functions, Colors and always see from the users’ side. After I gather all the information, then I can only start drawing out the layout and decided what to focus and what isn’t important.

2. Sketching

So we all know, we do our job in Photoshop or other softwares. But, before that, I recommend that we start by using a pencil and papers. I prefer to sketch out the layout and write down the important notes we need. This will always save me a lot of times to try in Photoshop directly.

3. Concept

Do not try to put all the nice design elements that you get from the popular sites in one page. This will not make your site perfect but may destroy the whole site. For example, kailoon.com, I am using some elements that related to stone age and I avoid all fancy things and also those orb effects or reflection which considered as web 2.0 must used elements. (actually, web 2.0 is all about reflection also, it is more on the function wise). It will only makes the whole thing not match to each others and i usually describe this as a “rojak site”. Means “mixing the trendy elements” into one “bowl”.

I prefer to use the concept based on the logo. It is because, the first thing people will see when browsing a site is the logo, top left or even center. Then only he will continue to navigate the site. So, the logo concept will easily go into their mind and influence the rest of the reading. For example, If the logo is something smooth, soft or light. I will choose something relevant and use some different style on the important section to attract attention. The elements you can used based on the logo are the colors, style and perspective.

4. Web Usability

web usability
Is kind of how you judge whether it is a good web design or not. A fantastic web design but users find no where to navigate it and a normal, clean web design interface and users can easily understand the message and navigate. Which will your client go for? Combination of both advantages? Here is an interesting comic to explain it. And you also can refer to what Jakob Nielsen talk about usability.

make it short, even thought your web interface is very nice and creative. People can’t navigate it and leave, then your works and efforts will be wasted. means useless!

5. Consistency


The main thing in my mind when doing design job is the consistency. I know this maybe also defined as “same, boring, not creative” by some of you. but the thing is, inconsistency can makes your users lost when navigating your site. I also prefer to use not more than 3 types of fonts (left side of the example)in a web design. This also make the whole site look more balance and look like all under one roof. Else, it will become like what you see on the right hand side.

6. Right technology at the right time

Nowadays, people like to use mootools or ajax to create some nice effects. But, is it all necessary? I admit that the effects look cool and I also use it in my site here. However, I just use it for a try because I never try this before. And, I use it after I I completed my web design. What I want to say is we do not decide what technology we are going to used before we decide what we are going to build. It’s not about building the solution before there’s a problem. It’s about having a problem and using the right technology to solve that problem.

I can find this mostly in the portfolio sites from the web designer who wish to show to their clients that they are capable on doing this kind of cool stuffs. Sometimes, we only need something simple and well organized to gain the confident of the clients.

7. Spacing and Padding

This is very important to make sure that your site will not look like a spam site or “rojak site”. It also help users to read your content more easily. More white space can make your interface look more clean and well organized. What we need to do is make sure there is some padding for the content with the edge of the container or frame. For example:



Forgive me if anything I said is wrong and you may find that I am not inserting those sites with the problems I mentioned above. I don’t want to hurt anyone and this is just my opinions and tips about web design that I learn from my experiences. Hope this article and help you. My purpose here is to share and also try to educate those clients to listen more from the web designer they hired.

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