We’ve been making an habit of producing design articles for you guys, and we’re going to keep that trend alive with today’s post. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got nothing but five our best, brightest, and all around most effective ways to improve your web design—instantly. So no matter if you’re an industry veteran or a greenhorn on the prowl for some pointers, we’ve got something to improve your web design stock with.
So without further ado, let’s go right ahead and crack into this can of worms. Starting with:
How are Those Fonts?
If you’re not too familiar with fonts, that tells us one important thing about you—you didn’t go to school to be a graphic designer. And this is okay, we promise it really is. You see, most of us don’t have such an in-depth understanding of fonts, their history, or what specific ligatures go best with what layouts. After all, why in the bleeding heck would we?
However, even without the basics under your belt, you can still wrangle your font types into place quite easily. Here’s how it’s done.
a. First of all, don’t ever use more than three fonts if you can avoid it. We really, really mean it. If there’s anyway you can avoid slinging out more than two, we’d also strongly suggest you spring for that. This is because adding too many fonts to your site makes the whole look a bit confusing, and it just isn’t likely to spur the interest of your viewers. In other words, avoid it at all costs.
b. Secondly, try to keep your font sizes relatively similar. We’re not saying you need to pick a point size and stick with it for the whole site. What you’re aiming for here is consistency, though. You want there to be some sort of recurring element between your web pages, that way the viewer feels comfortable.
c. Lastly, use sans serif fonts. No, we don’t want to discuss this, just do it. Okay, alright: The reason behind this is that sans serif fonts are, for the most part, more easily read on a screen than serif ones.
Checked Those Colors Recently?
On a similar note, if you haven’t bothered to give your colors some serious consideration, you might aught to do that, as well. You see, unlike fonts, we all deal with colors on a daily basis. We’re surrounded by them, and even if you have the world’s worst color sense, you’re still likely aware of what goes well with what. Keeping that in mind, here are some more tips.
a. If you’re using any more than five colors within your site’s design, cut it out. We’re not willing to give you an lenience here, as you absolutely should not be doing this. Don’t make us sick the Design Police on you.
b. Are you using a set color pallet? If not, we strongly suggest you go find a good one to work with. This keeps the colors consistent, and it will also typically make the whole look a heck of a lot better.
c. Lastly, how do the colors match up with the tone of your website? Do they correlate at all? What you’re aiming for here is a color set that accurately matches whatever it is that you’re trying to say within your site. If you’re going for a relaxing vibe, avoid reds and opt for blues. If you want something a little bit more intense, then shoot for the deeper hues in your swatches panel.
Get Griddy . . . Or Gritty . . . Or Both!
Our next tip has to do with the actual layout of the website. Have you made a conscious effort to utilize the grid to improve the feel and flow of the whole design? Not sure what the grid even is? Then let us explain.
The grid is essentially a network of interconnected squares that dictate where certain portions of your site aught to go. Now, this grid is no longer as strict as it once was, but it still bears a lot of relevance. For instance, you may choose to group most of your web design elements within the center of the page. You’re breaking the traditional structure of web design, but you’re also still creating a grid-based focal point right smack-dab in the middle of everything. Without the grid to guide you through this, you’ll more than likely end up with a pile of elements and not a lot of appeal.
When laying out your website, remember the key areas: Firstly, the upper left hand corner is what we call the “power zone.” This is typically one of the first places a user will look, which makes it the ideal spot for a logo, an advertisement, or a logo—seriously, put your logo here.
After that, you’ve got a big old block in the center of your page where you’ll typically put the majority of your content. Most users will go straight from the power zone to here, so be sure to put the important content bits you want your viewers to see in here. This means photographs, blog posts, links to other parts of your site, etc. Either way, if it needs to be seen, it needs to be here.
Lastly, look to the left or right of this big, center block (in Western cultures you’ll typically be going to the left). This is another block we call the “side center.” All this means is that this is the third most important square on the page, as it’s often the third place a user looks at. This makes it ideal for something important, but not so important that it needs to be featured in the center of the layout. To phrase it another way, put your sidebar here. Or, you could also include other navigational elements that the user will need, but perhaps won’t want to see constantly. Either way, this spot is great for bot.
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