7 Tips for Good Web Design

I like the number 7, which is why I keep choosing it for my posts. It’s an odd number, small enough to be remembered easily but not too many that it becomes tiresome to read.

While most of you will already know these basic but important tips for good web design, I believe them important enough to mention for those new designers amongst you, or those thinking of taking up web design as a career or hobby.

Learn CSS and HTML. This is a pretty basic requirement but it’s important enough to re-iterate for those of you who think you can get by without it. You can’t, simple as that. Having a grasp of how your designs are rendered keeps you grounded and only producing designs that work online. Both techniques are being continually improved and new ways of using them are appearing all the time, take HTML5 for example. With every improvement comes more tricks you can use in your designs. Keeping on top of them means you’ll always be able to use the latest techniques and be at the forefront of design and usability.

Proper image use. Images are a pivotal part of most web designs. There are plenty out there that don’t use any, but for any page that uses them, using good quality images is a must. A picture paints a thousand words, or so the saying goes. Any image used on a web page must be the best it can be. As bright, as vibrant and as detailed as the design can cope with to really sell the site, and the product or service it might be promoting. See my earlier post about the many sources of free stock photos, or how to acquire original photography or images to use in websites.

Proper Color use is another essential ingredient in any design. It is also one of the easiest aspects of a page to get wrong. While there is a definite movement for minimalist designs, and white is a very effective color for websites, the appropriate and clever use of color can make all the difference. It can be as simple as using standard link colors and a different used link color to using bold or rich colors for the site background or page elements. Using color is a great way to make a page interesting or highlight a specific part of it, it can even be used as navigation. Dark backgrounds will need contrasting light text, and navigation, where light backgrounds will need dark. Getting the contrast right between colors takes skill and practice, in that order. Once you get it right, the world is a colorful one.

We shall continue the 7 Tips for Good Web Design in the next post where we’ll cover the Footer, Navigation, White Space and Detail.