5 Fundamentals that every web designer needs to understand

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We all know intuitively what makes them look bad to a website: edge effects too, cutesy icons and images, ornate design. These problems are easily corrected with designing design fundamentals in mind – the same principles used by both professional designers and artists. Best websites incorporate form and function. In fact, well-designed sites are seen as more credible according to a study by Stanford and are usually easier to use. Here are five principles that will help you maintain the quality of your design and keep it at the forefront.

1) Follow the rules … almost always
In design school, you get a list of principles to abide by assigning rules to beauty – elements such as line, order and symmetry. But as you go, they tell you to break the rules a little to create attractive places in the eyes of the viewer, showing items such as variety, tension and contrast.

2) Use images and icons to communicate whenever possible
There are some universal icons that people are trained to recognize. The lup (partial matches), the house (home page) and the disk (save) your users are already integrated. Take advantage of these visual shortcuts, all the road signs should be recognized immediately by you.

3) Color as a design element, not as decoration
The color makes all the difference, especially now that our screens getting better and better on phones and tablets. It is an aspect of design that can be a key part of the story you want to tell page. Use color to support your content, not to decorate the page. And often, if you use the photos, the colors in the design should be close to those of the photos used and your design leaves a unified feel.

To my taste I like examples of colors with samples, and web application Adobe Kuler is a great way to play with different themes and import them into your design tools. One of the best rules to follow is to use complementary colors, which is basically using warm colors and cool colors together to provide balance.

4) Choose sources that support your content
There are literally thousands of fonts to choose from. Up to you to mix and match, but remember that the best practice is maximum use three fonts at a time, one for the owner, one for the main body of text and one for any type of call or specific menu you need. Often, that means using a sans-Seriff for the body and for holders can become more interesting with a Seriff.

5) Support of Other
All right, you have your basic design elements with beautiful icons and images, with a palette of solid colors and fun fonts. What’s next? Get help from others, of course. And not just random people on the street, but constructive critics from people who really know the subject, as other designers / developers. That can be critical to good design go to one that really stands out. If you’ve never used Behance for publishing a work in progress, I recommend you give it a try. The community will only tell you “enlarges the logo”, you’ll get tips that can make the difference between a good site and a great one.

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Thomas James

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