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01Jul

How to Avoid Simple Mistakes in Web Design

As a newbie web designer, it’s important to do proper research and understand clear goals before jumping on the wagon with a new design project. Today we’ll discuss two mistakes that often impact beginner designers when they first start off. If you’re new to the art of web design, consider these considerations that relate to colors and fonts in your web design project.

Colors

The subject of how to choose the best colors and how to merge them together much has already been said, and there are several sites that help provide real color design inspiration, but the topic will never completely run dry. Graphics, content, and layout can linked together in a seamless way through an intelligent use of colors. Knowing that Internet users generally prefer simple and clear designs as opposed to very elaborate and complex ones and that the use of too many colors gives any web page a cluttered, disorganized feeling should put you a step ahead in defining your design goals.

When you browse a site and scan through content to find the information you’re looking for as quickly and as easy as possible, bright contrasts and chromatic inadequacies can assault your eye beyond any tolerable limit. The end result? The user will click away to the next website. As a designer, you’re even more prone to observe color discrepancies, so whenever you start a new project, limit yourself to picking one palette that includes one main color and a couple of secondary shades that emphasize your design. Work with those and create an engaging environment that will keep the user content and willing to dig for more on a sweet looking website.

Fonts

The second most important thing users complain about in regards to the way websites are designed is fonts. “Too big,” “too small,” or “too quirky” are words designers hear way too often to simply ignore. On the other hand, things will always get creative in the web design process, and especially for junior designers, it is quite easy to get carried away with font choices. After all, there are just SO many!

Frankly, if there’s a reliable source (for example, a usability test or an AB test you’ve done) that strongly suggests to preserve the current choice of fonts despite the voice of others, there is no reason to change everything based on gut. Focus on logic and reason, not on emotion. If users are more receptive to certain font choices, keep them. Ask the people who actually use your site what their thoughts are since they’re your most loyal and supportive audience.

There are times when a specific font choice would complete the overall style very nicely, but even in these situations, you should not exaggerate. Focus on something simple that’s readable. People are accustomed to reading quickly and spending time trying to get familiarized with a new type of font is not something they are inclined to do.

Sticking with the standards such as Helvetica, Verdana, Arial, Times New Roman and others alike is a the safe choice most of the time. Also, light text on a much darker background is easier to read. Alternatively, you can use dark fonts on a light background — just don’t bring a contrast of color and font that would be attributed to creativity, since that may actually sacrifice readability.

These are two tips on how to avoid some basic mistakes in web design. If you remember and follow them, your overall design skills should improve. As you continue designing and listening to client feedback (and perhaps even with your own developer colleagues), you’ll grow even more.

1 comment

  1. Digital Showcase Jul 01, 2010

    Really Cool Post Guys. I have always used Helvetica. Works well with most projects because of its clarity

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