Here at Pumpkin Web Design, we consider ourselves experts at designing appealing, user-friendly websites. Not that we wish to brag (much), but we like to think we could teach almost anyone techniques that would improve their web design skills. Do you sometimes yearn for a more active role in your company’s web design process? While it’s always best to let professionals build your website, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t contribute to its design. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a few simple tricks that will help even a layman improve their web design skills.
1. Design comes before colour
One of the hardest parts of designing a website is getting the colour scheme right. Using too much colour can result in a garish, confusing website, whereas not using enough can result in a wash-out page that fails to emphasise its most important features. One of the simplest ways to get around this problem is to view the website’s design without colour so that you can see where colour should be placed to add emphasis and where it should be kept to a minimum. If you want to be involved in choosing your website’s colour-scheme, why not get your web designer to show you a greyscale version of their design; you can then discuss where best to deploy colour without being distracted by an existing scheme.
2. Sometimes, you have to squint to see clearly
When looking at a web page, how can you tell which features are the most prominent? How can you be sure that users will notice the features that you want them to? Try squinting! It may seem like a truly bizarre suggestion, but it really can help. If you lean back from your computer screen and squint, everything on the screen should appear blurry; only the largest, most colourful or most prominent features will stand out. These are likely to be features that a user who’s never seen your website before notices first. As such, the ‘squint test’ is a fantastic way to test the visual design of a page from your web designer.
3. Not all design happens at the computer
Believe it or not, the web design process doesn’t take place entirely at computers. Often, designs are hammered out on a white board, because it makes it easier for the design team to view and talk about designs, make quick alterations and develop new ideas in a cooperative environment. If you have new thoughts about your site’s design, try showing your web design team your ideas on a whiteboard. This will allow you to brainstorm and refine your design concepts with the experts before anything is implemented!
Ultimately, the best website designs are the result of a collaboration between the client and the web designer. These tips may not turn you into a web designer overnight, but they will help you collaborate effectively!