Those of you who may not be familiar with the details of beginner web designers, may find it overwhelming when approaching a web design project.
However, beginner web designers doesn’t have to be dramatically different in approach than projects and with the right other creative processes in place it can be more manageable.
Here are 10 tips that will help you get started with your new design projects and give you a clear better feel so you don’t get stuck and overwhelmed with prospects when designing a website. And these ideas can be applied to other creative projects as well.
1. Create a Design Brief
One of the biggest mistakes that designers make, whether working on web design projects or any other type of assignment, is not getting a brief early in the process. Having a design brief and knowing what project is supposed to be accomplished and what the expectations are can make all the difference the project you can handle and what methods you use to implement it.
2. Create Comp or Wire-frame
Too often designers jump straight to a computer and a blank slate at the start of their work. The result is a lot of time wasted trying to decide what to do next. If you start a project with a “road map,” it’s very easy to get straight to work and be more productive. Consider using either pencil and paper or a mobile app like Adobe Comp CC to develop a basic layout for what the website should look like. You can always continue working in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to create something detailed enough for client approval.
3. Understanding the Site’s First Structure
Having a layout for your site is a good start, but knowing how the internal structure of the pages will relate to one another can be even more rewarding. When you know how many pages your site has, how many different layouts you need, and what the relationships between the pages are, it can add clarity to you. Knowing this, you can work from the beginning with the end in mind and avoid duplicating back to correct your mistakes. Adding new pages or alternative layouts can also be easier.
4. Gather Assets and Resources First
Before you start work, have one of the required logos, a photo and an ideal copy of text. This means you won’t be building something that has to figure out how to align it with other assets later on. As a result, your website will feel more intentional and consistent. Ask these things in front of your clients and emphasize how important they are for you to get to work and get them done in an efficient manner.
5. Focus on Responsive Design
Mobile device experiences are a problem for us more as consumers than they have been in the past. Our first experiences of a website are often on mobile devices now. Many web designers are coders who don’t like Adobe Dreamweaver, but one of the main benefits of Adobe Dreamweaver CC is that it allows you to use a visual design workflow to manage how your site looks (in real time) on various mobile devices and screen sizes, so you can actually see what the end user will experience instead of guessing.
6. Keep User Experience In Mind
When designing a website, being consistent and concise is often more important than being smart and that’s certainly better than being complicated. Don’t get caught up in function, or even aesthetic form at the expense of a good user experience. A good rule of thumb is to keep the work down for the user and keep things as simple as possible. The fewer clicks or work someone has to do to get what they need, the better.
7. Don’t neglect to see and feel only for functionality
Too often designers emphasize form or function, without the right balance of the two. This is especially true when it comes to web design. Sometimes there’s more “web development” and coding than actual design, so the site is stout but totally unattractive.
Usually, the website is an investment for them to generate a return on the investment, users must be willing to use it. That means that aesthetics cannot be ignored and sacrificed from good code and functionality if you want real world users to enjoy the site, and clients to be able to achieve their goals.
8. Optimize Your Website to be Fast
Time is something we tend to value above all else, so make sure your site respects other people’s time. Optimize images for fast loading and try to keep your code as light as possible. Sometimes ignoring cool trends like parallax scrolling, or animation is the best option and will help your end users get the experience and results they really need. Speed and smaller file sizes are even more important on mobile websites that consume user data, which may be limited or expensive.
9. Test Everything Before Launch
Testing everything before launch is critical to the success of a website. While it’s better to destroy errors on a website less than finding them when a print job is complete, you should still do everything you can to avoid errors. Test your website on multiple browsers and multiple devices. Many people to test the site as possible so that no one is overlooked.
10. Backup Everything, Twice
In addition to having the website reside on a live server, you must also have at least two such backups. Consider having a physical backup as well as a cloud backup. You may also want to have an active site version that you download each time before making major revisions. This can be helpful in the event that changes end up breaking the website in a number of ways. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.