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Web Design & Development Quick Tips .pdf



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13 Quick Tips to Improve Your Web
Design Skills
1) Design in shades of gray, then add color
If your web designer creates wireframes prior to visual designs, then you
know the value of starting with shades of gray. Turn your wireframe into a
grayscale visual design, add your photography, then carefully add color to
design elements one at a time.
This will prevent an “overdesigned” website and help to place prominence on
just the items that need it.
2) Use Keynote (Mac) to create rapid page prototypes
You don’t need Photoshop to create rapid prototypes of web pages, landing
pages, call to actions or other web interface elements. There’s an entire
underground movement around using Keynote (that’s Apple’s version of
PowerPoint) to create mockups.

There’s even an online repository containing user interface design templates
for wireframing, prototyping and testing mobile and web apps in Keynote.
3) Add web fonts to your corporate style guide
It’s 2015, and if your corporate style guide doesn’t include web fonts, then you
need to look into adding those so your website has the same governance that
corporate documents and collateral does.
If you haven’t looked into this yet, Google Fonts is a great place to start. Find
a suitable web font and define usage in your corporate style guide so you use
it consistently online
4) Bury those social media icons
You did all that work to get people to your website, and yet you’re inviting
them to leave? That’s what you’re doing when you place social media icons in
a prominent location of your website, like in the header. Bury the icons in the
footer.
If people are on your website, you want them to stay, learn and perhaps
inquire about your services, not check out company picnic photos and bowling
outings on Facebook. Social media should send people to your website, not
vice versa.
5) Ditch the slideshow/carousel
When the homepage slideshow/image carousel came into fashion, it was a
way to get lots of information on the first page of your website. The problem is
that most people don’t stay on the page long enough to experience all of the
tiles/messages.
What’s more is that the messages and images usually aren’t relevant to your
prospect’s first visit. What’s the one thing a visitor should take away from their
website visit? Promote that one thing -- usually what your company does in
layman’s terms -- and ditch the rest.
6) Simplify navigation

Reducing your visitors’ options might seem counter intuitive, but it can actually
help guide people to your most productive content. Rather than overwhelming
your website visitors with links to every page, simplify your navigation.
Eliminate dropdown menus and especially multi-tier dropdown navigation that
only the most skilled mouse user can navigate, and go a step further by
reducing the number of links in the header or sidebar of your website.
7) Remove sidebars
The sidebar has been an especially popular web design trend for the last ten
years, especially on blogs. Many companies are finding that when they
remove sidebars from their blogs, it encourages reader attention to the article
and the call to action at the end.
Removing the sidebar on our company blog has increased the number of
clicks on call to action graphics over 35%.
8) Get color inspiration from nature
Struggling to find the perfect color combination for your website or a call to
action graphic? Get your inspiration from nature. You can either use your own
camera to photograph natural wonders around you or find landscape photos
on the web, the use a color picker to select a color. Nature’s color palette
never fails.
9) Step away from the computer
I believe that good design starts with great planning. Getting your ideas down
on paper or on a whiteboard can help you iterate through a design, refining it
and adding detail as you go along. Drawing on a whiteboard can also make
the design process collaborative and allow other team members to give input.
It’s also easy to erase pencil from paper or marker from a whiteboard and
make quick changes, and once you have something concrete to work with,
snap a photo with your mobile phone and get to work on screen.
10) Use Pinterest to create mood boards

When you’re putting together inspiration and ideas for a new website, or
you’re redesigning part of your website, you need a way to collect your
inspiration in one place for future reference.
Did you know that you can use Pinterest to create a mood board of your
favorite images, colors, layouts, patterns, sample websites and concept
material? Another great advantage of using Pinterest is that other designers
create and share mood boards too, and they’ve already curated a ton of
resources that you can use.
11) Increase your font size
Typography is incredibly important in web design. Text is hard enough to read
on a computer screen, so you have to make the important things stand out.
One way to do this is to increase your font sizes, especially for headings and
important blocks of text. Consider increasing the size of your normal font, too.
12) Use white space
It may be hard to believe that using whitespace is a hack, but I evaluate
websites every day that could use more whitespace. Not every blank area of
the screen needs to be filled.
Even though whitespace and simplicity are in style right now, too many
companies try to cram everything into a small space, or worse yet, “above the
fold.” Give your design room to breathe, and your website visitors will be able
to find things easier.
13) Use the squint test
Want a quick way to learn what’s most prominent on your website? Back
away from your computer screen and squint. Most everything will become
blurry, and only the larger, colorful, more prominent features will be
noticeable.


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