Web design involves planning and creating websites. This includes site structure, navigation, layout, the use of colour, fonts and imagery, information architecture, placement of copywriting text and user interface.
In fact, tap into the Internet today and you’ll be greeted with a diverse range of web designs created by modern web technology that equips web designers with a wide range of options. So much so, it is tempting for any web designer to make a run for the latest gadget on the market in an attempt to impress their client with their technical know-how, at the expense of basic web design essentials.
Here are a five web design essentials that should not be neglected in any website.
Design that is responsive
It’s a good idea to create an overall design that is adjustable from one device to the next. Given that, the issue of copywriting text and design images should come under careful consideration. It’s wise to spend time designing a layout that works well with different devices as what is suitable for a desktop may not fit well on a mobile device. For example, using the same image on a desktop and a mobile device means the image will be much larger than necessary and will increase the bandwidth usage and loading times.
Most websites take advantage of blogging platforms with a template system for displaying content. Although this may be a convenient option, it might also create a generic look and feel that may not differentiate one website from another. If you’re dealing with an important client, creating a unique design for their website may help with the all-important branding that will set your client apart from other brands.
Check out the marketplace
Be aware of your options. For example, if you’re coding for Android, you would have to build more versions than if you’re designing for IOS. This would complicate the process for you and increase costs.
Having a versatile team
If there is a lot of web design and coding work to be done, having many team members is important as this helps to get the job completed quickly. More importantly, having a team that can handle all aspects of coding and design is imperative should a client want a particular type of work. Even if you may not have in-house support, it’s wise to have contacts handy or you might end up turning jobs down or scrambling to get the work done.
Test your site
Be sure to validate your code and then test your layout for all the various browsers and devices that you have designed for. Make sure everything works according as you have planned.
Bear in mind that works today may change tomorrow. What likely won’t change are the principles that govern effective web design. They are easy to implement in the initial stages of your web design and will save you a lot of hassle later.
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Image: Jeremy Smith
*Singapore Freelance Copywriter is a subsidiary of Squeeze Creatives