The influx of new and exciting “easy bake” tools such as the amazing WordPress and Wix sites, have given all of us mere mortals without design skills, the chance to be creative in a space normally reserved for professionals.
There are some fundamental design and web rules to look out for however, and here are just a few. Hopefully this will enhance your design and web experience with these ready to create tools, and you can produce your crowning masterpiece!
- Focal Point.
Most good design starts with a focal point, sometimes it’s a picture, sometimes it’s the bold stand out text. What ever you choose, look for the very best and crispest picture/text, and spend some quality time on playing with this feature, usually the rest of your web page will hang on what you do with your focal point.
- Not wanting you to get too stuck on the focal point that you forget that you want the rest of your website read. Movement and producing text or visuals that help the eye flow down your page is important.
- Lines can be tricky. Use lines when you want to make a point, don’t use it as a pretty ‘thing’ to do. It will drag the eye to it, and you may just be underlining something that you didn’t necessarily want to stand out.
- All of these terrific software tools will have inbuilt alignment features. I cannot stress how important it is to use them. The smallest misalignment can spoil the best looking web page.
- Yes…sometime absolute randomness can add something beautiful to a page, particularly if you are selling something a little quirky or offbeat. It can help you stand out from the crowd.
- Rule of Thirds. This is a professional designers trick from way back. If you are trying to give some equal important to content, go with the third’s. It is ok to break up your page with colorful blocking, using the thirds is excellent ‘easy on the eye’ and smart design move.
- White Space. There has always been and probably always will be, great debate about the use of white space. Some designers deplore the very thought of having any ‘wasted’ white space, and some designers use it to their great advantage, making a wonderful statement on their website. It comes down to this, white space, like many other things, is a tool, if it is well used, it can make your web site, if poorly used, it can break it. The beauty of the ‘do it yourself’ website is that you can play with all of these different techniques to your hearts content.
The last bit of information I would like to pass on to you, is to not suffer from analysis paralysis.
It is very easy to find your self flicking backwards and forwards from one design to another, trying to make up your mind which is better. In truth if you really dug deep, you will know which one you prefer, you are only questioning yourself, because you are worried other people will not agree with your choice.
The best way to handle this, is to gather a good sized group of people, family and friends, and have them vote on their favorite design and why. Just a short description is necessary. You will find that people will be quite honest with you if they have more than one to choose from, never ask a friend to tell you if they like your one web site that you have designed, they will feel trapped. and not wanting to hurt your feelings will tell you it is wonderful.
If you have a minimum of two designs to choose from, you will find they will choose one or the other, and don’t be surprised if they even say that neither rocks their world. This is great. Honesty will help you in your design efforts. The usual outcome from this exercise of asking people to vote between two, is that you will make note of all of the best in version 1, all of the best in version 2, and you will create a new and improved version three using all of the best key elements of both.
This my friend, is called great design work! Enjoy the ride.