This blog goes over the 9 principles for good web design and I am going to point out what I find useful from each.
I liked the fact that the blog opens up with an intro talking about the challenges we are faced with when it comes to web design. Not only do we have to be concerned with the design or layout of our website when we are creating it, we also have to pay attention to the usability and whether or not the website delivers the information we need it to effectively.
The 9 principles that are listed in the blog are as follows
- Design to Build
The first design principle listed is precedence and mainly the blog talks about how a good web design effectively directs the viewers eye throughout the website. Your website should have a varying amount of visual weight as the blog says, and I agree with this. Good design should have a hierarchy of some sort. For instance, important things, perhaps the brand, and the statement of the individual/company should be the first thing that stands out on the page. You could achieve this by making it bigger, placing it in a noticeable place where it stands out first thing (e.g. in the upper left ), and perhaps navigation should be a secondary element. The brand or identity is what our eye should be focused on first followed by the less important elements.
How to build precedence as this blog goes on further to say is by utilizing position, color, contrast, size and design elements. Where something is on the page can come to the individuals/companies benefit. Like stated previously, where something is on the page is important, and can help the user focus on important areas first all by where you place them. Also color is important and can help you want to catch the users attention and get them to look at what you want them to focus on. Perhaps your logo is the first important thing, so you want to create it using vivid and bright striking colors, or you want them to focus on the individuals/company statement so you put it first in larger type so it stands out first thing. Adding contrast can really come to help you design your page effectively and help you add precedence to the page by making certain things stand (logo, statement, the individual,work) out as opposed to less important things (navigation,background). Size and Design elements can come to benefit you since of course we can make important things larger, and the secondary elements smaller in size since we by nature tend to focus on larger things followed smaller things in that order. Design elements such as arrows and icons can help point out what you want the user to notice much like a road sign or map.
Space should be viewed as a good thing. I agree with this blog due to the fact that I believe less is more. Just because there happens to be space there, doesn’t mean we should fill it up entirely. Websites that do this come off as way too busy, where the user doesn’t know quite where to look. The article goes on to talk about how to use spacing effectively. For instance line spacing or leading as we like to call it, needs to be used effectively. Too much and the users eye gets lost. Too little and the user may not be able to read all the text.
Padding is another issue we face when web designing and we should pay close attention to. There should be space between the elements on the page. So text shouldn’t be touching images and vice versa. This makes the text more readable, and the image less crowded.
And of course white space is mentioned which simply is referred to as the empty space on the page. It is important since balances the page out and gives the page proportion without making the page appear to be too heavy and weighed down.
The navigation or nav for short is important. It leads the user to different parts of the website. If the user goes to your website and doesn’t know where to go, well then there’s a problem.
I agree with this part of the blog since I myself have visited many websites and it took me more than enough time trying to find out where to click to get to the persons work page, or contact page for example. This should not be the case rather it should be obvious and easy to find like at the top for instance. So make it appear as a button, change color when hovering over it, and naming it accordingly like home for home page, is all important because who really wants to visit a webpage that they can’t navigate?
When the user does happen to click on links, they should know where they are and always know how to get back to where they were. Linking back to the home page for instance, so they don’t get lost or frustrated with your site.
Design to Build
I like this section of the blog because it pertains to me quite a bit. There have been times my designs have surpassed my knowledge and time constraints. I would in return get overwhelmed. Knowing what to avoid, and knowing what fonts for instance can’t be used is very important. Trying to design according to what is possible is important. Taking short cuts can make your life easier and building your site in a simple condensed way, can save you time. So get rid of the unnecessary and build smart.
Of course taking four type courses has made me realize that there is a lot to consider when including typography in anything. When it comes to the web like the blog points out, you must consider font choices(retro, modern what feel are you going for should suggest what type you use), size (Variations headings are larger and there should be hierarchy), color (Higher contrast so it is more readable),line length (Not so long shorter and easier for the user to read line after line), spacing (lines of text and next to other elements should help user read text more clearly), and paragraphing (left-aligned versus justified text).
- Making the web design usable.
- Do what people expect as to not throw them off and/or confuse them.
- Trying out design before using it.
- Lay it all out. I find this helpful because it is much easier to tackle building a design with a plan versus going into it with no plan or idea what you want the website to consist of and why.
- Line em’ up (I found this out in Web 1 when things just look better when they have a structure to them and look cleaner when they are lined up)
- Using grids help you with aligning things properly. I just recently found out that there were grids you could use for websites much like if you were using a grid in any application of the sorts.
- Thinking in pixels
- Using anti-aliasing and cleaning up borders in your design
- High contrast so you can notice your borders
And the last thing on this list from the blog is…
- Just making things match up. Making your design cohesive and all the elements from the font, coloring, photos..etc. should look like they belong together.
- Consistency leads to quality of course
I really enjoyed reading this blog. I obviously found all if not most of the information to hold true to web design. Some of it holds true for design itself as well. It is best to learn the basic principles of a good design before applying it, in order to come up with something of better quality, that is effective to the user.