4 Tips to Improve your Web Design Skills

4 Tips to Improve your Web Design Skills

Keeping visitors on a website is pretty difficult task. After all, there’s around 180 million active websites out there, so there’s a lot of competition for people’s attention!

The best way to capture this attention is with an engaging website and this is where graphic designers step in. Sure, a website needs to be packed full of amazing content, but it also needs to be visually appealing and accessible for visitors.

And designing a website which manages to draw in visitors and keep them on site isn’t impossible. In fact, if you follow my 4 tips to improve your web design skills, you’ll find it easy!

Use Professional Photography

Nothing screams out “AMATEUR!” more than poorly designed stock photos which you’ve seen on a million lookalike websites before. Yeah, they’re cheap, but that ethos will also seep into your website and give a bad impression.

Now, I know that not everyone out there’s a professional photographer, but the cost of hiring one is more than worth it to ensure your website features original and intriguing visuals. Always make sure you plan this into a budget when pitching for a website design. Alternatively, take a short photography course because you’ll be amazed by the skills you quickly pick up.

And we’re not saying that you should reject stock photos out of hand. I mean, it’s going to be a financial and logistical nightmare to arrange, for example, a cheering stadium full of football fans! Just make sure you invest a decent amount of money in your stock photography so it doesn’t have an unwelcome air of familiarity.

Simple Navigation

One of my pet peeves – and indeed anyone who’s ever stepped foot on the internet – is websites where you struggle to get from page to page and find what you want.

The rise of flat design has simplified matters greatly and the most common option for website navigation is to use a horizontal menu bar at the top of the page. People are used to using these now and know exactly where to head.

A decent sized website, though, will probably have many sections and you don’t want to clutter the top of the page with everything. So, I always work out which the most important pages will be e.g. where does the website need the most amount of visitors to head? And then I restrict this horizontal menu bar to no more than 15 sections. Anything which isn’t imperative for users’ attention can go at the bottom of the page e.g. privacy disclaimers.

Remember the Fold

The ‘fold’ is the section of a website which is visible without having to scroll, but, believe me, there’s a lot more to it than that.

You see, this is the area where visitors will get their first impression of a website and the best place to grab their attention. Therefore, it’s the best place to house the most vital elements of that page e.g. call to actions should always be above the fold to ensure they receive maximum exposure.

HTML5 is the Future

Ten years ago the internet was awash with Flash animation and Adobe seemed to have the whole market sewn up. However, Steve Jobs seal of disapproval didn’t exactly do Flash a lot of favours. And recent security issues have also seen Flash lose further popularity.

But what’s the alternative? Well, it’s HTML5!

This form of coding language is now the preferred option for video and audio playback for most platforms (and, importantly, Apple devices), so it’s essential that you begin to investigate HTML5 to ensure you can create websites with high levels of interactivity.


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