In just about any endeavor, there are some things that I wish I knew before I started the journey of being a great web designer.
Fortunately for you, you do not have to experience the hardships that I did because I will guide you. Here are some tips I wish I knew before I started as a web designer:
1. Use a Pen and Paper
The thing is, we now use our computers predominantly when we are thinking about a design. But, the truth is that it is actually much harder to be creative using the technology.
That is why it is still best to use a pen and paper since you will not be limited with the technology that you use.
You can be as creative as you can be and there is this thing that just happens magically when you use a pen and paper and that is you just get inspired to draw and come up with your own designs.
So, turn off your PC and create some designs the old fashion way.
2. Keep It Simple, Stupid
The above actually has an acronym and that is KISS. In web design, the simpler it is, the better. That is because it is much easier to see what your site is actually about.
To keep things simple, I follow the rule of three. Use only three colors, three images, and three fonts. This is so that I can narrow it down to just the best ones and so that the final product will not look disorganized.
3. Never Stop Learning
As a web designer, always treat yourself as a beginner. What I mean by this is that always be hungry to learn new skills, new trends, just about anything there is when it comes to web design.
4. When It Comes to Usability, Always Think of Your Audience
The website ultimately caters to a target audience and when you think about them, you will then know how to implement things the right way.
Just keep in mind this one word: usability. Always think about function before form since your design is just there to help elevate the user experience.
5. Save and Save Often!
When we design a website, we now use our computers to do so. However, most artists and designers I know are so focused on the creative process that they forget to save their work. There are instances where there will be a sudden loss of power or you just forgot to save your progress. You could lose your precious hours for nothing if you do not save often! Be sure that you do before heading out.
6. Draw Inspiration from Different Sources
As creative people, we all have that time where we just run out of juice. If that happens, all you really need to do is draw inspiration from different sources.
You could look at different designers and their works, you can go out there and experience what nature has to offer, or even just by pampering yourself, you will get inspiration by doing these things.
7. As Much as Possible, Do not Force it
We all have clients that we have to cater to and there are deadlines that are set before we start on the project.
But again, you will find that you just run out of creative juice from time to time. When that happens, do not force yourself into continuing.
You might have just felt some burnout and you need to rest or, you might want to follow on the previous point and draw some inspiration from others.
8. Use Layouts That Provide Maximum Functionality
Your layouts should provide the foundation for your other design elements. You can try your hand on using both asymmetrical and symmetrical designs to see which one works for you. When in doubt about the positioning of your graphical elements, do the squint test.
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Others
You might have a huge sense of pride as a web designer and you do not want to ask help or opinions from others. However, this is a huge mistake as you’re only limited by the knowledge that you’ve grasped so far.
Remember what I said earlier about never stop learning? Other designers have nuggets of wisdom that they can share with you and it would be a waste if you do not listen to them.
10. Follow Deadlines
And lastly, you have to follow deadlines that were set at the beginning of the project. You have to be truthful and tell your clients the correct timeframe so that they will know when the website will be finished.
Consider putting extra time for the project as there might be some things that you have not accounted for such as design changes, some improvements, and so on.