So you want to design a website. Whether it’s for your fledgling business or a hobby that you love, having your own website allows you to share what you have with the world. It also exposes you to a broader audience you never knew existed. Talking about website design is one thing, but doing it is an altogether different matter.
If you don’t know where to start, you could always look for a web designer. But it pays to know the skills required to improve the look and feel of a site and elevate it to new heights.
Beginners need to start with the essentials, which is what we’re going to talk about.
1. Start with a plan
The first thing you should do is to plan the design. Way before the first line of code is written, the site and its design are conceived from a plan. Good design requires that you set the foundation first before diving right into the deep end. Designing without a plan is like shooting in the dark: You don’t know what you’re looking at, and you’re not even sure if you’re doing it correctly.
You don’t even need high-tech devices to plan the site. All you need is a pencil and a piece of paper. Draw a rough sketch of the site’s layout. Start visualizing how you want it to look like. Place the significant elements and play around with positioning. Once you have an idea of how your website should turn out, then you can start doing digital sketching and wireframing.
2. Learn basic UI/UX
Designing the look and optimizing the user interface and experience are two different but overlapping skill sets. If you want to develop a good site, you need to learn some basic UI/UX concepts.
A site isn’t judged on looks alone. The usability of the interface also plays a significant role in web design. If users find it easy to navigate your site and do things with minimal fuss, you can attract more visitors to your site.
3. Keep it fast
During the design process, it’s easy to go overboard when it comes to adding media assets to the site. Sure, your website might look good, but if it won’t load at all, then it’s all for nothing. Nobody is going to wait five minutes for your homepage to load.
One part of web design is ensuring that it loads fast for everyone. There are things you can do on the backend to keep load speed to a minimum, such as choosing a good host or optimizing website code. But frontend design plays a huge role as well.
Keep media assets such as image files and videos to a minimum. Only add what’s necessary to get the message across. If photos are required, don’t forget to resize them to a lower resolution to speed things up.
These pointers will help you produce useful websites that will attract lots of visitors. Web design is an art, and you need to flex your creative muscles often if you want to make better-looking pages. Practice regularly, and you’ll get better in no time.