There’s always that moment at the beginning of a website design project where you think “where do I start?” You’ll battle the desire to create something totally different and new versus something tested and reliable.
Realistically, there are a few layouts that just never get old. These patterns are generally accepted by users, easy to understand and provide a solid framework for pretty much any design and content type. Here, we’ll look at these five “timeless” website layouts and how to make the most of them for your next project.
Be honest. Have you ever created something that was just bad? Now, have you ever designed something bad on purpose? It’s a strange concept, but one that we’re going to be exploring more today.
Sometimes designing something bad can actually yield a positive result. Not sure about that idea? Read on and you just might change your mind. (Then think about each example of a “bad design” and how you could fix it.)
One of the techniques shunned by designers at the beginning of the flat design era is making a comeback. Almost overnight, it seems that gradients are popping up in website designs everywhere.
From backgrounds to image overlays to subtle textures on user interface elements, the two-color effect is back in a big way. It’s also a little different this time around. Here’s what you need to know before using gradients again (and plenty of examples to spark your creativity).
Consistency will make your design better, easier to use, and practically invisible. It gives the user plenty of room to experience the design in the way you intend.
Designing for consistency is a no-brainer in some cases and a little trickier to understand in others. Quite simply, consistency is the thread that ties together elements in a single design. It also ties together designs across a single campaign or brand, creating a product that is distinguishable, usable and effective. Take special note of all the examples below, each brand is a leader when it comes to consistent and usable design.
You are probably swimming in a sea of data. Analytics, reports, metrics and data-based facts are the new norm, and people can’t seem to get enough.
But how do you design with data? How do you take something that can be complex, requiring explanation, and break it down into something smaller and digestible without ruining the meaning of the information? It can be a tough task. Today, we’re going to look at different approaches to designing with data and hopefully provide some usable tips!
When an element uses asymmetrical space, it stands out against other surrounding elements. It will appear more vibrant, which is particularly helpful if you’re designing areas of a page where one link/button demands more attention than others.
Today we’re going to take a closer look at asymmetry expressed through contrast, spacing, and layout. We’re thinking about observable contrast, and how space drives attention.
When talking about design we need to consider text from a designer’s perspective. Text must be legible and readable while fitting nicely with the website’s style. But it also must relate to a hierarchy of content.
Building hierarchies is the “big picture” of a website’s composition. But as you move into typography, you also must create hierarchies related to specific text on the page. In this piece, we’ll explain creating relationships with your headers and how to use white space to make lengthy paragraphs visually digestible.
One. Two. Three. Now stop counting and think about how elements grouped in threes can work for your projects. It’s an interesting concept but one that crosses multiple disciplines.
In public speaking, three points in sequence are crafted to drive home a point. In photography and art, the rule of thirds helps you visualize the canvas differently. Even the American Declaration of Independence is rooted in three rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How can you think more about groupings of three and implement this magic number into your projects? We have a few suggestions.
When you think of space, the first thing that might come to mind as a designer is “white space.” Today though, we are going to look at outer space and how to design elements that live in the outer realms.
The trick to designing “in space,” as we’ll call it, is to avoid common traps and clichés. But an overall dark and starry aesthetic can be a fun way to do something a little bit different with a project. Join us as we take a look at a few examples, and tips for figuring out how this type of design can work well.
It’s time to talk about first screen design. The first screen is that initial glimpse that a user gets into your website. It’s everything above the scroll, whether the user accesses a website from a desktop, tablet or mobile device.
The information you include on this “first screen” is the key to website success. The design can entice and keep users clicking, or force them to navigate away from the page. What needs to be on the screen before users start scrolling? Let’s take a look.
It’s one of those fundamental parts of design we don’t talk about much: Designing within the rules. We talk a lot about creativity and innovation, but sometimes leave out one of the ideas that pushes most projects along, and that’s actually creating something with a lot of rules attached. It’s thinking “inside the box.”
Design constraints are those little keys to consistency that help brands establish visual identity and guide voice. These restrictions can come in a number of forms, and like them or not, it’s something you are going to have to deal with.
And here’s the good news: Constraints can actually help you become a better designer.
Every project requires a system and hierarchy for text elements. Just think about all the small pieces of text that are used throughout a design – headlines, body copy, navigation elements, legal information, captions and so on.
But how do you create that hierarchy so that every text element flows smoothly to the next? Today, we’ll take you step-by-step through building a system of typography hierarchy that can be used for almost any design project. (And we are pairing the tips with beautiful examples of great typography to help you gather a bit of inspiration.)