It’s no secret that simple is often better when it comes to website design. An interface that’s simple to understand and just as simple to use is more likely to turn visitors into active users that will return to your site later.
But how do you simplify your website? Even if you aren’t building something new from scratch, the trick is to set goals and then look at the path to reaching them for users. Anything that gets in the way of that path should be eliminated. Anything that makes understanding what users are supposed to do should be removed from the design.
That’s what we’re going to look at today – a few tricks that you can use to simplify your website design. And these ideas work for existing sites and new builds. (This article features examples of stellar simple designs, visit each site for even more inspiration.)
Keep it simple, stupid. This concept dates to 1960 when the U.S. Navy implemented the KISS principle, which maintains that most systems work best if they are simple, rather than complicated. The same is true of pretty much any design project as well.
Most graphic designers learn about KISS early in their careers. So how can you do it? Creating a simple design is a little more complicated than you might think. Here are seven rules to design by, that help you cut away all the clutter and create a beautifully simple account.
A grid is the foundation of almost any website design. These invisible lines help create rhythmic space and visual flow, so each project carries a sense of organization and harmony.
But you don’t have to stick to the grid 100 percent of the time. You can even break the grid from time to time without making a total mess. Here’s how you do it, while still keeping a website that’s a pleasure to use!
There’s often a disconnect between the way a designer looks at a website or brochure or package and the way users see it. As a designer, you can appreciate trends and attention to typography and details in a way that the common user might not.
Users only know whether they understand something when they interact with it. The details of how that interaction happens or why it is pleasing are often lost. It’s a pretty harsh reality.
But there’s a nugget of wisdom in understanding that disconnect. If you think about what users are thinking, you will be a better designer. (Even if you don’t particularly like their thoughts on design.)
Forget what you think about user attention spans. Long-form content can be a valuable part of your design strategy (and doesn’t have to be a boring block of ongoing text). Users love a good story and long-form content is a great way to create an immersive and engaging experience.
To keep users interested – and scrolling – you have to design interactions that are visually pleasing and create a consistent experience from the first glimpse to the final act. Here are a few ways to design long-form content that meets those goals with a few examples that are anything but boring.
One of the biggest trends in web design is a large hero image or video at the top of a page with a few words to guide users into the site. This kind of aesthetic puts a lot of pressure on the designer to come up with just the right display typeface to pull the design together.
With so many typefaces to choose from, this can be a bit of a daunting task. But you can find a great typeface with a little planning and luck. Here are five tips to get started with a few beautiful examples of display typography.
It’s the goal of pretty much anyone with a website: to have users that come back again and again. They share your content; they engage with you regularly; they tell others about the website. They remember the website.
It doesn’t happen by accident. A memorable design is a tool that will help create this user connection. Here, we’re going to look at seven ways to create a lasting impression with seven stunning examples of how to do it. Learn how to create a design that sticks in the long term, and doesn’t fly under the radar!
Have you noticed how small logos seem to be increasingly popular on websites? For a while, it seemed the focus in design was to “make it bigger.” That has shifted — in terms of logo size and placement anyway.
The biggest trend in website design right now is the use of the tiny corner logo. We’re going to break down the trend and look at a few great examples. Maybe you’ll find the inspiration to shrink the logo in your next project. Or maybe you’ll decide to keep it big and bold!
The best designs never really go out of style. These classics are often rooted deep in design theory and have that certain something that helps them withstand the test of time. You know some of them – brands such as Nike and Coca-Cola have logos, colors and overall design personalities that have stood for decades.
Thankfully, that timeless concept is something you can apply to almost any project. You might not have the same visual recognition as the Swoosh, but you can create an aesthetic that can work for you for years to come. Here’s how to do it.
We all know and understand the importance of designing websites on a responsive platform, right? That applies to images and photo galleries as well.
There’s nothing worse than navigating to a beautiful website and seeing images that just don’t “lock” into place or size properly. It almost leaves you thinking that the designer forgot something, or missed a step.
Today, we’re going to look at seven things you can do in the design process to create better responsive photo galleries. (We’re not talking code here; these are design processes that can help you and the developer, whether they are one and the same or not.)
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.)