A developer’s guide to web design for non-designers

A developer’s guide to web design for non-designers

Do you know that you can build a fully functional website without any design or Web Development team? This is about learning principles, practices, tips and tools, not just talents?  If you are interested in particular kinds of websites or web apps and want to learn from the experts, you have just landed at the right place. 

What a reputed UI UX design agency does cannot be learned overnight. But over time, learning the design tips, tools and practices will help you grasp some of their expertise areas. Here we provide a simple but practical guide for non-designers to learn the tricks and skills of web design. 

Using the right web design tool 

Design tools make your job more accessible to a great extent. Using these tools, you can just create the raw materials and layout of the web design for your project. Some of the most sought-after web design tools include the following. 

  • Sketch: Sketch is specific to macOS but equipped with advanced features it does a great job creating a feeling that the code is written from scratch.
  • Adobe XD is a free tool for web and cross-platform app projects tool that feels more like VueJS and ensures an easy learning curve for starters.
  • Adobe Photoshop is most designers’ ultimate design tool for all kinds of web projects. 

Let’s now focus on various design tools and how to use them to perfection. 

• Rectangle shape

The rectangle shape is widely used in web design across cases ranging from text input fields to containers. This shape can be incorporated by using the Rectangle tool. 

• Text or label

A text or label tool is used to incorporate text into the design. There are two options; the first one is designated to create one-liner text and the second for multiple text paragraphs. With the first state tool, text can adjust easily as per text box size.  

The second one comes as a specifically sized text container with a particular width. While the text box size can be controlled, you need to create separate text boxes for separate texts. 

• Selection 

The Selection is a tool used for moving design elements, reducing or enlarging their sizes and copying them. In a design environment, such actions are frequent, and things can be more accessible with this tool. 

• Line 

The lines that appear to separate different parts of the design are essential to creating a consistent and coherent design. The line tool is used for dividing design elements everywhere. 

Some excellent web design tips

Web design has already come of age, and accordingly, the look and feel of websites have evolved tremendously over the years. Here below, we provide some time-tested and industry-validated web design tips. 

• Web design layout 

In web design projects, the design layout is divided into four areas: a menu, header, content, and footer. While this division is primary, the design layout has more to do than just this. 

 • Colors

For using appropriate colours that drive traction and engagement, take a look at the colour wheel and have some understanding of the colour philosophy. Some specific tools offer detailed guidance on choosing colour combinations from the colour wheel that look perfect. 

 • Typography

Choice of typography is closely associated with branding, so designers need to pay close attention to them. From a visual perspective, uppercase text looks harmonious and neat but hampers readability. Lowercase text is always reader-friendly but fails to achieve much traction. 

How to design a homepage: A brief guide 

Design is equally a science and art involving a lot of creativity. There is always the lure of using trending design elements, but to ensure usefulness and relevance, one should rather venture into visual storytelling through the page. 

If you just look here and there, there is no dearth of inspiration for web designers to make great looking homepage or landing page. Advanced filtering capabilities and intuitive menu options make a great home page design. It is always advisable to browse and understand the logic behind various design elements before drilling down a design style into your own. 

The most challenging thing is to bring all design elements and weave them together into a fantastic homepage design. The sad thing is you have no shortcuts to follow here. You need to try a lot of design elements until the desired look and feel comes out as satisfactory and appropriate. 

How does a design that appears to be great once suddenly lose its charm in your eyes? Well, the human mind generally gets overwhelmed at first sight and slowly, over time, the fault lines appear as the deeper cognitive faculties start working as you look at it frequently. This is actually good to discard your own design and try to bring something more unique and valuable to the design. 

So, what are other key learning points apart from all the discussion on designing a web page or just the homepage? Let’s mention them here below one by one. 

  • Stylised typeface that, without drawing much attention to itself, can bring flair and enhanced readability is a great thing.
  • Use visually meaningful and attractive graphics in the form of photographs or illustrations to ensure legibility in design. 
  • Create a sense of prioritization by using different colour shades effectively in design. 
  • Make sure you follow the basic principles of consistency and coherence instead of reinventing the wheel for everything.
  • Make space for byte-sized text instead of making the pages text-loaded. 
  • Make sure you use the negative or white space to create a breathable design without cognitive load. 

Wrapping up

There can hardly be any doubt about the importance of design as a winning factor in staying ahead of your competitors. But there are so many perfectly designed websites across every niche that doing just simple things right won’t consistently deliver enough value. This is why, after ensuring the basic design principles, it is essential to give vent to your creativity.