Article by By John K. Taylor Originally Posted Here.
For someone who has never paid too much attention to websites, beside what they’re offering for free or the important information that can be found on them, it would be easy to think that it doesn’t take a great amount of skill to put one together. Splash on a few colored images, pick a vibrant backing pattern, write a few paragraphs and type them up in two or three exciting fonts – not hard, right? Well, that mish mash of items may not be too difficult to assemble, but preparing a good web design certainly is. Here are three principles that separate the good web design from the bad:
Color is one of the main places where people go wrong in web design, mainly because they are ignoring common sense and trying to make a bold and impressive impact with bright and clashing colors. Don’t. If you are at all tempted to get crazy with color, take a look at some of the most successful websites (Facebook for example) and you will notice that they use no more than two colors. A good web design can easily be prepared using only monochrome color schemes, but if you are interested in experimenting with color, select only two or three colors and highlight these using lighter and darker shades of them. A good approach to selecting colors is to observe the choices made by the designers featured in showcase websites such as Best Web Gallery. Picking the right colors for what is being conveyed by each unique web design is also important. For example, light blue and white may be completely appropriate for a medical site, but would evoke the wrong mood for an Italian restaurant website for which rustic, warm reds and oranges may be more suitable.
Good web design does not necessarily need to feature an abundance of dazzling graphics; in fact one or two is often more than enough. However, poor quality graphics will damage the appearance of the entire website so it’s important to be confident with some of the graphic editing programs used in web design, such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Image sites such as I-stock Photo also supply high quality graphics that can be purchased for use on web sites. When selecting graphics for a website, make sure they will work in harmony with the overall mood and purpose of the website. If worst comes to the worst and you are not able to prepare or purchase any suitable graphics, employing the services of a professional illustrator or photographer will certainly give your web design a strong advantage.
Text is one of the most critical aspects of a web design. Not only is text the main form of communicating the purpose of the website, it also contributes to the visual appearance of each page in a significant way. Every web design must be prepared with a hierarchy in mind – meaning that each element of each page progressively leads toward the desired action that the website owner wants the site visitor to take – and typography can play an important role in enforcing that hierarchy. The strategic use of different font sizes, typefaces and bolding or underlining in headings, sub-headings and block text can highlight information in an effective way, both for site visitors and search engines.