The front page of a website is the first thing a user notices about a business or organization. There are certain goals and targets involved in creating a website. For example, bloggers want a website to showcase information more professionally; whereas, merchants need an e-commerce site to display their products to their customers. Either way, the sole purpose of a front-end design is to attract, engage, and influence users. This makes front-end a key element in web development.
While the development part involves the infrastructure and foundation of a website, the designing part involves its aesthetics. Just like the way you put a lot of thoughts into the exterior and interior of your home or office, a website design needs the same consideration.
It is the primary element that represents your business values and interacts with the consumers. If your website design is not able to attract the targeted audience, then the entire effort of developing and promoting it on various platforms is useless. Therefore, create a strategy, design for conversions and move forward to success with these helpful tips and tricks.
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Add Modernism with Minimalism
A good website is one that incorporates a modern interface. This usually goes with having in-trend elements, styles, and a fully responsive interface with cross-device compatibility. While a responsive website is a requisite in contemporary web design and development, there are still many sites that do not fulfill this obligation.
Modern website design is all about minimalism and simplicity. It’s tough to pass a classic design style including a bright color palette, white space, and flat elements. Every page should provide a call-to-action for users to guide them through a sensible path using your design. And, to do that, set a goal for every page.
Once the fundamentals are in place, you can add more elements or give it a personal touch. But don’t forget to follow one guiding rule— simplicity. Every front-end developer should include this classic mantra in every design decision. Exclude elements from your front-end design that do not have a purpose to serve.
Dotdash is a great example of bold, bright and modern design. The beauty lies in the simplicity that its front-end brings out perfectly.
Add Strong Visuals
As the sole purpose of a design is to drive in customers, consider incorporating strong visuals in your front-end design. However, if it’s not great, leave it out. Use sharp, precise and high-quality videos, logos, illustrations, and photos. Even if every other aspect of your design is well-made, using a single poor quality visual can ruin your design’s whole aesthetics.
Here comes the best part— you don’t need an array of elements to get your design work. Pick one or two visuals and start off. Use a video or an oversized graphic for a solid first impression. Even you can think of using a simple animation to entice users.
Remember, file selection is crucial. Make sure you use well-optimized high-resolution, photos, logos, SVG or CSS files for image-based icons as well as user interface elements and vector files for illustrations.
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Use Creative but Readable Typography
Readability is usability. It’s one of the most important aspects of website design. Readable text determines how users grasp the information. Poor readability drives off the users from the content. You want your users to read your content and perceive it easily, right? That’s where you should use creative but readable typography.
Using complex yet novelty fonts can be fun, but it shouldn’t make it hard for a user to read it. Make sure the typography you use is thick enough to help users understand the text with a glance. However, it shouldn’t be so thick that the words start screaming right from the screen.
Plain, medium stroke width sans-serif or serif typography is an excellent option to start. To add a bit of interest, choose the headline and the body combination in different typography. Don’t choose more than two or three typeface options to get started.
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Add Strategic Animated Elements
As compared to static, motion-less images and figures, moving or in-motion graphics grab the attention of the users instantly. This is why most of the designers are incorporating animated elements while designing web or mobile app UI. It is not only used for entertainment purposes but user interaction as well.
Strategically animated elements can set your designs apart from others. From engaging parallax scrolling to tiny hover actions, and elements that move across the screen, animation has become a must-have aspect of today’s UI.
Do not just animate an element of your front end just because you can; it will end up annoying the users. Instead, use purposefully placed animations for better user interaction and experience. If your users tap the menu icon, tap a button, or swipe to reveal a navigation drawer, use a subtle bounce or glow to acknowledge such interactions. However, avoid using animated elements that hinder the users’ activity unnecessarily.
Implement White Spacing Tactfully
Try to cram everything into one small area, and your website design will look over complicated. Whether online users are buying something from an e-commerce store, browsing news or just reading a blog, they tend to scan the front-end thoroughly and go further when they find something worth exploring. And, the white spacing is the element that makes it easy for the users to scan the design.
Whitespaces are also known as negative spaces. In simple words, it’s the section of a page left unmarked or blank. In terms of website design, it’s the space between images, graphics, columns, margins, text and other elements.
Even logo has negative spaces being used thoughtfully to depict uniqueness. Though it’s called white space, it doesn’t mean that the actual space is white. You can fill the blank space with any color you want as long as it doesn’t include elements like images or text. The negative space is also associated with elegance as it helps you organize your text, other elements, and guides the attention to desired elements.
Take the example of Google’s homepage. It showcases the great use of white spacing. It’s filled with white spaces, so the focus goes on only on the element— search.
To make most out of white spaces in your design, start considering every detail of the page you’re designing.
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Make your Design Pixel-Perfect
Do everything in your power to match the original design (mock-ups) with your finished design (live website). In technical jargon, it is known as a pixel-perfect design. In some sections, you can’t attain that. For example, your CSS shadow might not exactly be the same as a Photoshop one, and the letter spacing might not be as precise as of a designer’s, but you should do your best to get as close as possible.
A pixel less or more here and there doesn’t seem like much, but it counts and affects the overall aesthetics of the web design much more than you would think. So keep an eagle eye on every pixel count.
Take help from various tools available online to compare the original design with the finished one. This will help you know how much adjustment you need to make for a pixel-perfect design.
We are not the jack of all trades. It’s hard to develop a front-end, but it’s even harder to gain an eye for design on your own. Therefore, you should get the help of others to see how you can make improvements.
Well, it doesn’t mean you should grab a passerby and ask for advice. It means consulting real designers and let them offer their suggestions. The criticism of your design may put you off, but in the end, it will help you hone your skills in the long run.
Even if all you need to do is to polish a checkmark, there are many people out there willing to help you. Whether it’s an online forum, a designer buddy or colleague, seek out experienced people and get their feedback.
It may seem time-consuming and may lead to conflict between you and the designers, but trust us, it’s worth it. Good front-end developers are those who rely on others’ inputs and follow their guidelines.
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To summarize, here is a short list of tips for better front-end design.
- Stick to simplicity for a great website design.
- Communicate with users using strong visuals.
- Typography is huge. Make sure you use the right one to reflect the importance and increase readability.
- Interact with the audience using subtle but strategic animated elements.
- White spacing is important. Make it accurate and purposeful to catch attention.
- Pixel perfect strategy is important for a polished design.
- Don’t hesitate to seek out experienced designers and get their feedback.
Even if you are established as a front-end developer or trying to become one, you should always learn more about design as a part of regular self-improvement.