Effective web design is increasing in importance as we approach a digitalised world, particularly as a result of the pandemic forcing many people online and into technology more than ever before. Despite its importance, good web design isn’t a given, and the reason many website creators and businesses stumble in this vital element is that they feel it may be unattainable if they aren’t a creative person.
Everyone deserves a great website – whether you’re creative or not! So here are a few great principles to start with, and some tips on understanding web design as a non-creative person.
UX is the name of the game
UX (user experience) is about understanding your audience. What are they looking for — and how will your design make finding it easy? UX is about getting into the heads of your audience and seeing your design through their eyes.
When building your first website, keep these guiding UX principles in mind:
– Make things simple and intuitive
– Communicate concepts in a logical succession
– Meet your audience’s needs
Don’t forget UI
Where UX focuses on the overall feel of a design, UI (user interface) zeros in on the specifics. When thinking about UI web design, keep these UI principles in mind:
– The functionality of interactive elements should be obvious
– Uniformity must guide usability — actions should follow logical patterns
– Design choices should be made with a clear purpose
These two web design principles rely on not just the creative side of the brain, but the analytical side. Analysing your audience and leading your website design by being simple, functional and purposeful are all skills that non-creative people can draw from, and are central to doing a good job. Knowing how to improve readability, usability and navigability are skills that can be learnt from a number of great sources.
Now you know some basic principle, here are a few other tips that non-creatives can find helpful:
– Find designs you like – then copy them – Taking inspiration from what’s already out there is never a bad idea. Put time aside to look at sites within your industry and see what common patterns there are – take notes! as this will also help you in deciding what designs you like, and those you don’t.
– Find a designer and ask them to take a look at your work – when trying web design as a non-creative it can be difficult to carry it out without second-guessing yourself. If you’re able to, try finding a designer, or a friend who is creative and may be more familiar with those who do web design, and ask them what they think. This can help root out any issues that you may not have noticed or understood how to fix. If you don’t know anyone personally, sites like Meetup (which will likely be over Zoom now!) are a great place to find web designers who might be willing to help.
– Read a book on design principles – the last option and perhaps the simplest. If you want to brush up on your understanding of web design by reading, then try a more practical book than a theoretical one. For a person with limited creative ability, the suggestions from a theoretical book may be a bit challenging to try out. They may make sense as you read them, but attempting to implement them may throw you right back into the confusion that you started with. Here’s a free ebook that keeps it simple.
Those are just a few ways you can understand web design as a non-creative person. If you really want to learn – it’s possible – so don’t give up! For even more tips for effective web design, have a look at our blog or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org