Design Considerations When Designing a Website

web design wireframe
Image sourced from Baldiri on Flickr

Last week we talked about UX considerations with regards to web design projects. I can't stress enough how important those considerations are, so if you missed that here is a link.

Today we are going to talk about design specifically, and a few things you need to make sure you are aware of before finalizing any design decisions.

Design is a UX Consideration

Okay, so it is slightly wrong of me to separate UX from design, as they are really part and parcel. The reason I did that is to reinforce the fact that it is vital you are considering UX as a whole. There are countless examples of ugly websites that perform really well when it comes to conversion, and a ton of beautiful websites out there that do nothing for their owners. You need to make sure your website is one of the ones that achieves the desired results.

Pure Black and Pure White

Avoid them. Using slightly off shades will almost always result in a better look and feel. I think this is partly because these colours are so commonly used, but also because they are very abrupt colours to be using, so your website can end up looking quite hard on the eyes.

Light on White

A huge mistake many web designers make is using light colours on a white background (or dark colours on a dark background). The problem with this is that it makes it difficult to see (and especially, it makes text difficult to read. There’s a great resource at WebAIM you can use to make sure colour combination (for text on a background) comply with the W3 accessibility standards with regards to contrast. You can find it here

Font Size

Font sizes should be relative (IE you should be using EM or percentages). You should never set the font size of any text (other than small print perhaps) to be smaller than 100% of the browser default. This allows you to comply with accessibility standards and also to allows things to stay in line with user preferences.

Avoid Using Flash

HTML 5, CSS 3 and Javascript you can achieve pretty much everything that you would be able to using flash on a website. Couple that with the fact that flash is not supported by some devices and you can see why it is usually a good idea to avoid using it.

I hope this article was useful to you and that you have a better idea of how to approach the design side of your web design project now. Come back next time for the following article, where I will be talking about some important considerations when it comes to what’s going on ‘behind the hood’.