Creating websites is no simple task. This is especially true when you want to create effective and converting sites that gain recognition for their stylistic design solutions, navigation simplicity, and more. But, in today’s market, this is a skill highly sought after. Indeed, no modern company can survive without a relevant and converting website that properly represents its brand and effectively conveys its business message to its target audience.
Luckily for businesses, there are creative agencies in San Francisco eager to help at a reasonable price. One of the things design companies often neglect, though, is the front-end design aspect of their website projects. It is an aspect that demands special attention and more thoughtful development than sticking buttons into corners. It requires sophistication, logic, understanding, and a feel for aesthetics – along with some knowledge of coding, of course.
If you are a part of a web design company or are a self-employed web designer, you should take front-end design seriously. Otherwise, your project is at risk of flopping big time. Below, we are going to review some of the key tips for better front-end design. Even though not all of them are strictly technical, they are vital for a proper outcome.
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Front-End Tip #1: Be Smart about Typography
You’d be surprised to know just how much of a site’s end look is influenced by typography. You’d be just as surprised to learn how much time designers spend on it. It is not a “pick-it-and-go” type of endeavor, some serious time and effort go into it this part of the process.
If you end up in a situation where you have to choose typography, you should spend a decent amount of time making this decision. Go online and research good font pairings. Spend a few hours trying out those pairings to make sure you end up with the best typography for the project.
If you’re working with a design, then make sure you follow the designer’s typography choices. It doesn’t just mean choosing the font, either. Pay attention to the line spacing, letter spacing, and every other critical detail. Don’t overlook how important it is to match the typography of the design.
Also, make sure you use the right fonts in the correct spot. If the designer uses Georgia only for headers and Open Sans strictly for the body, then you shouldn’t be using Georgia for body and Open Sans for headers. Typography can easily make or break aesthetics. Spend enough time making sure you are matching your designer’s typography. This is always time well spent.
Front-End Tip #2: Take Care of the Pixels
You should do everything you can to match the original design in your finished program – down to the very last pixel.
In some areas, you can’t be perfect. For example, your control over letter-spacing might not be quite as precise as a designer’s. And maybe a CSS shadow might not exactly match a Photoshop one. Of course, you should still attempt to get as close as possible. For many aspects of design, you can get pixel-perfect precision. Doing so can make a huge difference in the results. A pixel off here and there doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up and affects the overall aesthetic much more than you might think. So always be sure to keep an eye on it.
Many tools will help you compare original designs with results. You can also take screenshots and paste them into the design file and compare each element with the other. Just lay the screenshot over the design and make it semi-transparent so that you can see the differences. Then you know how much adjustment you have to make to get it spot-on.
Front-End Tip #3: Focus on the Most Crucial Tasks
If you’re not confident in your design chops and you need to add something stick by a tried and true mantra – less is more. If the designer already took care of the main stuff by the time you got a hold of the project, you only need to focus on minor fillers. If you’re more of a developer than a designer, then it’s best to do as little as possible to make an element work. This way, you’re injecting less of your design into the designer’s work, and affecting it as little as possible.
While front-end development and design is a complex matter that doesn’t get accomplished within a few hours (except for very small projects and tasks), it doesn’t’ mean it has to drag on for much longer than it should. Understanding key concepts and applying some of the more useful and practical techniques will help you get the best results. It will benefit everyone: you, your team, and your client that ordered the website. Every stage of the web design process is crucial to the outcome, but when we’re talking about something that directly and immediately affects a website visitor’s opinion about the site – front-end design – you have to make sure everything is in place and works perfectly.