Web Design Recipes from our Master Chefs

Working for a web presence company for 8 years, I somewhere began to regard myself as a designer. I sure as hell talk the talk, though I cannot walk the talk.

Even though I’ve never really used or worked on any web design tool in my life, it comes very easy for me to pass judgments and comment on work done by my team of designers. Over a period of time, I realized that this is pretty much the reality in any web designer’s life. Both, the freelancer and a designer working full time for a company have to deal with clients who think they know more about design than the designer him/herself. I respect the efforts a web designer has to put in to create a design, its art being created in front of my very eyes. Admittingly, not all output is a Monalisa but nevertheless has a significant amount of effort put into it.

As an individual representing BigRock, my company and I have tremendous respect for the efforts and dedication web designers put into creating every new piece of design, be it an online banner, an app or a full blown website. It is an Art and Science at the same time, it is a marriage of Creation and Invention – It is Epic. This article is an ode to you all, creators and inventors – this article is our effort as a company to chip in a little to make your lives better, a little easier. This is a list of Design Tips that we have from our designers to You. We hope this can help you in some little way in the great art that you create.

WebDesigner_BigRock_Tips

  • Keep at it till the “Aha” Moment: This is the most important and probably the most basic tip we can offer. Designing is not a chore, its creation so rushing in will never help. Don’t turn in your project till you are convinced that what you have is the best you can do for it. Take some time out, walk around, get a coffee then come back and take a look at your work again and if you have that “Aha” moment then you have a winner.
  • Learn and Understand Color Combinations: Colors make up everything, a good UI is useless with the wrong colors. There are plenty resources that will help you with this, try any of these really cool tools to get the best combinations. But before you jump on to these sites a word of advice, trust your gut and look & learn.
  • Practice: I guess this is the time when we pull out a fancy quote to convey this – “Practice makes Progress” and its so true in this context. The more you do the better you get at everything. Starting from color combinations to design selections, even your knowledge of tools will get better overtime giving faster turn around times and greater efficiencies.
  • Understand your Client: In the end you need to remember who you’re designing for. Customer is king and this holds true in all walks of business. If your design doesn’t appeal to the customer it’s pointless debating how good you are. Take time to understand your clients requirements, tastes and preferences and build on that. You’re free to add your expert touch but your design needs to appeal to your customer. If the customer is happy, he’ll go spread the good word for you which means more money in the bank!
  • Method to Madness: A great designer is precise. If a certain element doesn’t have a purpose on the page then it probably shouldn’t be there. Every element on your canvas has to serve a purpose, add value to your vision.
  • Keep Looking: Look around for inspiration, there are some really great sites that help to this effect. We’re not asking you to plagiarize someone else’s design, but learn from it, see how the colors are used, different design elements that form the design and start thinking on those lines to improve yourself over a period of time. Here are a few of the best ones we know:
    • Dribbble.com
    • Behance.net
    • Httpster.net
    • Designspiration.net
    • Niice.co
  • Plan Ahead: Before starting any project, make design sketches on how your want to go about the work. It’ll save you a lot of valuable time when actual designing begins.
  • Know thy Typography: Design is 95% typography. Before starting any project make sure you’ve selected the right fonts and sizes. Make sure you’ve selected fonts according to the project i.e print or web based project. Make sure your fonts have enough Kerning and Tracking for better readability. Don’t use too many fonts per project, it looks very unprofessional. Instead play with the weight and size of the font for distinguishing content.
  • White Noise: Let there be enough white space between text and images, creating enough breathing room to absorb the features. It helps by keeping viewers focused on the necessary content and flow of the page.
  • Keep it light: Reduce image sizes while keeping best quality, reduces website load time big time. Make simpler but effective web elements for the website project.

That’s all for now folks, we’ll be back with more soon, we promise. We hope this helps you in some little way. If you’d like to share some pointers feel free to drop a comment – we believe we can all get better by sharing information and tips.

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35 Responses to Web Design Recipes from our Master Chefs

  1. Ujamshi Khandla August 1, 2014 at 6:49 AM #

    Hi vevek,
    You shared main important point for web designer. Thanks.

  2. Hashim Khan August 11, 2014 at 2:21 PM #

    Good article which covered basics of good web design practices. I would like to add that with good colour schemes and modern typography, having good quality images also makes a world of difference to a web design. Look at premium templates and you will find the images they use in header are very professional images. However when we work on a client project often we get images from client that are not retouched or even professionally shot. So insist good quality images from client and hook them up with professional photographers and retouchers. For lowering the cost, stock images may be used where ever possible.

    Also just like for fonts you said, one must not use too many colors but choose a set of color scheme right from the beginning and stick to it.

  3. Nuthan Raghunath August 11, 2014 at 2:31 PM #

    Yes, you are true..White Noise concept really works and helpful for responsiveness.

  4. Abhinab Choudhury August 11, 2014 at 2:37 PM #

    Nice info and simple yet detailed explanation of major points required for web designers.

    Thanks Vivek !!!

  5. Nuthan Raghunath August 11, 2014 at 2:42 PM #

    You are true..White Noise concept really works and helpful for responsiveness.

  6. Navraj Singh August 11, 2014 at 3:22 PM #

    These are surely one of the best tips for the budding as well as experienced designers. Designing is all about creativity and you never know from where you might get your inspiration to create that “Aha” moment for your projects.

  7. Sandeep Kathuria August 11, 2014 at 3:38 PM #

    Its ‘talk to talk and walk the walk’ not talk the walk. Really, do some research before thinking yourself a writer or hire someone to proof-read.

  8. Ashish Ajani August 11, 2014 at 3:56 PM #

    Nice article Vivek, very helpful recipes to cook a design from scratch. I firmly believe that each designers should follow some of the points you mentioned here about color combination, typography and reference sites. Great work.

  9. Saikat Gupta August 11, 2014 at 4:03 PM #

    Vivek, Nicely articulated one. A reader’s delight while crossing the lines. Very much informative and educative too. Great learning curve for young buddies. Keep it up.

    Saikat Gupta
    CEO, ClickBox Solutions

  10. Krunal Shah August 11, 2014 at 4:07 PM #

    Hi Vivek,

    Thanks for your suggestions. Oftentimes, I find out some good background design from Google and use text tool to get the work done. I also use screepresso tool which really helps me in adding something extra to the design. It works very well for someone like me who doesn’t want to use PS or other complex designing sofware. In case, if you have some money I’d recommend trying out digital point forum to get some design work done for you. There are plenty of contests there so you can go through them and get some inspiration.

    Dribble, Behance and Digital point forums have always been worked well for me.

  11. Prajwal August 11, 2014 at 4:28 PM #

    Excellent Writing To Boost Designer Confidence Thanks .

  12. Keithp August 11, 2014 at 4:46 PM #

    Hi Sandeep, we have used an alternate version of the sentence. “talk the talk, though I cannot walk the talk” means that I can’t Back up or prove what’s said with action.

  13. Ratnesh August 11, 2014 at 5:01 PM #

    @vivek.r Thanks for the post i have learned a lot and i will correct my mistakes .. Links which you’ve provided here are very helpful specially “Adobe Kuler”. 😀

  14. Sarv Infotech August 11, 2014 at 7:08 PM #

    usefull tips , very thanks Big rock

  15. Imran August 11, 2014 at 10:42 PM #

    Nice article. I would also recommend that designers should read about the capabilities of html and CSS as well. Nowadays html and css are so advanced that we can create amazing designs using just html. It will also help in load time and for mobile websites. For eg.. the rounded edges, shadow, google fonts, and many many more things.

  16. Lucky Bhumkar August 12, 2014 at 1:01 AM #

    Absolutely helpful for me as a neophyte web designer..

  17. goa beaches August 12, 2014 at 9:00 AM #

    this is really one of the nice article written on the designers. i really liked it..thanks for sharing mate 🙂

  18. Santhosh August 12, 2014 at 9:38 AM #

    Nice articles for Beginners

  19. Kehar August 12, 2014 at 10:13 AM #

    Really a great article with good tips which need to consider when making a great website for a successful business.

  20. Raj Rajput August 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM #

    Absolutely Great Idea & Work..

  21. Vinod Rajpurohit August 12, 2014 at 9:56 PM #

    Very true
    The points you mentioned are very useful for Web designers. Every one should implement these will working on a website.
    Thank you for sharing useful information.

  22. Rahul Kashyap August 13, 2014 at 4:31 PM #

    it is really Awesome article, Vivek it is helpful me and thanks for sharing in my inbox 🙂

  23. Vivek.r August 18, 2014 at 8:42 PM #

    Hey Rahul, glad the article helped you. Please do let me know what else would you like to read about. We’ll try and write on it.

  24. Vivek.r August 18, 2014 at 8:49 PM #

    Hi Vinod, thank you and happy that you enjoyed the article. You should keep checking back and do feel free to suggest topics that you want to read.

  25. Vivek.r August 18, 2014 at 8:51 PM #

    Thank you. Really glad that you found value in the article.

  26. Vivek.r August 18, 2014 at 8:52 PM #

    Thanks Santosh, do let us know if there’s something you’d like to read about. We’ll try and write about it.

  27. Vivek.r August 18, 2014 at 8:53 PM #

    Thank you, do keep checking back for more 🙂

  28. Vivek.r August 18, 2014 at 8:54 PM #

    Great points Imran (Y) thanks for reading.

  29. Vivek.r August 18, 2014 at 8:54 PM #

    Thank you Ratnesh, very happy that the article helped you.

  30. Vivek.r August 18, 2014 at 8:54 PM #

    Thank you.

  31. Vivek.r August 18, 2014 at 8:55 PM #

    Good Designers deserve all the applause they can get. We salute them!

  32. Vivek.r August 18, 2014 at 9:00 PM #

    Thank you Saikat, really appreciate this.

  33. Vivek.r August 18, 2014 at 9:02 PM #

    Thanks Krunal, will check it out. We have a great team of in-house designers so we get all our creatives done our-self.

  34. Vivek.r August 18, 2014 at 9:03 PM #

    Absolutely!

  35. Vivek.r August 18, 2014 at 9:04 PM #

    Navraj, you said it right. It’s all about keeping your eyes open.

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