Web design principles as a whole have dramatically changed over the years since the moment when the internet first began. I remember designing sites on Dreamweaver back when I was a kid - when AIM, MSN messenger, and "chat rooms" were all the rage. A lot has changed since then and the time spent coding then is now replaced with creative imaginations. People want a unique page that they can say is their own, but they also want it to look clean & professional. In this series, we'll explore 5 essential tricks to modernize any awful website - even Myspace.
1. First, clean it up.
Most hard-to-look-at websites suffer from too much information. Don't include fillers or unnecessary pictures. Less honestly is more - especially in design. Free up your space to have more to work with by removing anything you don't absolutely need first and foremost.
2. Utilize columns
When you have multiple groups of text, try arranging the information into columns to split the information up. This will also allow you to make small segments of text feel more significant. As an added bonus, represent the text with images to draw the viewer in.
- Center titles and size them to fit the width of your image. If the text gets too large you can try lowering the text size and increasing the character spacing.
- Justify text to fit the width of the image as well. This will give the columns a clean, newspaper-like feel to them.
3. Less text - more graphics
Information is good - especially when you're dealing with search engines - but too much information in the wrong places lends to a cluttered, unprofessional look. Replace long bodies of unnecessary text with a simple graphic and couple it with a catchy slogan. You'll get your point across faster and give the viewer something much more memorable.
4. Alternate between black and white text.
Too much of anything is never a good thing - unless its bacon. Place important blocks of text within dark colored boxes to catch the viewer's eye and bring a little life to the party. If your webpage deals in predominantly darker shades, include white boxes for dark text.
5. Use no more than 3 main colors
Leave the rainbows for the rain. Your website shouldn't look like one. You should have no more than 3 main colors on your site - even then that could be stretching it. Most modern sites survive off black, white, and one main color. From there, use shades of that same color to separate sections. Use colorful icons at key areas of the website but do so sparingly. If you aren't absolutely sure that it'll work - don't do it.
- Eric Pashia / Senior Web Designer