Design is an abstract concept that is subjective in nature. What you may think is a great design, your friend or colleague wouldn't even give a second glance to. That being said, there are a few concepts that are meant to steer designers in the right direction. Here are five great design concepts that every developer and designer should practise.
1. Design Isn't Only Visual
Design has often been mistaken to be only the visual part of a website. But that is largely untrue. Design constitutes the entire user experience, right from the time they enter your website, until the time they leave. It is the speed at which your site loads, the click and touch, the interaction between hover, pace at which you deliver new content and features and finally, the ‘how' and ‘why' people want to use your site. Therefore, design is something that shouldn't be restricted to a designer alone. Anyone working on a design project should think about design – right from the copywriter, the SEO expert, the functionality guru, scripter and even project manager.
2. Focus on Your User
This design concept points to the fact that users should be your top priority. Every decision you make about your app or site, should be done keeping them in mind. Your design should allow users to achieve their goals efficiently, promptly and pleasurably. Try using storytelling, personas and other such tools to get into the minds of your users and figure out what they want to do on your site. These guidelines are important and should influence all you design decisions.
As a designer, it doesn't mean that you have the bear the burden on exquisite user experience. While you can look at it from a design standpoint, it is also important for an entire team to view it individually and together. Each member of the team is bound to bring something new and valuable to the table.
3. Attention to Detail
A good design can be made spectacular with some good old fashioned attention to detail. Paying attention to the little things could mean the crucial difference between a happy user and an unsatisfied one. Small things like the right shade of cyan or font makes matters a lot. The only thing is that it is very easy to get carried away with attention to detail. This could eventually lead to it being time-consuming and can slow down the delivery process. As a designer, you need to take a call on when to focus on specific details and when to visualise the bigger picture.
4. Sketch, sketch, sketch!
Sketching are economical, easy to do and can be done really quickly. This is an important design concept that helps you think about aspects such as flow, hierarchy and content. Best practises for sketching are you should create a new idea every 30 seconds. You can also communicate ideas about user experience, layout and user flow well with sketches. You don't need to be Picasso. As long as you can communicate clearly through sketches, you're good to go.
5. Give Users a Breather With White Space
Optimum use of white space is an effective design concept is that gives users a break from all the noise. These breaks are vital to process information, especially when there's much out there to grasp. Paragraphs instead of long, tedious blocks of text are important to give users a visual breather. Make sure that the white space is in tandem with the other objects on your webpage. For instance, if there is a column of white space somewhere on the page, make sure there's another one to balance it out. This consistency is important for good design.
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