Web Design 101 – Web Design Basics for Non Designers

Web design doesn’t have to be intimidating for the non-techie or non-designer. Once you learn certain basics, it’s as easy as designing an ad or brochure. Here are a few:

Know The Size and Objective of The Site

Determine up front if it’s going to be a landing page or a 200 page site. A site that’s selling products needs to be designed differently from one intended to “warehouse” research documents.

Design For Your Target Audience

The web is a big place made up of target audiences. Determine who will be visiting the site most frequently. Business people? College students? Bargain hunters? Coffee drinkers? Car owners?

Keep It Simple

Don’t design yourself into a corner you can’t get out of. Know your limitations. If you have questions, or think you’re getting in over your head, ask someone more experienced to help or take over the project.

Have A Written Design Plan and Creative Concept

Every communication you design, especially websites, require a written, well-thought out design plan and concept. You can’t “wing it”

Design From An Integrative Perspective

The site you’re designing is part of an total communications involving print, collateral, radio and TV. Make sure your concdpt is consistent with the look and feel of these other media.

Design For Easy Navigation

The success of every website depends largely on the ease of navigation. Sites that are difficult to navigate are doomed to failure from the start.

Design For Dynamics

Nobody spends time on a boring site. Streaming video and flash animation add interest and attract visitors. Incorporate dynamic design where appropriate but don’t go overboard.

Think Small

In print design, mega-sized photoshop files are no problem. For websites, large files don’t work. Get out of the print mentality and become a “web head” and think small but creatively!

Design With The Right Software

Dreamweaver is simple enough for novices yet sophisticated enough for experienced professionals. It’s also supported by vast print and online tutorial and educational materials, so you’ll never be stranded without help.

Test … Test … and Re-Test

Test your navigation, test your links, test everything and then test it all again. Nothing frustrates visitors and kills web traffic more than navigation buttons or links that don’t work.

Take A Breather

After you’ve tested and re-tested, step away and take a breather before you go live. Have “fresh eyes” to look at the site before you put it up in front of the entire web.