BlissfullyAware: A Website by Joshua Lane

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Some Web Design Tips

Joshua Lane / / 6 Comments

First and foremost, a disclaimer: I have no formal design training or education. In fact, I studied Pyschology in college! All of my talent comes from years of practice and a lot of time spent drawing as a kid.

That being said, I’ve been designing and developing websites since 1999 and have a few tips to share that you might find useful. Then again, you might not …I am “uneducated” after all ;)

  • When looking for inspiration for your work, don’t get lost online… take a step back and look at things like magazines, product packaging, posters, etc.
  • Don’t be afraid of color. But always respect it’s ability to help or harm a design.
  • If you’ve spent 10 hours on a design and are happy with the results… spend another 4 hours on it. The “little things” is what makes the difference between good work and great work.
  • Don’t be afraid of type. But always respect it’s ability to help or harm a design.
  • If the site you’re designing has database-driven features, please PLEASE do your best to understand how those function; because it will affect your work.

Comments Abound

Delightful thoughts & feedback about this article

Olav /

Thanks, a good list!

When I started looking for inspiration other places than online, suddenly everything inspired me.

Angela /

Any tips for the prep process *before* you actually start…like coming up with rough sketches, etc.?

Peti /

I find CD Cases are often a very good inspiration source. Eventhough they only show a “small” amout of work, they can still have a huge impact on my creativity.

Tim Crowe /

The fourth rule should be “Don’t shaft your developer!” I’m that guy. The one that mutters under his breath when he has to implement the feature that the pretty makers promised. Great care and consideration should be taken when adding a wiggety-whacked out feature that may not be feasible within the architecture, scope, budget or time frame of the project. This above all is an indication of a good designer.

Brigitte Schuster /

Some other tip: Don’ try to get the perfect design right away. If your timeframe is flexible start 1-3 drafts of the design. Then take a break (couple of hours, better 1-2 days). When you continue working on it your mind is clearer, you’ll be aware of things in your drafts you did not notice earlier. At the end this helps to accomplish a better design with not spending too much time and energy on it.

Colin /

Not looking for inspiration online is a great tip. It’s too easy to get lost in current trends that might not be applicable for your target audience.

Take a walk, ride a bike, go swimming. Or, as Andy Rutledge suggests, look at landscape art.

Another tip I’d offer is to not start off by looking at a blank Photoshop file. Sketch first.

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