Anything involving web development and web design can be a time-consuming project, especially if you’re working on something that involves a challenge you’ve never encountered before. You are basically stepping out of your comfort zone and entering an unfamiliar territory. You aren’t quite sure of what to expect and of what you will find in that new territory. Unlike projects you’ve worked in before, the new challenge could present situations you’re not quite sure how to handle. This could affect the usual manner in which you do things as well as your overall productivity.
Where productivity is concerned, time is also a major factor. You need to work as efficiently as possible so you can deliver better results and offer more value than your competitors. And new challenges can rob you of precious time. The good news is that there are certain tasks associated with web development and web design that can be repeated in every project you undertake. The key to maximum efficiency is to go through these repetitive steps very quickly so you can devote more time to handle the new challenges and work on new solutions. In this article, we offer you some tips and tricks on how you can streamline your workflow and focus on the juicy parts of your project.
Tips for Color Schemes
A number of psychological studies have proven that people naturally react to color on both the conscious and subconscious levels. This is why it is important for you to learn how to use colors to your advantage when designing a website. Bear in mind that color has the potential not only to attract attention, but also to repulse people. With a clearer understanding of how colors work, you can improve the chances of success for every website you design.
Whether you are designing a website for an established company or a start-up, you need to pay close attention to some basic color scheme rules.
1. Consider the tone of the business.
If you’re designing a website for a travel agency, wouldn’t it make sense to use tropical colors? After all, the idea is to convince website visitors that they really need to go on that Caribbean vacation or Bali adventure. On the other hand, if you’re designing a website for a life insurance company, happy tones would hardly be appropriate; go for neutral tones, instead. The nature and tone of the business for which you are designing a site should dictate the color scheme you choose to use.
2. Consider cross-platform consistency.
Remember that more and more people are now browsing the Internet on mobile devices. When you choose color schemes, therefore, you need to consider how it would look not only when viewed on desktop computers, but also on mobile devices. Note that purple sometimes appears as dark blue on mobile devices and yellow usually appears darker on desktop computers. Keep it safe with such colors as black, red, and blue. Better yet, check you color scheme on both desktop and mobile devices first before making it official.
3. Make sure text is readable.
If you choose dark colors, make sure the text on each web page is still readable; otherwise, you’ll have to choose lighter colors. It is also advisable to avoid placing patterns behind text, regardless of the color of the patterns. One of the common reasons why people cut their site visit short is because the text is difficult to read, so be sure to make things easy for them. Easy reading also encourages repeat visits.
4. Limit the number of colors.
Your color scheme has to be useful and helpful to the site. Therefore, you shouldn’t use too many different shades; that can distract attention away from the message you’re trying to deliver on the site. “Less is more” is usually excellent advices where choosing a color scheme for web design is concerned.
5. Contrast without hurting the eyes.
It’s good to use contrasting colors because they can make the website generally attractive. However, you have to make sure you don’t use combinations that are too jarring. Mixing bright red with bright green, for example, may not be a very good idea, even if you are designing a website for Christmas. Subtle tones of red and green may be a better idea.
Spacing and Alignment
Other than the color scheme, the spacing and alignment of the various elements on a website also affect the effectiveness and attractiveness of the overall design. The proper alignment of images and text blocks give a site an aura of professionalism and makes it more visually appealing. Proper spacing and alignment also improves readability. You therefore need to carefully consider how each element is going to be used when you make outlines for each web page you design.
A good way to make your work faster and easier is to create squares for the spacing of your elements on each page. You then simply have to place each element in its respective square, and you can be sure all elements are properly spaced and aligned. Of course, you have to make sure you don’t forget to delete the squares once you’re done putting in all the elements. It may be a good idea to use bright and jarring colors for the squares so you’ll always remember to remove them.
This technique doesn’t mean you have to square off all alignments in the web pages you design. The squares should only serve to remind you of proper spacing at all times. You can experiment with groupings and perhaps place more than one element in one square for a more interesting alignment. What’s important is that the page doesn’t look too crowded or disorganized.
They say the devil is in the details and in the case of web design corners, this may indeed be true. It is unbelievable how many improperly nested corners you’ll see when you take the time to review several websites. While this may be a tiny detail, it can ruin an otherwise excellent web design, so you definitely need to take it into account.
You can find improperly nested corners practically everywhere on the Internet, but it is most commonly observed in interfaces and icons. As a general rule, you should always remember to use a larger radius for the outer corner every time you use two rounded corners parallel to each other. If you use the same radius for both the inner and outer corner, the entire corner won’t look rounded at all and frankly speaking, it would just be plain ugly.
You don’t even have to do any computation to achieve the right effect for rounded corners. Simply create a central point and then draw a circle around it—this will be where your inner corner curves. You may then draw a larger circle outside the first circle to determine where the outer corner should curve. You’ll see that the result is a lot more appealing to the eyes.
Of course, as with everything else in design, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. There are a handful of instances wherein it may be acceptable to use two parallel rounded corners with the same radius. The key is for you to be wise in determining whether going against the generally more appealing style achieves your purpose better.
You’ll be pleased to know that Google Chrome comes with a very useful array of web development tools. These tools are known as DevTools, and here are a few of the nifty features that can help make you more efficient when you use these tools:
Code Snippets allows you to save a significant amount of time, especially in the debugging process. Click on Sources and then right-click Snippets and click New. You may then type in a code you use frequently and save it. Inserting a snippet will then be as easy as dragging and dropping a saved snippet into a source code.
3. Geolocation Override
You will need to check your website’s performance from time to time to see if there are adjustments that need to be made. To measure site performance on DevTools, you simply go to Audit and then click on the Run button. You will then get a report indicating which part(s) of your site you need to optimize.
These are just some of the ways you can streamline your web design and development processes. Regardless of what new challenges may come your way, there are always tools and solutions that can make your life easier. You simply need to know where to look.