ATLANTA WEB DESIGN BLOG
Thoughts, Tips and Incoherent Ramblings from Airtight Design
A Fine Line Between Do and Don’t
“Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.”
― Charles Eames, American designer, architect, and filmmaker
Good design is like a positive experience at your favorite store. You walk in looking for something specific and you want to be able to pick it up and go to the checkout so you can be on your way as quickly as possible without any hassle. Websites are just like stores (and some actually are).
There are a lot of things to consider when one sits down to create something. Because of this, there are guidelines that we have set for ourselves that have been developed over the years. The following are 10 things that Airtight does not do while designing and a few techniques that we use to avoid them.
- Forget that design is problem solving
- It’s more involved than just making things pretty; it’s activating our human senses.
- Design should generate feelings of pleasure.
- Humanize whatever it is that you’re designing to create connection.
- Ignore best practices
- Pick your spots to introduce something new, but don’t stray too far from proven methods.
- People are creatures of habit and gravitate to familiar things.
- Find nuance within the recognizable.
- Disregard the statement of work
- Requirements are stated for a reason and the design should include everything that is being requested by the client.
- Adhere to the guidelines while coloring outside of the lines when acceptable.
- Neglect the client’s audience
- Styles that work for one doesn’t mean it will work for another.
- Brands have a unique voice and the design should reflect it.
- Designers are not the end users, we are not the audience.
- Follow trends too closely
- One day they will not be popular and likely even become dated.
- Take aspects that you love and apply them in your own way.
- Apply too many colors
- Use brand colors to establish identity.
- Use complimentary colors as an accent to those.
- Be mindful of color contrast for accessibility.
- Repeat the same mistake with fonts
- Too many is too much when it comes to typefaces.
- Readability is the primary goal for communication.
- Pay close attention to letter spacing (kerning) and line height (leading).
- Vary the font weight for equal impact of using a different font.
- Abandon the grid
- Use a 12 column structure, which can be divided by 6, 4, 3, and 2 for plenty of flexibility.
- All of your elements should align within it.
- Overlook design responsiveness
- Your design may appear on a billboard or a watch face, and it must be able to scale accordingly.
- Ideas should translate regardless of the medium or platform.
- Overdo it
- Good design offers clear communication without any gimmicks.
- Be sure that your focal point remains without the distraction of unnecessary decoration.
- Decisions should be made in the spirit of reducing user tension at all times.