If you are a developer or a web development agency and you’ve just built a web development prototype, you might often find yourself in a bit of a pickle – your users might find it ugly or your web development demo might look very bad. Here are a few "golden" design tips for web development, guidelines on how to make your web development demos look as good as they deserve.
Keep your cool, By Far One of The Most Valuable Design Tips for Web Development
One way of putting it is like this: “Good design, when it’s done well, becomes invisible. It’s only when it’s done poorly that we notice it.”. Jared Spool’s quote is spot on for all design work but it’s especially true when it comes to web development and demos. If you are building a web development demo users shouldn’t really pay attention to the design aspects of it, but its functionality and purpose.
If you’re trying to make your demo more stylistic, you’re actually moving away from your ultimate goal – keep it simple and focus on its functionality. If it doesn’t look as good as you’d want it to be, try removing some web development design elements such as effects, borders or shadows.
Try to avoid complex color palettes
Poor color choices can make or break a design – your color picks should be made during the UI design process, even if it can be tempting to make bold color choices early in the project.
When making the UI wireframe, you’ll begin using monochrome rudimentary lines and shapes. Once you finished that part, you can start adding more details until you reach the color aspects of your project. Here are a few tips when picking your colors:
It’s a good idea to keep your demos monochrome with plenty of greys until you’re ready to color it up properly.
Another tip is to avoid fully saturated colors, especially when your demo will be viewed on an illuminated screen as this can lead to discomfort for your users.
In the same time, you should avoid black and white due to the same reasons as previously stated – sticking to shades of color will make your users less tired and improve UX.
Add color to your monochrome design but do it just one at a time – each color can be a distraction to your users. Pro tip: you can use a range of saturations of just one color – this will offer plenty of variety and you basically can’t go wrong.
Simple typography works best
If you’re building a web development prototype or a demo there’s no need to for fancy fonts but here are a few pointers on typography:
If you don’t know what to pick, sans-serif works best in all situations. Serif fonts usually have details where strokes terminate. These fonts can help you bring a little bit of personality to your design and at the same time make your text easier to read. While serif fonts have some advantages, they’re not usually used for UI design since at smaller sizes they display varied stroke weights.
Other fonts you should take a look at are humanist droid sans, used by Google in their Android interface, noto, and roboto. If you’re an Apple fan you can go for San Francisco or Neue Helvetica. Firefox OS uses Fira Sans. All these are sans-serif fonts which you can use for your project.
Sometimes characters can be difficult to distinguish – combinations such as 9g, 6b, 2Z, 5S, I11 or 8B can be very confusing for users, depending on the font chosen. It’s best to first test them out in order to see readability and if that’s fine keep using it, if not, do some changes.
White space works wonders
Functional space or white space helps web development designers in many different ways – this space reduces your visitor eye strain, can help draw attention to particular areas of your page and creates a general sense of balance. Cramped UI will make users tired and uncomfortable but keep in mind that “less is more” works perfectly at this stage.
More breathing space will offer your users a breather as well – boosting line heights, margins and plenty of padding works great. And this is one of those priceless design tips for web development to put on top of your "must-do" list.Spread everything out on your design and it will look much better.
Spacing needs to be consistent throughout your design – consistency is the key to harmony and rhythm.
Improve your web development workflow
Foundation and Bootstrap can be a great help to developers even though they receive criticism for making websites look too generic – these tools are perfect for prototypes. Foundation and Bootstrap actually make the right choices on your behalf, leaving you with ample time to focus on other aspects of your project.
Spare yourself the extra work and just grab templates from Foundation or Bootstrap which you can customize to fit your style. Most of these templates are very comprehensive, so you’ll definitely have all the pieces you need to get going.
By following these design tips for web development you’ll smooth any problems you may encounter when building a prototype or demo.