Intro to design

My experience learning to design as a non-creative

09 - 20 - 19

After I had made my portfolio and blog I decided to go to Reddit to get an idea of how I could improve my current skills before moving on. I posted “Roast my portfolio” on r/webdev and it was a blast. At the end I believe there were around 60 comments. I knew my work was terrible so I didn't mind all the criticism, in fact I think it was the best thing I could've done at the time.

The part of my skills that stuck out the most was design. I've never been a creative person and have always struggled with art. Lucky for me, minimalism is “totally in” right now. Lots of white space and interfaces so simple that anyone could figure them out. That doesn't make it easy, though. There are many things to consider when designing a website.

First is color. An easy way to pick a color palette is by going to the link below for Coolors. You can easily design your own palette or pick a pre-made one. Colors are one of the most important factors in design. Big corporations will go as far as considering how colors make people feel. In relation to colors, contrast is important as well. Being able to read the information on your website should be the absolute number one priority. In web development there are actually text contrast standards and I will provide a link below to a contrast standard checker.

Second is font. There isn't a ton to talk about here except the font should fit the vibe of the website. Would you describe your website as fun and quirky? Consider going with a rounded, bubbly kind of font. Is your website strictly professional? Consider a font with sharp, thin text. Per usual, I will provide a link to Google fonts at the bottom.

Third is animation. Animations are a really easy way to make the user experience fun and interactive; but they can also make using your website a nightmare. Animations should be quick, smooth, and only used when loading data or something changes. Slow animations make usage intolerable and unnecessary animations make your website confusing.

Lastly, layout. Not everyone thinks alike and it is easy to convince yourself that your website is the most intuitive website out there. People would be dumb to not figure out your website; but it isn't true. There are countless websites with every layout imaginable. Therefore, Every pixel that isn't white space on your website should serve a purpose because the purpose of a website is to display or exchange information.

To lighten the workload it is common to look at other websites for inspiration. However you cannot directly copy others for moral and sustainability reasons. Putting a little effort into learning design goes a long way. Another way to lighten the workload is using CSS frameworks like Bootstrap. I will be discussing these in another post. Thanks for reading.

Coolors palette generator
Contrast checker
Google fonts