DevHints

Design 100

Posted on: October 21, 2006

Yup, we’re back in college, only your professor is hardly politically correct and he’s learned by actually doing it. We’re going to hit some basic points of design that I see a lot of amateurs missing that you should definitely know about.

Rules are meant to guide, and there are always good reasons to break them. The same goes with laws, but we’re talking about design. You should learn to follow the rule, until you really know what you are doing and you can justify breaking the rule.

Your first rule: simplicity. I don’t mean fail to use CSS to style your page and just write one paragraph in plain text with no colors or layout. I do mean don’t clutter your website up with images that don’t complement each other, use 13 different colors, or fill every inch of the page with something. Doing this just makes your page chaos.

Rule two: uniformity. Your website should match the rest of your website, both in the design and the way things are done. If you put together all the pages of your website in a similar fashion, users will learn the website quicker and be able to navigate better. The same goes for each page. If you always use the same style font and color for a header, users will be able to pick that out easier.

Third rule of design: function. Apple actually says function is a part of design, and I agree. If you design a website that isn’t functional, it’s a poor design. You should always think of the end user when you develop and design to ensure that things work like they should and everything is easy to use.

Those are the core of design. Learn them and use them and you will have more success.

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