Web Design Techniques for Visual People
by Sandy Novak – Lead Web Design Instructor, Digital Media Academy
1) Search the Web for sites that inspire you, then sketch out your ideas before you start pushing pixels around in Photoshop.
2) The color of a web site sends a strong psychological message. Search the web for effective color combinations and consider why some colors are more suitable than others for certain subject matter.
3) When producing JPGs in Photoshop always use the “Save for Web & Devices” technique. This method creates the smallest, cleanest web-ready art.
4) The cost of high quality stock photos can be as low as $5 each. Don’t violate copyright law.
5) Before you begin building your home page, create a styleguide page in Dreamweaver. Work out all the CSS details of your design using dummy text and images. Archive all your styleguides for future web projects.
6) Don’t get seduced by complicated design options. Master two or three solid layouts and add excitement to the page with high quality Photoshop work.
7) Place consistent navigation on every page and always include an home page button. Some people forget.
8) Stay away from old school design. Flashy effects and chunky beveled buttons are out. Clean and simple is in.
9) Unless your site really demands it, use Flash sparingly. I recommend building your site with HTML pages and inserting smaller SWF files to add motion and interest.
10) Test your site in several browsers both Mac and Windows. The site will not look the same in every browser, but if the pages hold together nicely and appear readable you can consider yourself successful. Don’t lose any sleep on minutia.