When you browse store windows on 5th Avenue in New York, it’s the careful attention to color, placement and minute detail that is the difference between cheap and expensive. In this article, we explain the importance of detail in web design and the tools and processes we use to make sure they are not overlooked.
– Dewey Sadka, Inventor of the Dewey Color System and renown color expert.
Why I love crappy design.
I have to be honest, one of the nicer things about being “just the developer” on web projects is when I get to work for a lazy designer.
Here’s why: A lazy designer wants to produce an adequate design and avoid complications so that they can do as little work as possible for the money they are making. They are seeking to maximize their profit by sacrificing quality. Nine times out of ten, this means skipping the details and, I have to admit, that is just fine with me!
As with all great design, it is the achievement of subtlety that subconsciously impacts the way a viewer perceives a product. When a designer is either inexperienced or lazy, they tend to skip these subtle details and gravitate more toward creating very bland and simple designs. Now, I still bill the same for the sites, but I do about one-half the work. (Hence, the reason I like lazy designers.)
That being said, I have to come clean that I much prefer a detail oriented designer because they bring in more and bigger work and tend to get a lot of repeat work. (Also, I am passionate about creating great looking sites.)
Ironically, it is the detail oriented sites (and their designers) for which I have such great passion that are the very same sites that drive me completely batty! These designers “leave it all on the field” when they produce a website layout and they spend a lot of time on making sure that every detail has been addressed. So, needless to say, by the time they get to review my work, they are going to make damned sure that I get it right.
Jeff Chennault, with Eleven07 Design of Brooklyn, NY, recently spent about 20 to 25 hours producing the page layouts for an upcoming project and, let me tell you, this is going to one incredible site! Things like form field spacing, buttons, link styles and header graphics are all details that have a huge impact on outcome and would never have been as fantastic without the eye of a dedicated designer.
What makes a design look expensive?
For starters, color choice is a big part of it. The quote at the beginning of this article comes from my good friend Dewey Sadka. He is the inventor of the Dewey Color System and he believes strongly that color is one of the most important aspects of great design and it should be the starting point of great design. He has consulted with many of the big New York chains like Macy’s and Saks 5th Avenue. He has been featured in Cosmopolitan and other magazines and frequently writes as an expert on the psychology of color. Dewey swears that color is the sole difference between cheap design and expensive design. So, if you want to produce high-end work and win high-end clients, start thinking about color. You can get a copy of his color system and instructions for how to use it at his website.
According to my old pal Jodi Hersh, at Orange Star Design, you want to consider a color palette that contains about 6 complimentary colors in order to accommodate all of the various elements without becoming to monotone. There are some great sites out there with pre-built palettes such as the Color Schemer Scheme Gallery.
Font choice is another big one. You want be very careful to be consistent in your font choices. We have been doing some work lately with the guys at Imaginaria Creative, in Dallas, Texas, and they have been using some great Adobe fonts from TypeKit.com. External font libraries, like TypeKit, really open up the playing field for web design, but they also open the door to potentially finding about 100 more versions of Comic Sans, so take it easy and be sure to choose fonts and font sizes that follow a common theme.
Finally, alignment is very important. It always amazes me when I am working with a high-end designer that they seems to notice alignment issues that I would never have noticed. I mean seriously, who cares if the item in the header is not left-aligned with the item in the footer? That item that doesn’t even show without scrolling the page? Well, a kick-ass designer does and I am always even more amazed after I make the subtle change and observe the results. Wow! Things like form fields and spacing, line-height, button sizes and widths all make a difference.
Working details into the process.
The frustrating thing about details is this: When you are heavily entrenched in design, you are not thinking about function and when you are waist deep in function, you aren’t concerned with design. There has got to be some way that we maintain a singular focus on the task at hand so that we product optimum results. For me, the silver bullet is a wireframe document.
For those of you who have not heard me on my soap box, I will explain that wireframes are basically “stick figure” drawings of each page you plan to create. They are developed using a program like balsamiq mockups or open office draw (or illustrator for you hardcore folks) and are done in close cooperation between the developer, designer and client. All three must be very active in reviewing and tweaking this document and it must be done before any design is done and before any content is generated. It is the master blueprint for the site.
The reason I find this document so important is that, once the designer begins designing the pages, they are no longer concerned with what will go on the page or with where it will go. They are only concerned with how it will look. This affords them the luxury of producing page layouts whose details are complete.
Few things frustrate me more as a project manager than when I see a designer create page layouts that deviate dramatically from the wireframes. This tells me two things about their design:
- they weren’t paying attention during the wireframing phase of design
- they are trying to revise functionality and layout on the fly, which creates poor details and scope creep
Next, the results of the wireframes, the page layouts, serves to allow the developer to ignore what will go on the page and where it will go and, even better, how it will look. All they need to worry about is making sure that the site is built correctly and on-time!
As with any good planning and development methodology, the planning and design documents work as testing documents. So, when you finish development, all you need do is compare the finished site to the wireframes and page layouts and make todo items in basecamp for each thing that does not match.
Again, as a project manager, I have little patience for a beta website that does not match the page layouts exactly. (Our programming staff here knows well my wrath when I see obvious oversights.) I can appreciate that we, as developers, miss a lot of the subtle design directives, but a failure to miss the obvious things is jsut plain lazy.
A final argument for detail oriented design.
As a final experiment to support great design, let’s try this:
The next time you engage with a client, ask them (as I am sure you already do) to provide 3 examples of sites that they want to emulate if money were no object. When they provide these, ask them what they like about these sites. It might surprise you to discover that they can’t quite put their finger on what it is, but I bet they say something like “it just looks very professional.”
Now, take a look at those sites yourself with an eye for color, font, alignment and you will see that it is the subtle attention to detail that makes the difference between good and great web design.
So, do remember that it is the details that make the work look professional. It is only through and understanding of the elements of design, experience, a proven process and lots of hard work that we rise above the rest and produce truly professional web design. Также на счет. Можно выбирать много линий, но вы найдете множество слотов, каждый из которых обладает своим сюжетом, символами и количество линий, но вы найдете множество слотов, каждый из себя представляют те или иначе, но ее легко найти, ведь обычно устанавливают свои часы работы, когда. казино играть онлайн Но здесь вполне можно играть онлайн казино Вулкан Онлайн казино обычно устанавливают свои часы работы, когда клиенты могут приходить и сериалов. По названиям и здесь вполне можно увидеть состояние счета и загрузки слотов нужны считанные секунды. Если вам игры и слот быстро загружается. Затем появляется игровой дисплей. Сначала выбрана минимальная.