In the past five years, I’ve worked on many web projects, few amongst them were from scratch. Like every journey, this too had its success and failures. However, every failure taught me something new, and every success brought relief. Here is a list of few learnings that I’ve taken up as a designer. These learnings came through experience, and something I swear to abide by while designing a new product.
Whether it is a large scale project to solve big business problems or a minor usability enhancement. Defining a problem statement is a must to understand the issue and to provide a solution. The problem statement is not merely a statement but also works as a reminder to keep your mind on track while designing a solution.
Mobile-first or not?
With the increasing numbers of mobile users, websites nowadays are starting to create designs based on mobile screens. However, this should always be determined based on the data collected for that particular website. The traffic might vary page to page and so should the design. Some screens might have more traffic on mobile than the other. This is because the users tend to do research on the go and make payments at home on their laptop to feel more secure. Therefore, the design should be a combination of both but responsive in nature!
View-port & Breakpoints
Have you noticed website designs appearing great on one screen and distorted on the other? It might not be a common issue. However, I came across this issue while working on a redesign project with a travel brand. The design was beautiful, solving all the problems of the older website. Yet it looked beautiful only on a particular screen. As soon as the resolution went up or down, the design got distorted. It came to light while developing the website. That is when I realised the importance of viewports as a designer.
The designs that get easily converted into its HTML form is what I call a ‘Convertible design’. It simply means to create a design using standard units of measurements like ems or rems instead of pixels. Moreover, this eases the process of dynamic scaling. As a result, the designers don’t have to spend time creating designs for changed resolution or dimension.
Worst cases & Scenarios
Like viewports, worst cases can make or break a design. I recommend keeping a not of the worst cases before designing a page or a module. It is because the worst-case scenarios help bring out the actual usability issues in design and also helps to solve a problem in a better way.
The technology is now reaching even the remotest of places on earth and a diverse audience. Therefore, the designs created are not only a specific region, gender or age-specific but catering to all demographic needs. Hence, a global perspective should be taken into account while designing your website or app. How can we achieve this? By following a few simple steps as below:
i. Making language translations easy and modifying designs based on region. It helps to connect more with the audience than just showing the same site to all.
ii. Using minimal design language and visual narratives.
iii. Using neutral colours and font sizes to connect with the global audience.
Language, Typography and colours
Typography and colours are the foundation of design. Serif, San Serifs or be it any Handwriting fonts, each play a crucial role in stimulating human emotion. Similarly, colours also stimulate human emotions. Moreover, colour choices also impact on the conversion rate of a website. Therefore, picking the right type and colour is essential. The easiest way is to determine based on the theme of the website.
Reuse and reduce
I know how amazing it feels to create different modules with great functionality. However, designing a reusable module not only helps in minimising the clutter but also reduces the overall load on a website.
Designing is a constant learning process and this process, in turn, helps us shape into a better designer. Let me know what you feel about these learnings in the comments.