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Web Design Basics

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When you're setting out to learn web design the first thing you should remember is that web design is very similar to print design in many ways. The basics are all the same. You need to understand space and layout, how to handle fonts and colors, and put it all together in a way that delivers your message effectively. 

The following articles will help you learn web design whether you are already a professional web developer or are just getting started learning web design. Even if you've been doing web design for a while, the resources available on this site can help you hone your skills and create better looking web pages. 

  1. Elements of Good Design
  2. How to Design the Layout of a Web Page
  3. Fonts and Typography
  4. How to Use Color
  1. Graphics and Images
  2. Tackling Web Navigation
  3. Accessibility and Usability
  4. Web Design Software

Elements of Good Design

the web in a bottle

Good web design is the same as good design. If you understand what makes something good design you'll be able to apply those rules to your web design. The elements of good design apply whether you are designing a web page, a business card, or a t-shirt. And the links below will help you understand the important features of good design.

How to Design the Layout of a Web Page

website plan

Many people think that the layout is the design, and in many ways it is. Layout is the way the elements are positioned on the page. Once you understand the basic principles of web design you can start placing the elements on the page. By creating an amazing web layout, you create the bones of an amazing design. And the links below will help you learn what makes a great layout great and how to apply that to your web designs. Plus you'll find links about responsive web design (RWD) as the primary focus of RWD is to change the layout depending upon the width of the device viewing the page.

Fonts and Typography

w w w

Fonts are the way your text looks on a Web page. And most Web pages have large amounts of text. When you're thinking of design, you need to think about how the text looks on a micro-level (the font glyphs, what font family, etc.) as well as the macro-level (positioning blocks of text and adjusting the size and shape of the text). These resources explain how to work with fonts on Web pages.

How to Use Color

colored pinwheel

Color is everywhere. It's how we dress up our world and how we see things. Color has meaning beyond just "red" or "blue" and color is an important design element. These color resources teach how to use color effectively in Web design.

Graphics and Images

Graphics are the fun part of most Web pages. As the saying goes "a picture is worth 1,000 words" and that's also true in Web design. Learn how to get the most out of your Web images with the following links.

Tackling Web Navigation

Index

Navigation is how your customers get around from one page to another on a Web site. Navigation provides movement and gives your customers the chance to find other elements of your site. You need to make sure that the structure of your Web site (the information architecture) makes sense so that your customers aren't forced to simply use search.

Accessibility and Usability

Accessible

Accessibility and usability are often seen as a detriment to Web design, but a good designer focuses on making their site useful to as many people as possible. The links below take you through the basics of making an accessible site without compromising the design.

Web Design Software

Most Web designers prefer to work in WYSIWYG or "What You See Is What You Get" editors because they provide a visual interface to the design. But finding the best Web design software is more than just WYSIWYG or not. Plus there are other tools you will need to build Web pages beyond just the Web editor.

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