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While covering the huge task of conjuring up an appealing website, web development and web designing go hand in hand. A web developer is someone who works on the coding part of the website, such as HTML, CSS, or Java. On the other hand, web designers work on the overall outlook, including the placement of images and content integration.
However, if you’re a web developer, you don’t need to worry. You can easily code down anything a designer creates visually. Nevertheless, to improve your web development approach, you’ll need to know a few basics about graphic design to sharpen your saw.
We know what you’re thinking, figuring out what skills to learn particularly, outside your field, can be a difficult task. That’s why we’ve listed down the things web developers should know about graphic design to take their skills to a whole new level.
Balancing the Website Outlook
If you add everything into the website you’re creating, the overall look might become too overwhelming for the visitor. Anyway, sometimes the niche requires the developer to add lots of pop-ups, options, and sections.
At this point, a developer who knows how to create balance using design elements can ace the test of user engagement. Even if your web page seems too crowded, simple editing here and there in the spacing and sizing can make all the difference.
While a crowded page may confuse a visitor, a well-balanced design can make the page intuitive by itself and keep your web traffic coming back.
Grids and Composition
The composition of your webpage is mainly how you fill-up space you have at hand. As a developer, you need to know about the effective use of grids to arrange the options and selections in an appealing way.
One thing that design students learn about in almost every class is the rule of thirds. According to this rule, you should divide the space allocated to you in three parts, and make sure the content of focus takes up a third of the space visually.
Besides that, the golden mean theory is a trick that every designer needs to master to entice their web users. When incorporating design elements, think about moderation rather than cramming all your elements on one page.
Creating an Interesting Contrast
Yes, balance is important. But, while dwelling on creating a moderate balance with the design elements you incorporate, one thing you shouldn’t leave out is contrast.
Contrast doesn’t only mean that you should play with vivid colors that go well together. Work on the different aspects of sizing. If you want a caption to shout at your viewers, or need a logo that etches on the visitor’s mind, enlarging or bolding will work wonders.
The trick is to map out the content you need to include at the very beginning. Work out what’s important and what’s not. Also, constructing a viewer hierarchy is a great idea to make things easy for visitors.
For example, a smooth transaction from the brand description, to the offerings and a final call-to-action would create a great impression on a user in case of an eCommerce website.
Similarly, while coding your website, think as a designer would. Give the headers and catchy taglines a higher place in the menu hierarchy. This will make your focal points stand out and will ensure a great UX.
Using Compelling Typography
As a developer, getting the codes right can easily get you distracted from the fonts and its direct effects on user engagement. First of all, you need to remember that fonts contribute to the overall feel of your website. Therefore, they’re more important than you give them credit for.
Besides that, if needed, you should work on integrating different font styles for the main headings, subheadings, options, and content.
This makes it easy to differentiate each one from another. Furthermore, it helps the users read exactly what you want them to.
Also, just by using a different font, you can highlight what’s important and what’s not. This way, the user can easily navigate through the website.
Additionally, you should test how each font looks in different sizes before you add them to your website. Even the same font can have various effects in different sizes. It’s important to know that if you’re planning to use fonts for your benefit.
Playing With Colors
As a web developer, you probably thought web design was all about playing with colors initially, right? Well, that’s not the case, but the effective use of colors is easily the most important aspect of design.
Colors denote personalities, ideas, and feelings. The use of the right color can conjure up the reactions you need. Similarly, it'll let you convey an apt idea of the brand identity. Also, the use of gradients and contrasts on different pages and sections of the website create a sense of organization and composure that contributes to the UX.
To make sure you put a good color scheme to effective use, you simply need to know the color theory. Learn how colors differ or relate to each other. Once you know that, you’ll get an idea about how using each shade properly can affect the final look of the website.
Working According to Brand Identity
Last but not least, a web developer should know how web design works to build up the entire brand identity. The brand identity is not something that the web developer or the web designer creates. It’s the final vision of the website creator, usually the client. So if you don’t convey that correctly, your design will most likely be rejected or won’t work well with users.
If you understand the concept of branding, balancing out all the aspects is easy. These aspects include the logo, fonts, colors, and sizing will be easier for you. In the end, the final look of your website should encompass the feeling your client is striving for.
That wraps up our take on what web developers should know about graphic design. The list might seem overwhelming to a web developer, but believe me, there’s no reason for that at all! Creating a great design is all about understanding your client and their dream.
If you have the passion for giving your 100% to every web page you create and direct the correct traffic towards it, this is a way for you to achieve that.