When I first set out to design websites I was a bit lost. I entered the field from the development side and didn’t have a formal design degree. While I’ve always trusted my eye to tell me what was good and what wasn’t, my eye often told me my early designs fell more into the wasn’t category than the was.
When I talk to others first embarking on a web design career, I get the feeling my experience isn’t so unique. The good news is a few basic principles of design can dramatically improve your skills and help take your designs from amateur to professional.
Of all the edges I know of, embracing amazing design is the easiest, the fastest and the one with the most assured return on investment.
—Seth Godin Free Prize Inside
Looks matter. We don’t always want to face it, but it’s true. People will make judgments about the quality inside based on looks alone. A pretty package gets more attention every time. So how can you make your posts more attractive to help guarantee they get read?
Yuri posted an interesting article last week on using text over graphics on your website. Yuri links to a wide variety of sources including eye-tracking studies to support the case that you should stick to text and avoid graphics for the most part. While I do believe you should lean toward text where you can, I think the what’s most important is to maintain a certain balance between plain text and other visual elements on the page.
Earlier today I came across the article, Should Writers Be Held Accountable for Web Page Performance?. The article got me thinking or rather rethinking about where the responsibility lies when a website fails to meet certain goals. Can any one person or aspect of your site be held accountable when it’s not performing the way you’d like?