Principles Of Beautiful Web Design by Jason Beaird

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Principles Of Beautiful Web Design by Jason Beaird

Good design is about the relationships between the elements involved, and creating a balance between them. Whether we’re talking about a web site or bathroom makeover, throwing up a new layer of wallpaper or changing the background color isn’t a design solution in itself-it’s just part of a solution. While we removed the wallpaper and rollered some paint onto our bathroom, we also had to change the light fixtures, remove the gold shower doors, replace the mirrors, upgrade the lighting, paint the cabinets, change the switches and plugs, and scrape off the popcorn ceilings. If we’d just removed the tacky wallpaper and left all the other stuff, we’d still have an outdated bathroom. Web site design is similar: you can only do so many minor updates before the time comes to scrap what you have and start over. Fads come and go, but good design is timeless. Conforming to the latest design trends is a good way to ensure temporary public appeal, but how long will those trends last? As far as I know, there was hardly ever a time when marquee and blink tags were accepted as professional web design markup … but scrolling JavaScript news tickers, “high readability” hit-counters, and chunky table borders have graced the homepages of many high-profile sites in the past. These are the shag carpets, sparkly popcorn ceilings, and faux wood paneling of the web design world. Take a trip in the Internet Wayback Machine, and look for mid-’90s versions of some of the top Fortune 500 and pre-dot-com-boom-era web sites.5 Try to find examples of good and bad design. In the midst of some of the most outdated web sites, you’re likely to find some designs that still look good. Most likely, those graphical elements weren’t dependent on the “cutting edge” filters in what, at the time, was the recently released Photoshop 4.0. Good design transcends technology. The finishing touches make a big impression. I’ve heard it argued recently that deep down, people really love “anti-marketing design.” The idea is that we trust sites that have an unpolished appearance and don’t feel professional. I think this argument misses the point. No matter what type of web site you’re developing, the design should be as intentional as the functionality. My wife and I didn’t change the functionality of our bathroom with the work that we did. We just fine-tuned the details, but they made a world of difference. Some people might have been able to live with the bathroom the way it was, but I doubt you’d find anyone who would say it was exactly what they wanted. Similarly, if you’re spending time developing a web site, you should take time to design it. Under no circumstances should the design feel unpolished or haphazard. If you want to come off as antimarketing and non-corporate, then do that, and do it well-but there’s no reason to be ignorant about, or feel intimidated by, design. “Jason the Designer Man,” as one of his coworkers once called him, dual-majored in graphic design and digital media at the University of Central Florida.
When he’s not working on web sites, he enjoys disassembling electronics and using them in his artwork. Jason writes about his adventures in design and technology on his personal site.

Free Ebook

Free Ebook

Free Ebook

Free Ebook

Free Ebook

Free Ebook

Free Ebook

Free Ebook

Free Ebook