Web Design in 2014 – what should you learn?

January 7th, 2014

design skills

Hi,

Let’s start off this article with the conclusion – web design in 2014:

  • Code – learn more code: HTML, CSS, HTML5, CSS3, PHP and JavaScript.
  • Usability – learn to make websites easier to navigate.
  • Simplification of design.

Code:

In the last few years, the web design world (finally) totally embraced the importance of understanding code. The move in that direction started back during the web-standards evangelizing days … in about 2002-2003. There was resistance, but my feel for it now, is that the vast majority of web designers accept the fact that you can’t just rely on point-and-click web visual web design tools, if you want to build sites on a professional level.

… Yes, if you just need to build a brochure website that promotes your raspberry muffins, you can use simple website builders and a template. But if you are building a website that will have any depth to it, code is king and is required. Why? In a nutshell: control and optimization.

Usability:

Usability is as much as art as it is a science because each site requires it’s own innovation (if you will) when comes to making a website easy to use. That said, there are simple conventions that people come to expect:

  • Top left logo is always a link to the homepage.
  • Navigation is found at the top and footer of the pages.
  • Breadcrumb navigation is fantastic for deep sites.

I would argue that the hardest part of building a website is in making it usable. It also probably the most important aspect of any website because if a site is too hard to navigate, no one will use it.

Simplification of design

This trend towards simpler minimal design I believe is a reflection of the growing understanding in the importance of usability. Usability is hard enough, but making a complex visual design easy to use it mega hard! Simple design means:

  • More whitespace – more ‘breathing room’ on the page.
  • Use larger sans serif fonts – less fancy.
  • Less images, but larger and higher quality.

Putting the money where my mouth is, we kept all this in mind when building the StudioWeb e-learning website.

Thanks,

Stefan Mischook
killerSites.com

One Response to “Web Design in 2014 – what should you learn?”

  1. Caleb says:

    Hi Stefen I was browsed through the e-learning website and looks like a great place to learn.

    Simplicity and usablity is the best thing to focus on this year specially because of so much technologies coming out it’s hard to stick to the fundamentals.

    Thanks for offering these training programs.

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