Below are some of the important web design tips and guidelines which i think are necessary for every web design.
In web design first step is to choose the layout which best suites your needs. Layout is basically the placement of your content, images and information in your web page. Normally layout is designed in Adobe Photoshop or any other graphic tool. Please consider these few things while designing layouts.
* Width and height of design screen (What resolution to design?)
* Height of header and footer content
* Where to place the content so it can be useful or readable
* Keep white spaces (gaps) within your text content and images
* Keep it simple and clean, don't make too much information stuck on just one page
* You can also draw the layout on simple paper by your hand
Second step in web design is to choose the right color scheme. Your color scheme may be comprised of two or three colors. But don't use more than 3 colors, it will be difficult to control more than 3 colors. There are some websites where you can pick up the color schemes like kuler.com or you can also find amazing color schemes @ colorlovers.com. Now we will see some tips on color choices.
* Choose at least 2 colors or 3 colors, like black, dark brown and dull green.
* Keep your text in a readable color like white text on dark brown background.
* Keep your links a little bit more sharp in colors than your text
* Keep the balance in colors like light colors on dark backgrounds
* Dont make a fruity effect by using too many colors in one place
* Try to use Web 2.0 sleek and clean color schemes
3.Content Positioning (Balancing)
Third step is to position and maintain your contents so that the user feels like all the pages of the site and in balance. It is very crucial step in web design. You also have to keep in mind to view your web pages in multiple major browsers. Okay now here are some listed tips.
* Keep the distances same on each page like distance from header of the content must be same on all pages
* Left and right margins and positions should also be same on all pages
* Keep a balance in positioning so nothing looks odd on the web page
* These days giving some space or white space is a fashion in web design
First three steps were purely design based; now when you have built your page a bit, you must not overlook the page size and how it is going to load in the browser. Web page optimization means a very broad term. It may also include Search engine friendly coding. In the list below i will also list some websites/links so you can check your web page performance.
* Keep the usage of images at minimum, loading time will suffer due to heavy images
* Minimize the usage of too many scripts and Flash content
* Use CSS and div based layout and eliminate any unnecessary code from CSS and HTML
* Words in the title of page and headings and your meta tags all counts to Search Engine optimization
* Don't miss to check your web page in different browsers, cross browser compatibility is a must
Now i will list some of the websites which i personally use as a web designer to optimize my pages.
* A very nice Meta Tag analyzer tool SEOcentro Meta Analyzer
* A very nice Web Page Optimization tool, Web Page Analyzer 0.98
* Pingdom tools is a great resource to check your loading time and your page efficiency Pingdom tools
* To check your webpage across multiple Operating Systems and browsers Adobe Browser Lab
* And in the last don't forget to validate your html/CSS code with W3C W3C Markup Validation
In the last, i will talk about your design and color scheme sense improvements. Your exposure to new and latest technologies, design patterns and layouts will also improve your web design overall sense. Some tips are listed below.
* Search about latest trends in web design and latest web design techniques
* View portfolio websites of other great designers
* View art related websites like Deviantart.com to get some good exposure
* Try learning new tutorials of Photoshop and Dreamweaver, this will help a lot
I would try to write another article on Optimization alone sometime soon.