Design: Building your Blueprint
Theming & Content
Once you've developed your project blueprint you can focus on building ande putting it all together. I always take into account what the project is about and try and build a theme that stands in line with the overall content of the project.
Lining up colors, layout, and overall design and functionality will be heavily affected by your type of project (site/application). This is a bit like development. Instead of thinking about the development of the complete project you are laying out your presentation. This can be tough sometimes. Things change quite often and due to the unlimited ( infinity * 10* ) types of sites/applications we won't go down that rabbit hole.
The most important part of the design phase is focusing on your users' experience. Presenting your content to users with a nice relevant user interface (theme layout) will make all the difference. This is also where need to start thinking about optimization.
Optimizing for design is through a well planned user interface.
User Experience (UX) is everything that your project is about. Frontend and backend are tied together to create a flow of information to and from your users. This experience should be an intersection of content, layout, and theme. So a sensible design just makes sense. I have always looked UX/UI design as leading the user in the direction you want to take them.
Best thing to do - look at it as a user:
How will your users interact with and view your content?
Always use an easy to read font set at a nice size. User inputs, checkboxes, radio buttons etc; should be readable and have labels that are clearly marked.
Navigation for online applications should be easy to understand and follow. Navigation that is traversable from link to link leads the user where you need them to go.
Accessibility for the diabled should be a major factor in any website / web application project. There are countless reason and if you want to talk about it Contact Me.
How do we make that process simple yet stimulating?
A good page layout helps you define areas of information and improves user navigation. Color schemes accomplish much more than complex graphics will. Flashy animations that do to much at one time are really a distraction.
In reality, just don't over do it.
Does the project function as it should?
Once the project is up and running eveything should work in a timely manner. Images and graphics should load quicky and completely. Any processes that require database connections should fire with a respectable response time. Users will always expect the information they are requesting to be returned ASAP. Make sure your theme design doesn't interfere with functionality.
Desiging can be a lot of fun. If you are using a CMS you can find a free theme and manipulate it or buy a pre-built one. Many, if not all, free themes for content management systems are very poorly designed. Purchased themes can be purchased by anyone and any company. You can end up finding your exact theme on aother site.
Design for Devices
Who really knows what type of device your users may be using? You would think that users on a phone or tablet would be using a mobile app and that desktop users would be in a browser like Edge, Chrome, Firefox etc; I'm sure everyone has experienced a website or web application that just doesn't look right on the device your are using. Professional design incorporates the mobile first responsive techinque. This is not the only reason to design for devices
A fairly new principle has been adopted by pro developers that focuses solely on devices. It is a better way to grab the users attention as well as instill another layer of trust. You may want to only offer a bit of text, and image, or whatever it is, to a specific user on a specific device.
There is actually a ton that can be said on this topic. If you'd like to run through it a bit deeper please Contact Me
Development | Optimization