Tips for Web Designers

The release of ‘100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People’ by Susan Weinschenk has some highly useful ideas and tips for Web Designers. Creative recruitment agency specialists Brand Recruitment believe that this book could be put to good use for Web Designer job seekers.

Susan Weinschenk’s book makes some interesting observations. One point that is made is your audience is comprised of the people who will benefit from that design, meaning how your audience’s experience is profoundly impacted by what you know—or don’t know—about them.

Weinschenk reflects on where we actually look on a website. Unlike a newspaper or novel, we do not tend to read from the edge when we are looking at a computer screen. Weinschenk comments that ‘people have gotten used to the idea that there are things on computer screens that are less relevant to the task at hand, such as logos, blank space, and navigation bars… they tend to look at the centre of the screen.’ This is naturally good to bear in mind when structuring a website. Weinschenk also observes that people tend to have a ‘mental model’. This means that if they use a particular website, for example Facebook, then the viewer will look for a search bar in the same place on other sites. If they are on another website and the search bar is not in the same place, then they will lose interest. To avoid this, Weinschenk suggests that Graphic Designers design pages that follow a general model and avoid a pattern where the viewer has to jump around the page.  As the entire point for creating a webpage is to elicit a response from the targeted audience.

Another common mistake made my designers is the position of image and text. People tend to associate the two together if they are placed close to one another. This is even more true if the image and text are next to one another because this is how we read. Designers tend to forget this point and put text and an image beside each other which has no relevance, and which consequently confuses the reader. To avoid this, Weinschenk’s suggestion is quite simple: put more space between items that do not relate to one another and less with those that do. Designers do tend to panic in this situation and box everything off which then creates a very busy page.

Weinschenk’s book is a good insight into design and is useful for any Graphic Designer relatively new to the industry or for those who need some fresh ideas. Web design jobseekers will benefit from these tips.

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