Between my thesis project in grad school and rebranding my blog, I’ve certainly worked with web design a lot in the last several months. I had little to no experience with it before last semester, let alone last year, so I had a lot of learning to do! It was a whirlwind, for sure.
Despite how many times I wanted to pull my hair out and/or throw my computer across the room–because who hasn’t had that feeling before?–I learned so much about web design and am excited to share my new wisdom with y’all today! I’m by no means an expert web designer, but here are seven awesome takeaways from my latest web design work.
1. Take your time // Big website projects–whether a blog, a full website or anything in between–needs time and lots of attention. Don’t rush yourself. Give yourself time to do everything you want to do. Sometimes timing is hard to judge, and you’ll have to adjust; I had to adjust my work schedule and timeline several times with my thesis project. And that’s okay.
2. Set goals for each work session // Go into your work sessions with specific goals and intentions. This helped me track my progress and stay on top of all parts of the projects. It also really helped me to not get overwhelmed and get ahead of myself. Working in phases was one of the best things I could’ve done for myself, especially on my thesis project!
3. Make checklists // These kept me super organized along the way. I made a new one each week to hold myself accountable for whatever tasks I wanted to accomplish. Physically crossing something off the list made me feel like I was getting work done and being productive – that’s an added bonus!These are 7 GREAT tips for first-time web designers! Click To Tweet
4. Don’t be afraid of the pencil and paper // Yes, it’s old-school, but sometimes going old-school helps more than you expect! I did lots of pencil-and-paper sketching and doodles, for both my thesis project and my rebrand. It’s especially helpful when planning the layout of your site, and where you want certain elements to go on the page(s). One of my school notebooks became filled with sketches and hand-drawn mockups for my website.
5. Play with colors and fonts // This was my favorite part of web design. It was like playing with a painter’s palette and mixing colors. For both projects, I knew what general colors I wanted, but I had to adjust the exact shades several times. I loved picking my fonts and pairing them together. It was a nice little matching game for me. Don’t be afraid to change them around throughout your process, either. Sometimes what works in the beginning may change as your website develops!
6. Ask for help and guidance from trusted friends and peers // At school, we had class critiques throughout the semester, for our thesis projects and our online portfolios. It’s so important to ask other people for help and advice, just to get another set of eyes to look at your work. Sometimes I find that, if I look at my own work for too long, I stop seeing things that could be fixed. Other people will always point those things out, and offer other great insights to make your project even better.
And most importantly…
7. Take breaks and don’t burn out // The worst feeling you can get during a big web design project is, “Ugh, I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m so sick of this.” It’s natural, and more likely than not, it will happen. When it does, step away and don’t look at your work for the rest of the day, or maybe even a day or two. Going back to your project with a fresh mind is the best way to help productivity.
There’s a lot more to web design than these seven tips, but keeping these in mind will make your next web design project much smoother, and I hope much more fun!
What tips would you give to a first-time web designer?
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