7 Web design concepts that you should know

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Conceptual design is an important starting point for any project. It gives you an outline of what will be done visually and provides a framework to start executing the project. By being able to quickly produce variations on a concept, it’s possible to get feedback early on and make iterative adjustments as necessary. This helps us save time in the long run by avoiding costly mistakes that may occur if we don’t consider key steps early on. We can then refine and polish the concept with marketing teams once we are satisfied with it.


1- Design isn’t just visual

Good design is much more than what meets the eye. It encompasses not just the visual aspects of a website, but also the entire user experience from start to finish. This includes page loading speed and how content and features are delivered, as well as how users interact with different elements through hover, click and touch movements. Additionally, good design also takes into account user wants and needs, helping them understand why they should use your site in the first place. All these factors together create an effective design.

Design involves more than just visual elements – it affects the full user experience. From frontend and backend to project management and beyond, everyone on the team should contribute to design with an understanding of how users interact with the website. By embracing this holistic perspective, project teams can create a more cohesive user journey.


2- Be user-centric

I believe that users should be the primary consideration when creating an app or site. Design should support them in quickly and effectively achieving their goals while also making it a pleasurable experience. During my workshops, I make sure to highlight this by having students create a design brief based on a project they choose, with guidelines aimed at keeping the user in mind. Questions like, who are they? What are they doing? And what feeling do you want them to have both when visiting and leaving your site?

For larger projects, laying a strong foundation beforehand is highly recommended to ensure success. Personas, storytelling, and other design guidelines should be used to identify site users and their desired actions while on the platform. All design decisions must be influenced by these specifications in order to achieve the best product possible.

Designers play an important role in setting up the user experience, but when done properly, many stakeholders should be involved. In my experience, I often have to lean on developers for guidance in creating the ultimate user experience. Developers know the constraints and lay out all available options as accurately as possible so that designers are in a better position to decide.


3- The design is in detail

The devil is in the details when it comes to designing a user experience. From the color of a link to how text wraps, small changes can have a big impact on user satisfaction. It’s important to recognize when details should take priority and when they should be left until later; too much focus on detail early could stall progress, while broader planning without attention to detail runs the risk of disappointment in execution. This balance between small and large is key to creating beautiful experiences with lasting appeal.


4- Use white space

Maintaining a balanced use of white space is significant for delivering a good user experience. With large datasets comes the need for breaks in order to process the information; this is what makes paragraphs and sentences so useful. To create cohesion, when designing a page be sure to equalize- where there’s a column of white space on one side, be sure to have another that balances it out. Quality design depends on it!

When it comes to vertical space, fractions of the body font size can be used. It’s a great idea to use an identifiable scale when setting font sizes for readability and consistency. For example, if the base font size is 16 pixels (1em), one could use the following: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32 and 40 – this provides more granular control over larger and smaller fonts.


5- Keep an inspiration folder

It’s important to maintain a portfolio of items that you find visually inspiring. This could be anything from photos, videos, posters, T-shirts, websites and more; anything that sparks ideas related to the design challenge you are facing. 

Not only does this act as a source of reference for ideas, it also helps to strengthen your ability to assess design. The process of selecting pieces of design and archiving them forces you to develop your skills in analysing designs.

6- Design is all about problem solving

Design should be approached as a series of challenges that need to be addressed. Each element on the page should serve a particular purpose and help achieve the user’s or designer’s goal. To ensure that each feature is properly utilized, I endeavor to reduce my feature set until there are only components relevant to the task at hand.

Making decisions about design or layout can be hard, but adopting a reverse-engineered approach can be helpful. Before jumping to the solution, take time to consider why you’re doing something – in this case, why you would make a choice to use red. Use your experience and intuition as well as consider what was originally intended when making your decision. Through backtracking and careful evaluation of past ideas, we ensure that the results meet our desired goals.

 7- Know how to talk about and critique design

It’s easy to distress a designer when offering feedback. To avoid aggravation, it’s best to present the issues and offer solutions rooted in evidence regarding user experience, website flow, design objectives and visual standards. This helps strengthen your explanations and discourages ill-advised alternate requests (like requesting to enlarge the logo).

Armed with this information, hopefully there’ll be collective problem solving—with input from you—to arrive at a resolution. With an objective starting point and proven goals, success should be within reach!

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