Consultation — Help with structuring (X)HTML, CSS suggestions, web standards, interface strategies. Here at Duoh!, design is muscular—it works hard, transforming a sketch, a wireframe, or a blank screen into a living, breathing experience that communicates powerfully and creatively, reaching out to your users so they can effortlessly get what they came for.
Our job is to bring your site to life, to attract and guide your users, to communicate your message, to infuse the site with your identity, yet somehow be invisible, so your visitors are magically wowed without ever knowing how.
We take what we've learned about you, the services you need, your content, your wireframe, and our design sensibilities, and create a first set of mockups.
It’s the reason why we pick out our best outfit for a job interview or put a little more effort into that first date.
The same can be said for your website, and its visual design can be the reason for the immediate positive or negative impression on your visitors.
Studies show that people will make snap assumptions (good or bad) of your website within 50 milliseconds of it loading.
I’m sure you’ve had the experience of visiting a website for the very first time, it loads, and then [click] — you immediately hit the “Back” button (or keyboard shortcut “Backspace” or “Delete”, depending on your OS).
What was it about that website that discouraged you? Assuming the site was relative to what you were looking for, your quick abandonment was probably related to its visual design.
Studies show that poor visual design will create a bad impression because it quickly triggers a feeling of untrustworthiness. If a website has a pleasant visual design, users are more relaxed, tend to find the website more credible and easier to use. If you haven’t come to the conclusion that a professional visual design is simply part of the equation to building a successful website, I apologize for not being more convincing. Don’t fall victim to the notion that visual design is just “prettying up” your site — that’s dangerous thinking (and also provokes me mildly, which can be fun to witness in person). CopyrightWe are an Orlando Web Design company that helps small to mid-sized businesses — no matter where they're located — achieve real results through intelligent websites. Some foundational ideas are so thoroughly ingrained in modern life that we hardly see them for their ubiquity and familiarity.
As the industrial world grew more complex, document designers in the mid-1800s began to adapt modular programs to newspaper, catalog, financial, and other publications, and modern page layout was born.
A simple page grid establishes discrete functional areas, and adequate negative space defines the figure-ground relationships for the page. Crowded pages confuse the figure-ground relationships of page elements by creating an ambiguous field of visual texture, with little contrast to draw the eye and few landmarks to help the user understand content organization. As you design the html and css for menu lists, content lists, page header graphics, and other design elements, always consider the spacing, grouping, similarity, and overall visual logic of the patterns you create on the page so that you provide easily seen structure, not confusing detail.
Establish a layout grid and a style for handling your text and graphics, and then apply it consistently to build rhythm and unity across the pages of your site. The primary task of graphic design is to create a strong, consistent visual hierarchy in which important elements are emphasized and content is organized logically and predictably. The overall graphic balance and organization of the page is crucial to drawing the user into your content.
Web pages viewed on mobile devices are usually compromised by the mobile environment: small screens, tiny text, lack of optimal screen resolution and color, and sun or other lighting glare all degrade the legibility of web pages seen outside the office or home environment. Horizontal rules, decorative graphic bullets, prominent icons, and other visual markers have their occasional uses, but apply each sparingly (if at all) to avoid a patchy and confusing layout.
Color palettes chosen from nature are an almost infallible guide to color harmony, particularly if you are not a trained graphic designer. With today’s larger display screens and more complex graphic interfaces, your web page is likely to be sharing the screen with many other windows and desktop elements. All graphic design is ultimately the management of white space—the ground field behind all figure elements on the page. All users benefit from clear and consistent web site design, but for some users it is critical. The fundamental principles of Gestalt perception and human visual processing form the basic toolbox of all graphic design. Design When creating a website, you can use layout and design to help ensure that your message gets across and leads your visitors to your goal action. In this article, we will discuss the importance of colors, images, typography, contrast and the size of objects and text. Whether words or images, visitors naturally read content from left to right and from top to bottom.
This means that the top left section of any content block serves as an anchor for your visitors; this is the first place they will likely see when their eyes scan your site or a specific item on your site. Colors play a strong role in setting the tone of your website and are a fundamental tool for communicating your message.
Weddings and romance are often associated with white, pink and turquoise and warm brown tones can be used to create a soothing feel, good for spa, crafts or home design websites. Audacious red and hot pink: These bold, sexy colors match the tone of the Salsa Dancing website. In addition to helping set the mood, images convey to visitors how professional your business is. While many small businesses will resort to purchasing stock photos off the internet, these photos can often detract from your site. In this Shelly Schults baking website, for example, you can tell the photos are authentic and create a feeling that Shelly is a professional. Our eyes jump to bold, large fonts so you want to use these to quickly convey your key message. The type of font also sends a message – from additional information in italics, tucked between parentheses to the power of bold, capital titles. Note how in the Ute Hiltl website, both the woman’s face and the words “Haute Couture” pop up. In this website, Frunatic, the designer draws the reader in with progressively smaller text.
By playing with placement, colors, images, text and contrast, you can create a blueprint which maps how visitors will scan your website.
The logo is located in the top left corner and the chair below it draws the visitor in before introducing the main message in text. The colors are warm, clean and stylish, setting the tone for a store that sells products which share these elements. The single image of the chair, standing alone, attracts our attention immediately and begs curiosity. The typography is simple and modern, in line with the color scheme and the products being sold.
From top left to bottom right, the composition of your website should be designed to first grab the reader’s attention and then take them by the hand as you tell them about your business.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Onextrapixel. Rachel is the Associate Director of Yahel, an educational organization offering service learning programs in Israel. Join the community and stay updated with useful design and development resources and materials for FREE.
They’ll make a website designer smile ear to ear, and a website owner exhale with joy (or relief, depending on how the process went). After presenting 100+ designs over the last decade, I know of the long hours needed and the nervous energy — on both sides — the whole process could bring. Over the years, we iterated on what works and experimented with new tactics to slowly evolve our creative approach. We hear “I like it” exactly when we need to within the process because we emphasize research, documentation, hands-on activities, and collaboration.
Fresh paint, new roof shingles, manicured landscaping, carefully laid pavers, an inviting and boldly painted front door — these elements quickly say “Welcome!” or “Meh”.

The visual design process of a website will lock in, explore, and appeal to the first aspect; visceral. This phase gets tricky because people have a gut reaction (positive or negative) to imagery, color, shapes and typography.
There’s not many things more important to your website than being trustworthy, and a professional visual design is a great start to building trust with a visitor. Now that we have an understanding of what visual design is, the role it takes in a website, the challenges its visceral nature brings, and why it’s important — here’s our formula for nailing it.
A company’s style guide (logo usage, color palette, typography, photography style) is a step in the right direction. This ensures the website reflects the company’s personality — a key attribute to a brand consistency from one medium to the next.
Once we see which branding elements are off-limits, we then discuss which elements are NOT off-limits.
If their branding guide contains fonts that aren’t web-friendly, we try to find a similar replacements. A more sophisticated color palette and a web-friendly font pairing increases our chances to delivering a richer visual design. Once we preface this activity, and the client shakes their head in agreement, we’re off in collecting and reviewing the visual design approach of competitor websites. We believe inspiration can come from anywhere — even outside of a company’s industry or niche.
This list is also short (3 to 5) and we discuss how these website’s visual design could be experimented with moodboarding (#6 below). This exercise takes some work to facilitate, but it has laser-like precision in identifying that visceral-ness of a client. Once a few, or all — if the budget allows — of the previous activities are completed, it’s time to actually design something for a client. Color harmony, proper font pairing, use of whitespace — this chatter isn’t necessarily in the average person’s vocabulary, but this professional dialogue needs to drive a visual design phase. Though there are plenty of talented website designers today, a website’s look and feel is less about design wizardry and more about collaboration. Productive visual design collaboration is difficult to achieve without research, activities and clear communication.
More Blogs about UX:4 Simple Words to Avoid Using on Your Website for Better UXFebruary 21, 2016Is the “Design” in Web Design about Art?
A guide on how to create a website from the very beginning (without any prior website knowledge required). Ultimate Guide to Sleeping During Pregnancy , Learn about why sleep is important and cause of bad sleep. This infographic is a fantastic resource for all parents expecting a baby and not being experienced in bathing their little one. What if we told you you could swap your yummy but bad foods for something just as yummy, but cleaner? If posting your business flyers on sign posts around the neighborhood aren't driving the type of business that you need you might want to take a look at what Jonathan Peterson has put together.
We make changes in response to your comments—refining, finessing, and seeking the perfect solution, within the number of iterations we agree on in our contract.
Of course, our future-ready sites support web standards, accessibility guidelines, and mobile needs.
As soon as we walk through the door our clothes, smile and handshake are all being critiqued.
Those aesthetics sent you an amateurish message, and you quickly determined its credibility (regardless of its validity). Once you sabotage a first-time visitor’s trust, there’s a high chance you’ve lost them — forever.
In the early twentieth century the Bauhaus designers adopted the elements of visual logic discovered by the Gestalt perceptual psychologists, and those German and Swiss designers created modern graphic design (see Visual Design Principles sidebar, below). The page uses familiar principles of page layout, and users can easily predict the location of major content and functional elements. A well-organized page with clear groups of content shows the user at a glance how the content is organized and sets up modular units of content that form a predictable pattern over pages throughout the site (fig. The Hiram College home page banner sets the graphic theme for the site and introduces distinctive typography and a set of navigation tabs. Graphic design is visual information management, using the tools of page layout, typography, and illustration to lead the reader’s eye through the page. A page of solid text will repel the casual reader with a mass of undifferentiated gray, without obvious cues to the structure of your information.
Text legibility is dependent on the reader’s ability to distinguish letterforms from the background field. Even many laptops have displays that don’t do a good job of showing fine color or shade distinctions, and the colors on pages viewed via computer projector are normally washed out.
The tools of graphic emphasis are powerful and should be used only in small doses for maximum effect. Use white space to avoid crowding the edges of the browser windows with important elements of your page content. To understand graphic design, you must appreciate that the ground field around page elements is as active and important a part of the design as any figure element on the page.
The graphic and editorial style of your web site should evolve as a natural consequence of consistent and appropriate handling of your content and page layout.
With a lack of spatial cues and with radically different approaches to navigation that must be relearned at every site, vision-impaired users can easily get disoriented or lost on the web.
Web design adds the dimensions of interactivity and a wide range of possible display media, but the core principles of graphic design, document organization, editorial standards, and communication on the page have not changed. In order to use design to convey your message, you need to first understand factors such as how the human eye moves across the screen and how the human brain processes information. Manipulating these elements will help you control the experience your visitors have and help ensure that you will have the impact you seek. Put in this real estate an image or text that will attract your visitors to stay on your site and read on. Greens are a natural fit for websites associated with the outdoors, the environment or ecological products. If photos look and feel very “stock,” readers may suspect that they aren’t authentic and feel misled.
Often times, the size and style of the font can be as attention grabbing as the words or font itself. Choose fonts that accurately reflect your key message and remember to keep it simple here too.
The first website uses an artistic, handwriting font for the name (Sylvie Bondy) and contrasts it with an easy to read, bold sans-serif font that clearly tells us what the business is about (Studio Art and Design).
Here, the use of capitalization and bold, simple headings convey a feeling that this company is organized and professional. When an element on your page contrasts with the background of your site, it will attract the attention of visitors. This is because of the significant contrast between the white of the image and words, and the striking black background.
It begins with a teasing question “Why raw food makes sense?” which gives the viewer an initial sense of what the website is about. Starting with big, bold text or an image that conveys your primary message, you can then introduce them little by little to the finer details of your message and product.
From there, the visitor’s eyes move down the text before being asked to act, on the bottom right. Once you have gotten the message across, you want to leave them with one clear Next Step – the Call for Action.

Together with her husband, Rachel founded ORA Web Design in 2012 as an affordable solution for small and medium businesses. We strive to share the best web resources with the community but we are not affiliated to any other agency or company.
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Though not perfect, my team’s approach for finding a website’s visual design is working well these days. This is why a website’s appearance can become a moving target — everyone (even your Grandmother) has preferences and pre-disposed ideas! Well, first impressions matter and a poor visual design creates a negative impression (which leads people to assume a website is untrustworthy).
Starting off a visual design phase by — let’s say improperly using the logo — won’t build confidence and kills momentum. From our experience, many small to mid-sized businesses are relatively flexible with their typography and color palette, so it’s a natural conversation.
If the color palette is too simple (1-2 colors), we recommend broadening the website palette with some complimentary colors. We keep the list short (3 to 5) to ensure the entire process stays purposeful (rather than a stalk-fest).
She understands the web, writes in a voice that's just right for your brand or your story, overflows with creative ideas, and is always good for a laugh. We stand firmly on the principles that guide business, graphic design, and the web, but we bring our love of design and a joyous sense of adventure to each creative project and client relationship. Because a good 75% of our work is for the web, we'll describe our site-building process here, but we have a similar process for our other projects. We recommend that you choose the smallest team possible to judge our work and make final decisions.
We base many sites on ExpressionEngine, which you'll find flexible & easy to use, once we've set you up. It’s the price of admission to simply, and swiftly, convince them that your organization is credible and can be trusted to hang around further and see what your website has to offer. A consistent approach to layout and navigation allows users to adapt quickly to your design and to predict with confidence the location of information and navigation controls across the pages of your site.
Readers first see pages as large masses of shape and color, with foreground elements contrasting against the background field.
A page dominated by poorly designed or overly bold graphics or typography will also distract or repel users seeking substantive content.
Test your designs on a number of devices and laptops and in a variety of conditions, especially if you are using subtle colors to define important page functions or content. Avoid bold, highly saturated primary colors except in regions of maximum emphasis, and even there use them cautiously (fig.
Filling all the white space on a page is like removing all the oxygen from a room—an efficient use of space perhaps, but decidedly difficult to inhabit.
Prefer the conventional over the eccentric, never let the framing overwhelm the content, and remember that the best style is one that readers never notice—where everything feels logical, comfortable (even beautiful) but where a heavy-handed design never intrudes on the experience.
For people with cognitive disabilities, such as memory or learning disabilities, this difficulty is magnified manyfold.
The web as it exists today is clearly an extension of print publishing, not because of any failure of imagination from designers and technologists, but because centuries of designing documents for readers have taught the world useful lessons in how humans read and absorb information.
They are also integral to creating a mood for your website – professional, fun, relaxing etc. Even the best graphic designers will struggle to create a great website without quality images. You can carefully place pictures of people to get your message across, to convey a certain mood or to attract the visitor’s attention to a certain part of the screen.
For larger blocks of text, you want to stick to easy to read fonts – the “body text fonts.” These tips offer more details on types of fonts. Using too many fonts will overwhelm the visitor, confuse the eye and detract from your message, so try to stick to two or three fonts on your website. Once you have their attention, text can get progressively smaller through the use of sub headers and smaller text size to give them more detailed facts.
Lead the visitor down the screen by incrementally decreasing text size (from headline, subheading and text boxes) and placing content lower down on the screen. What activity or response do you want to encourage; what story do you want to tell, and what sort of "voice" will tell it? Then they begin to pick out specific information, first from graphics if they are present, and only after this do they start parsing the harder medium of text and begin to read individual words and phrases (fig.
You will need to strike an appropriate balance between attracting the eye with visual contrast and providing a clear sense of organization, through the variations in contrast that result from proper proximities, groupings, figure-ground relationships, and headings. Black text on a white background has the highest level of contrast since black has no brightness and white is all brightness.
If your page width is reasonable, this should produce some visual relief for your page even on a crowded computer screen (fig.
Stick with a simple language and navigation applied consistently throughout your site, and everyone will benefit. A deep red can say powerful and sexy, while black, gray and blues are neutral, professional colors and are often used in business and technology websites.
The quality of your images and photography sends a message to the visitor – about how serious your business is and what kind of work you do. Wix is a DIY website builder with which you can design and customize your website, no coding skills needed. Then we'll use our training, experience, and creative magnifying glass to examine your case from every angle. Visual balance and appropriateness to the intended audience are the keys to successful design decisions. Hue is also a factor, with complementary colors, such as blue and yellow, producing the greatest contrast. Google’s various support sites are a model of simple, clear design, with minimal but highly functional page framing and interface elements (fig.
For example, if you place white letters on a black button, it will be more readable than white letters on a gray background. Create great looking Web applications using an intuitive, WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop user interface designer.4.
The most effective designs for general audiences employ a careful balance of text and links with relatively small graphics. Be sure your color choices do not make it hard for users to distinguish text from background. The content higher up on the screen was carefully selected to bring visitors in, attract their attention and keep them engaged. Also, never forget that almost 10 percent of male readers have some trouble distinguishing fine shades of red from shades of green (fig.
Let IntelliSense give you fast access to methods and libraries for use within your applications.7.
Common Tasks and Smart Tags place commonly accessed Web building functionality one click away.8. Find great hosting offers for applications you build using Visual Web Developer Express.13.

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