What do you think design is?
Is it the way something looks?
Yes? I used to think so too until I started designing.
Design is about how something looks but that's not all it is, it's about how something works. The shape of a button being circle can make or break a product! It can cultivate an interest or completely ruin the user's mood.
Here are a few steps to design something great...
Put yourself in the user's feet
Your website/app's design is a basically a conversation that happens 1000s of times a day! When you design something think of it literally as a conversation and use friendly etiquettes you would with another person like being kind, interested and waiting your turn to speak. Adapt this into your design.
Make it dead simple to understand
Users have 0 context and you have tons— that's why when you review your design you'll find few problems but if you hop into your user's feet you should be able to find parts of the design that are confusing, annoying, etc. When you put yourself in the feet of the user— imagine their motivation like checking your products out or buying XYZ, if such processes aren't simple, add signs or minimalize.
To understand this, you can think of your design as a complex physical structure— like an interstate road network. The developers could make the signs and board really aesthetic with retro fonts and gradients— but would that make it easy for someone with no context to understand? NO!
Guide the user
I like to think of it like when anyone clicks on the website, they have decided to give me their attention. It is now up to my design to direct their attention.
How do you direct attention? Contrast and Copy! Using extended sentences in passive voice
will divert attention not direct it and using buttons and headings that blend into the background will entirely confuse the user.
To guide someone, you have to opinionate and actively be in conversation with them, presuming and understanding their objection and resolving them. At every point of the way, think about the objection someone will have and then answer it! Like objections answered for CTA( call to actions) below:
Source: Garry Tan
Cut it out
Minimize all that is unnecessary. When you add visual flares in order to make it 'look good' you're most likely confusing and diverting the user's attention.
You can minimalize your design very easily. With every element, check whether or not it can be removed without taking anything away from the meaning. If nothing is lost with it, remove it! Of course, you don't need to remove all visual elements— keeping a geometric design in the background to cut out negative space is awesome! But cluttering the website with that design simply because 'it looks good' isn't a great reason.
4Cs to guide attention
Contrast, color, closeness and copy drive the attention of the user. As a designer, these are your ways of putting signs on the metaphorical road and getting the user to do something.
Contrast and Color
These are tools at your disposal to direct users' eyes to something. High contrast and bold colors obviously call for attention
This is how closely elements are places and the way they are placed. They could be placed in a grid or randomly but you need to assess which one would be correct.
When it comes to the organization of elements, something to always keep in mind is h1, h2, h3, h4— without your text being placed in a hierarchy, the users won't be able to skim any headers and will likely get confused!
Copy is not something that can be talked about more than it has above in this blog. It changes from product to product and can be used to peak attention, you can learn it or simply use copy.ai ;)
This didn't really cover the technical aspect of design, like color, typography, etc. All of this you can check out on Youtube easily or sign up for our waitlist and check out the design course when we launch!
hope this helped!