12 Tips & Examples

Web Design Guide

A beginners guide to design a practical yet stunning website.

Tip #1 – Choose 1 Font

Each font has it’s own personality and feeling, so choose one that most represents your brand.

By using Whatfont (Google Chrome extension) you can see what other sites use.

SAN SERIF

San-Serif

Montserrat

Open Sans

Lato

Roboto

Raleway

Simple, Clean and Modern. Most websites use this typeface.

How to Use:

If you are starting out, you can’t go wrong with one of the above fonts. Use font size & font weight to differientate.

SERIF

Serifs

Playfair Display

Merriweather

Pt Serif

Crimson Text

Traditional, Elegant & Handcrafted Look. 

Also good for long reading, such as blogs.

How to Use:

Use it for Headings or Logo’s
Body Text/Main Navigation use a San Serif

Tip #2 – Body Font Size

Keep it between 14-18 px for paragraphs

12px

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis nec orci odio. In vitae lectus ac tortor vehicula eleifend. Donec pharetra mattis magna, et pellentesque nulla pharetra vel. In eu blandit magna.

16px

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis nec orci odio. In vitae lectus ac tortor vehicula eleifend. Donec pharetra mattis magna, et pellentesque nulla pharetra vel. In eu blandit magna.

25px

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis nec orci odio. In vitae lectus ac tortor vehicula eleifend. Donec pharetra mattis magna, et pellentesque nulla pharetra vel. In eu blandit magna.

Tip #3 – Line Length

Use 45-90 characters per line for an easy read.

(especially if you have alot of text)

Bad

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce rutrum consequat sollicitudin. Donec malesuada accumsan mauris in faucibus. Curabitur lobortis felis vel felis dapibus dictum. Pellentesque posuere, erat eget tempus tincidunt, tellus arcu pellentesque nisl, lacinia vehicula est nunc a lectus. Donec semper ligula a purus fringilla varius. Quisque ut nisi dui. Maecenas libero eros, sagittis quis dui in, tristique dignissim sapien. Sed vel dui ornare, varius massa sed, scelerisque libero. Quisque dignissim sapien id augue efficitur lobortis sed at eros. Quisque vitae volutpat ex. Suspendisse in egestas turpis.

Good

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce rutrum consequat sollicitudin. Donec malesuada accumsan mauris in faucibus. Curabitur lobortis felis vel felis dapibus dictum. Pellentesque posuere, erat eget tempus tincidunt, tellus arcu pellentesque nisl, lacinia vehicula est nunc a lectus.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce rutrum consequat sollicitudin. Donec malesuada accumsan mauris in faucibus. Curabitur lobortis felis vel felis dapibus dictum. Pellentesque posuere, erat eget tempus tincidunt, tellus arcu pellentesque nisl, lacinia vehicula est nunc a lectus.

Tip #4 -Text Hierarchy

Define hierarchy by reducing font size, font weight or colour.

Before

Create an Amazing Headline

Design an “app like” mobile responsive website.

Design

A better user experience for you

You can add a top heading like the one above.

Marketing

Develop an effective search engine strategy

You can desaturate & capitalise the text like this.

After

Create an Amazing Headline

Design an “app like” mobile responsive website.

Design

A better user experience for you

Reduced font weight, add colour & increase letter spacing.

Marketing

Develop an effective search engine strategy

You can desaturate & capitalise the text like this.

Tip #5 – Choose 1 Accent Colour

Keep it simple and choose only one colour, but use shades of the same colour.

This is a monochromatic colour scheme and is an easy way for beginners to ensure website always looks good!

Colour

Pick a colour here: https://www.materialui.co/colors

Alternatively, pick an image you like from unsplash and upload to adobe for a colour palette.

Tip #6 – Use Neutral Colours

Can be used to seperate content, header, footer & anywhere you don’t know which colour to use.

#ffffff
#f6f6f6
#cccccc
#999999
#4d4d4d
#222222

Tip #7 – Button Styles & Colours

Step 1

Pick your main colour

Step 2

Go to 0to255.com

Step 3

Put in your #hexcode and pick colour e.g. #333333

Step 4

Choose a colour that is -/+ 2 shades the original e.g. #222222

Apply main colour to background and the darker/lighter as hover.

Or hover it with one of your accent colours.

Quick Tip

Try keep your button style consistent. Choose between square or rounded.

Normally rounded makes your website a little more friendlier. Square gives it a more designer and professional feel.

Tip #8 – Picking the Right Image

Using the right image can make or break a website.

Step 1

Choose an image to support your text. 

Step 2

Does the image reflect the style of your website? i.e. Minimal? Expensive? Happy?

Step 3

Is your image large enough? see size guidelines below. If not, improve quality here.

Places to find images: Unsplash or Adobe Stock/Shutterstock

Tip #9 – How to Add Text Over Images

Always ensure your text is readable by using several techniques shown below.

Normal Image with Text Overlay

Normal Image with Text Overlay

Added 15% Opacity Colour Overlay

Added 15% Opacity Colour Overlay

Normal Image with Text Overlay

Normal Image with Text Overlay

Change Positioning and Added Colour Overlay

Change Positioning and Added Colour Overlay

Change Positioning and Added Blur Effect

Change Positioning and Added Blur Effect

Looks pretty good but wanted to show another way to do it.

Normal Image with Text Overlay

Looks pretty good but wanted to show another way to do it.
Add Background to Text

Add Background to Text

Great use of gradient and text background

PayPal Example

Great use of gradient and text background

Note: Not every image may be perfect, so it may need some adjusting.

9. Image Size Guide

Images directly from websites/cameras might be too big e.g (5000 x 3000px) hence when uploaded to site, it would load slowly.

Below are some guidelines to help you decide what to crop them as before uploading to your website.

1. You can find images at thestocks which compiles all the good sites all in one place!

2. You can crop & edit your images for free on fotor.com

Approx size (px) = 400 x 305

Small (JPG)

Approx size (px) = 400 x 305
Approx size (px) = 800 x 615

Medium (JPG)

Approx size (px) = 800 x 615
Approx size (px) = 1200 x 915

Large (JPG)

Approx size (px) = 1200 x 915

Hero Image

Approx (px) = 1800 x 1000

Size (KB) < 400KB

Saved Format = JPG

 

10. Product Images

All uploaded sizes should be around be 800 x 800 px

 

Keep it proportional

 

White background recommended

If page loads x10 Images at 287KB each = 2.87MB

Whereas x10 Images at 61 KB each = 610 KB

Note: For non feature images you can use images which have a background and may show the product in use. As this doesn’t show/load on main shop page.

Tip #11 – Alignment, Spacing & Separation

1. Try to align things where possible.

2. Ensure spacing is even. And using white space can make your website appear more simple and clean.

3. Use neutral colours, background images and divider lines to separate content.

Tip #12 – Focus on Simplicity & Consistency

There are many tools, plugins, themes with all sorts of features but 80% of the time we don’t need to use them.

Just focus on the basic elements such as the text, images and colours.

Follow the guidelines above and you should have a great website.

Don’t need to be fancy, focus on readability and also on creating useful content.

My Favourite: You can use a chrome extension called Full Screen Capture to screenshot entire webpages for inspiration.

Use it to also screenshot your own webpage to see if everything is consistent.

Tools

Must Have Resources

Fotor.com – Simple image cropping tool

Canva – Ultimate design tool for beginners (Photoshop Replacement)

Remove.bg – Remove backgrounds on images easily

Adobe XD – Amazing Free Prototyping Software

ImagesUnsplash & Adobe Stock