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Design Basics for Non-Designers
 

Design Basics for Non-Designers

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To non-designers, design can seem like a mysterious realm inhabited by natural artists — inscrutable beings whose heads are constantly in the clouds as they hunker down in Photoshop, desperately ...

To non-designers, design can seem like a mysterious realm inhabited by natural artists — inscrutable beings whose heads are constantly in the clouds as they hunker down in Photoshop, desperately trying to get every last pixel aligned perfectly (Okay, maybe there’s a *bit* of truth to that). Realistically, design is just a series of informed decisions based on a set of principles guided by best practice. By learning the basics of design, you can make your WordPress sites and applications more usable and compelling. This session is meant for anyone new to design.

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    Design Basics for Non-Designers Design Basics for Non-Designers Presentation Transcript

    • Design Basics forNon-Designerspresented at #wcphilly@melchoyce choycedesign.comhttp://choycedesign.com/2012/10/20/design-for-non-designers/
    • Mel Choyce• User Interface Designer at Joust.io• WordPress evangelist• Former Western MA WordPress meetup co-coordinator@melchoyce choycedesign.comhttp://choycedesign.com/2012/10/20/design-for-non-designers/
    • Intro to Design
    • What is design?
    • “Design is what links creativity andinnovation. It shapes ideas to becomepractical and attractive propositionsfor users or customers. Design maybe described as creativity deployed toa specific end.”Sir George Cox
    • Design = creative problem solving.
    • Everything around us is designed.
    • What is web design?
    • “Web design is the creation of digitalenvironments that facilitate andencourage human activity; reflect oradapt to individual voices and content;and change gracefully over time whilealways retaining their identity.”Jeffrey Zeldman
    • We have to adapt our designs alongside the web as it develops. source: http://johnpolacek.github.com/scrolldeck.js/decks/responsive/
    • What makes good design good?
    • “I shall not today attempt further todefine the kinds of material Iunderstand to be embraced within thatshorthand description; and perhaps Icould never succeed in intelligiblydoing so. But I know it when I see it.”Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart
    • Good Design:• Is Innovative• Makes a Product Useful• Is Aesthetic• Makes A Product Understandable• Is UnobtrusiveDieter Rams
    • Good Design (cont):• Is Honest• Is Long-lasting• Is Thorough Down to the Last Detail• Is Environmentally Friendly• Is as Little Design as PossibleDieter Rams
    • Why is good design important?
    • Good design forms anemotional connectionto your users.
    • • You don’t just want your users engaged -- you want them delighted. You want them to take joy in using your site, your app.• Emotional experiences actually imprints in our memories. “People will forgive shortcomings, follow your lead, and sing your praises if you reward them with positive emotion.” Aarron Walters, Designing for Emotion
    • Good designestablishes trust.*Hand designed by Pavel Nikandrov from The Noun Project
    • A well-designed site appears muchmore trustworthy than a poorlydesigned site, especially when you aretrying to sell something to your users.The more trust your users have in you,the safer they feel buying from you.
    • Good design makes yourwebsite easy to use.
    • Why Usability is GREAT:• Users will stay on your site longer instead of coming in, looking for a few seconds and leaving.• Task completion times will go down. Users will do what they want faster and will be less frustrated!• Task completion will go up. Users will find what they’re looking for.
    • Design Principles
    • Grid & Alignment
    • • Grids are awesome because they give structure to your designs. It’s like the frame to your car. They provide a solid basis for starting projects and allow you to easily align elements with coherency and consistency.• Different grid systems: 960, 1140, etc. It doesn’t really matter which grid system you use. Find something you’re comfortable with and really get to know it. When you feel like you’ve really mastered a grid, try another. Try using different grids for different projects.
    • Objects look better when aligned along a grid. looks good vs looks bad
    • Brings order to chaos.*12col 960gs
    • White Space
    • Guides the eye & creates balance. Header lorem ipsum Header 2 lorem ipsum Cras justo odio, dapibus ac facilisis in, egestas eget quam. Curabitur Widget Title blandit tempus porttitor. Donec id elit non mi porta gravida at eget Vestibulum id ligula porta felis metus. Nullam quis risus eget urna mollis ornare vel eu leo. Nullam quis euismod semper. Nullam id risus eget urna mollis ornare vel eu leo. dolor id nibh ultricies vehicula Vestibulum id ligula porta felis euismod semper. Nullam id dolor id nibh ut id elit. Curabitur blandit ultricies vehicula ut id elit. Curabitur blandit tempus porttitor. Aenean eu tempus porttitor. Aenean eu leo quam. Pellentesque ornare sem lacinia quam venenatis vestibulum. leo quam. Pellentesque Maecenas faucibus mollis interdum. Donec sed odio dui. ornare sem lacinia quam venenatis vestibulum. Maecenas faucibus mollis interdum. Donec sed odio dui. Header 2 lorem ipsum Cras justo odio, dapibus ac facilisis in, egestas eget quam. Curabitur blandit tempus porttitor. Donec id elit non mi porta gravida at eget metus. Nullam quis risus eget urna mollis ornare vel eu leo. Nullam quis risus eget urna mollis ornare vel eu leo.
    • Typography
    • “Web Design is 95% Typography”Oliver Reichenstein,The Web is All About Typography. Period.
    • When choosing an appropriate typeface...• Think about tone. Does it fit the mood of your website?• Is it easy to read, even at smaller sizes?• When all else fails, steal other people’s font combinations.
    • How do I make it look good?
    • Size Big is beautiful. 14px+ for body fonts.* http://www.zeldman.com/
    • Line HeightHe lived in a little town called, He lived in a little town called,Puddleby-on-the-Marsh. All the folks, Puddleby-on-the-Marsh. All the folks,young and old, knew him well by sight.And whenever he walked down the young and old, knew him well by sight.street in his high hat everyone would And whenever he walked down thesay, “There goes the Doctor!—He’s a street in his high hat everyone wouldclever man.” And the dogs and thechildren would all run up and follow say, “There goes the Doctor!—He’s abehind him; and even the crows that clever man.” And the dogs and thelived in the church-tower would caw children would all run up and followand nod their heads. behind him; and even the crows that lived in the church-tower would caw and nod their heads. 1.4 - 1.6x your font size for body text
    • Line LengthThe house he lived in, on the edge of the town, was quite small; but his garden was verylarge and had a wide lawn and stone seats and weeping-willows hanging over. His sister,Sarah Dolittle, was housekeeper for him; but the Doctor looked after the garden himself. The house he lived in, on the edge of the town, was quite small; but his garden was very large and had a wide lawn and stone seats and weeping-willows hanging over. His sister, Sarah Dolittle, was housekeeper for him; but the Doctor looked after the garden himself. No more than 50 - 75 characters long
    • Color
    • What’s so important about color?• Color subtly effects how people perceive your site and brand.• Poor color choices can make your site unviewable by people with visual impairments.• Colors mean different things to different cultures.
    • *http://www.serialcut.com/extrabold
    • How do I make a good color pallette?• What emotions do you want to evoke in your users? Make a list of colors that represent those emotions.• Draw inspiration (i.e. steal) from other people using those colors.• Use a color service to help create a palette: • https://kuler.adobe.com/ • http://www.colourlovers.com/
    • * http://viens-la.com/
    • Some color tips:Don’t go too bright. Don’t use black. Less is more.
    • Hierarchy
    • “Good visual hierarchy isn’t aboutwild and crazy graphics or the newestphotoshop filters, it’s aboutorganizing information in a waythat’s usable, accessible, and logicalto the everyday site visitor.”Brandon Jones,Understanding Visual Hierarchy in Web Design
    • Hierarchy is defined by previous concepts we’ve talked about:• Grids help separate or group elements• Typography calls out important content• Color draws attention• White space guides your eyes
    • Demohttp://choycedesign.com/2012/10/20/design-for-non-designers/
    • Thanks.Any questions?@melchoyce choycedesign.comhttp://choycedesign.com/2012/10/20/design-for-non-designers/