1) Design in shades of gray, and then add color
If your web designer creates wireframes prior to illustration designs, then you know the value of starting with shades of gray. Turn your wireframe into a grayscale visual drawing, add your photography, and then carefully add color to design elements one at a time.
2) Use Keynote (Mac) to create rapid page prototypes
You don’t need Photoshop to make rapid prototypes of web pages, landing pages, call to proceedings or other web interface elements. There’s an entire underground movement around using Keynote to create mockups.
3) Bury those social media icon
You did all that work to get people to your website, and yet you’re inviting them to depart? That’s what you’re doing when you place social media icons in a prominent location of your website, like in the header. Bury the icon in the footer.
4) Add web fonts to your corporate style guide
If you haven’t looked into this yet, Google Fonts is a great place to begin. Find a suitable web font and define usage in your corporate style guide so you use it always online.
5) Ditch the slideshow/carousel
When the homepage slideshow/image carousel came into style, it was a way to get lots of information on the first page of your website.
6) Simplify navigation
Reducing your visitors’ option might seem counter intuitive, but it can actually help guide people to your most creative content. Rather than overwhelming your website visitors with links to every page, simplify your navigation.
7) Remove sidebars
The sidebar has been an especially popular web design trend for the last ten years, especially on blogs.
8) Get color inspiration from nature
Struggling to find the perfect color combination for your website or a term to action graphic? Get your inspiration from nature.
9) Step away from the computer
I believe that good design starts with big planning. Getting your ideas down on paper or on a whiteboard can help you iterate through a design, cleansing it and adding detail as you go along.
10) Use Pinterest to make mood boards
Did you know that you can use Pinterest to form a mood board of your favorite images, colors, layouts, patterns, sample websites and concept material? Another great benefit of using Pinterest is that other designers create and share mood boards too.
11) Increase your font size
Typography is incredibly significant in web design. Text is hard enough to read on a computer screen, so you have to make the imperative things stand out.
12) Use white space
It may be hard to believe that using whitespace is a hack, but I evaluate websites daily that could use more whitespace. Not every blank area of the screen needs to be filled.
13) Use the squint test
Want a quick way to learn what’s most prominent on your website? Back away from your computer monitor and squint. Most everything will become blurry, and only the larger, colorful, more prominent features will be noticeable.