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10 Design Tips for Non-Designers

Creating a website that looks good can be a daunting task for a non-designer. Here are 10 design tips you can follow that will help you create a great looking website.

1. Limit yourself to one font.

With so many fonts out there it's tempting to add several to your pages. Consider using one font style across your whole website.

2. Emphasize.

If you want to convey a point try using a larger font size. This is perfect for a headline on the top of a page, titles of articles, and anything else you want to call attention to.

3. Use whitespace.

It's hard to draw an emphasis to things if you have a lot going on on your page. Don't be afraid to put plenty of white space around the content you want to draw attention to.

4. Limit yourself to one accent color.

If you have a logo, pick two colors from it you'll use across your website. Keep your website black and white as much as possible and try using a color only for accents.

5. Have some contrast.

If you're showing off photos they contract best on a black background. If you need people to read text the contrast works best when it's black on a white background. Don't get overly creative and re-invent the wheel.

6. Create order with alignment.

Use guidelines to ensure elements are aligned properly with each other. You can also use the arrow keys on the keyboard to ensure you're moving elements in a straight line.

7. Use hierarchy to order your content.

Font sizes should get progressively smaller as it goes down the page. For example the title of a section should be a larger font size than the body, the body, should be larger than your fine print.

8. Play with symmetry.

Symmetry is all about creating balance. If you put something on one side of a page consider something else to put on the other side to balance it out. 

9. Don't try and do too much.

You'll be tempted to cram as much information as possible onto a page. Try to avoid that temptation and be ok with less being more.

10. Don't be afraid to take a break.

Creating something beautiful takes time and sometimes requires you to get a fresh perspective. Don't be afraid to walk away from a project and come back to it later.