Before going any further, let’s put it straight right from the start, it takes a lot of efforts, energy, determination and time to become a top WordPress developer. If you think, this is just a few steps process, you know very little about web design. It’s a daunting task that requires expertise and professionalism from a designer. You can install WordPress cms, read some tutorials, learn how to customize themes, but these all won’t necessarily mean that you’ll get the title of a top WordPress designer. You can become an expert, but on a larger scale, you’ll be just an average person with some commonplace skills.
Reasons to become a top developer
If you get yourself involved in WordPress development, why not strive to be the best? There are too many experts and average specialists on the market, and very few professional web designers who are capable to work with total dedication. If you become a top notch WordPress website designer, you will have the following benefits:
- decent salary, bigger than any other average designer can earn;
- great audience;
- a freedom of choice what projects to agree on and what to decline;
- have great impact in the industry;
- to some extent shape the future of WordPress.
If you firmly decided to be one of the best, you’d have to find at least one hour a day to learn more about WordPress content management system. Don’t like learning and reading? Unfortunately, that’s a compulsory path to success with no other ways around it. You will have to master your skills all the time by learning and reading more about WordPress. Eliminate all the things that distract your attention, and spend at least one hour reading and taking notes about WordPress cms.
Speak to the right people
When they say that we become very much alike to those people who we spend a lot of time with, they actually don’t boggle. Planning to become a top notch WordPress web designer? Join a few communities where highly qualified designers like to hang out and share their knowledge. Read what they say, attend various conferences, follow them on Twitter, read their interviews and so on and so on. Always look for a new channel to get valuable information and learn something new. A good idea would be to use what they recommend and provide them with a feedback. By doing so, you will have a great interaction, an option to fix your own errors yourself and personally grow.
Read new material
Use all the sources to read new material about WordPress and don’t forget to experiment. Try to always practice what you’ve learned. Experience on your own projects and try to improve them in every little way. Being a top notch WordPress designer means a lot of experiments, practice and knowledge. These are the key drives that may bring an average designer to the top of design industry. But you should be ready to demonstrate true ambitions and dedication. Otherwise, you’ll never leave the comfort zone, remaining to be just an expert, a designer with occasional projects.
What makes a web designer a professional is understanding of what a truly beautiful website needs – love, time and skills. It’s impossible to create a site without those three components. They are 3 pillars which web design is based on. In this article I’d like to share with you some of the tips and tried methods that would definitely give your website a good feel and outstanding look. Upon using these methods, you will greatly improve user’s experience and make them leave with smiles and satisfaction.
Always work from scratch
No matter how many successful websites you’ve done in the past, you should always work from scratch and completely forget about old designs. Every new site should be exclusive, be it a blog, author website, e-commerce, etc. Every element should have its sense and purpose. You need to be able to explain your customers your thought process by using colors, media content, backgrounds and typography. If you see that there’s something on a site without any purpose or reason, don’t hesitate to remove it. Otherwise, you’ll distract your customers from the main message. Using one and the same design elements from previous projects isn’t the best practice. By doing so, your website will simply get lost amongst the endless flow of other websites.
Invest your time and efforts into customization
It goes without saying that stock photos and vectors can save you a lot of time, however they will never give users a unique experience on a website! And this is where you may lose. If you want to succeed with a website, invest your time and efforts in creating custom icons and graphics. Such investment will undoubtedly bring incredible results! As they say “what goes around comes around”. The more you invest in a project, the more you will get from it!
Interactivity goes ahead
When working on design, don’t forget that a fundamental block of any site is the content. That’s why your design should be invisible. You may find it weird, however that’s the way it should work. A professional has got to create such design that would effectively fetch out the text content. But on the other hand, users are quite bored of static text and images. They crave for something more interactive, something more exciting and stimulating! And a good web designer is supposed to provide them with such web design. Use content sliders, lightboxes, tooltips, modal windows and other interesting points of interaction and “exhibit” the main message of a site in the most favourable light. But beware, too much interactivity is also not very good. Everything is good in moderation.
In the last few years a tendency to create drop-shadowed, textured and beveled designs notably decreased. More often than not, web designers produce flat and thin interfaces. How possibly could it happen, considering how incredibly popular they were in the past? Well, in reality the reasons are all on the surface. People are overwhelmed with endless flow of information, clutter, audio and video content and all the other trickery that designers use to attract their attention. Besides, the rapid shift to using tablets and smartphones has made these “bells and whistles” not only needless, but also very inconvenient. Nowadays people prefer to get straight to the content, without roving through millions of design elements. In addition to quite subjective reasons, there are also externals that have influenced on popularity of this new design trend. Obviously, today’s software is quite limited by the platform which it runs on. Screen dimensions, density of pixels are the factors that cannot be overseen. Plus, it’s impossible to use an extensive design palette while working with minimal interfaces. Each element on the screen has got to have its sense and speak it out right away! The most prominent and speaking elements of flat designs are font weight and typographic scale. Another reason that makes flat designs popular is significant reduction in loading time of the page. Well, if you use your phone to access certain websites, it’s very helpful and convenient, no doubt!
Ok, enough with the theory :) Let’s come to practice. You may be surprised to find out that creating a minimal interface is not as easy as it seems from the beginning. Well, forget the habitual effects such as drop shadows, textures, bevels, etc. and you’ll see there’s almost nothing left to work with! And with this minimum amount of sources you should be able to create multiple web sites and all with its own exclusive design. A challenging task, isn’t it?
Before you begin, make sure you’ve decided exactly what you’d like to achieve at the end. Consider all the details and ask yourself again whether the style you’ve chosen corresponds to your target and audience. You possibly picked the most stylish and modern style, however it may easily appear to be absolutely pointless with regards to your particular project. So, blindlessly following the trend may serve you a very bad business.
A key element that allows users to create beautiful minimal interface is a grid. The grid is that part of design that is capable to establish s nice and neat order, beautifully arranging visual elements. Using grid will help you define functional groups and the content. Besides, it will be way easier to attract users’ attention to the message of a higher importance by breaking the grid accordingly.
Working with minimal interfaces you should also pay a lot of attention to the color. I’d recommend you to consider a broader palette of colors, but try not to get lost in a rainbow of tints. Whatever they say, a more functional interface can be achieved with a narrower palette. Thoroughly test your palette and make sure that it’s not too flashy. Otherwise the range of tones and tints for the contrasts will be too scarce.
Typography is another element that helps designers make a minimal interface more functional and interactive. Don’t be afraid to experiment and pair fonts of different weight and size together. By doing so, you’ll define hierarchy more sharply and create a nice visual order.
And the last, but not the least, invest your time in interactivity of design. One of the most popular ways to make the site more interactive is to use contrast. If your website is all made in white, for example, add some color to interactive elements so that they can instantly draw visitors’ attention. If all the text is lowercase, make links uppercase, and so on and so on. Unleash your imagination and create stunning and exclusive flat designs!
The main aim of a web designer is to tell his customers a story, hiding it behind the graphic visuals and spreadsheet. If a user doesn’t need any extra words to understand it, a designer is a professional. In all other cases, obviously a specialist lacks skills. However, a problem of modern web design industry is a great focus of designers on the overall aesthetic over all other features of the site. They are stalled at some “cool” factor, rather than make their sites speaking without words. When trying to achieve coolness, it’s easy to lose use and informative content of the site.
The say, it’s impossible to create the site that would be both, beautiful and informative. However, it’s not actually true. There are a lot of examples of such sites which present their data in a clear, organized and visually attractive way. And the main link between all of them is their overall simplicity. The best designs are those that are capable to present data without distractions and prettifications. If you belong to people who think that plain data can’t possibly interest customers, you should change your opinion right now. It’s absolutely needless to disguise the data, trying to make it more interesting. Whatever they say, the content has always been the king, and customers, believe it or not, seek information, not embellishments in the form of pictures, etc.
Whatever you thought about charts, they are not a boring part of the site. Using charts is one of the most effective design element to communicate the message to your customers in a clear way. A lot of large-scale corporations, like The New York Times and others, use chart types on their sites big time despite the fact it’s not a new design trickery. Some of the traditions stay popular in spite of the time. Charts is what stands for simplicity and efficiency. Actually, as a design element charts have been used since the 18th century, in this or that way. And for a very good reason! When comparing charts to the other means of design communication tools, it’s one of the most appealing and eye-catchy! In just a few seconds it’s capable to display big numbers and good chunks of information in an intuitive way. Human brains are arranged in such a way to perceive more and better information instinctively. I think, it’s an important peculiarity that can’t be dismissed (in case you want to be a successful designer).
The groundwork of any website is surely its layout. Depending on how good it is, it’s almost possible to predict with 100% confidence whether a site is going to be successful or not. Layout is a “skeleton” of design which serves not only as the base of the website, but also its aesthetic and feel. That’s why it’s crucially important to meticulously think over all its details and think through where you’d like to place the text and media content. Unleash your imagination here, but never forget about usability of the site. Being a web designer means to be able to see the whole picture with the eyes of potential customers. Hence, the question on agenda is, “what do you want to see first upon arriving on a site?” How would you like to communicate with users through the message? What tools would you like to use? Having got the answers on all those questions, you can start designing, but not until then.
A great idea is to use 3D line animation that would start when the page loads. You can offer your customers to click an arrow or the button “Play” in order to proceed toward the content. Such websites look interesting and attractive. Automatic slideshows that play in the background is another effective way to attract users to the site. Add to it a user-friendly and straightforward navigation bar, colorful blocks with menus and media content and you’ll get a nice and visually attractive design. Always experiment! During experiments you will definitely find a lot of new tricks to implement in your projects. A good idea is to play with the corners, making them either square or round. Change the width of frameworks, add drop-shadows, play with overlay effect to add new tints to your color palette, try various shapes, change the size and scale, and so on and so on.
Layouts with large-scale images look very dynamic. You can greet your visitors with a nice photo on the main page and tacky headline in bold. You can even place the text content on this page, scattering it across several sections. You may think it would look chaotic, but you’re wrong. Each section is defined by a different background color, and the combination of such colorful sections makes the grid. While playing with such grid, you will definitely invent a lot of new designs, making them look more and more interesting!
Some designers like to use videos on their sites, other don’t. I guess, all of them have got their reasons. However, at some perspective, videos can be very useful. A known truth “A picture speaks louder than thousands words” works here flawlessly. If the picture speaks louder than thousands words, videos can speak MILLIONS of words and sentences. Well, and it’s worth mentioning that it really SPEAKS! By posting a video clip on a page, you can introduce potential customers with your team, your work, your projects, you can describe and show what you do. Videos are capable to inspire confidence of your customers faster than any other means of social communication, of course, without taking into consideration your home address and the details of bank account, lol.