5 Simple Web Design Polishing Techniques

Posted: 06 December 2010

5 Simple Web Design Polishing Techniques

There are many different factors to consider when designing a new website, such as the look and feel, usability and structure. However there is another area that can sometimes be forgotten in the rush to get a great looking web design ready for client approval. This area can be referred to as 'polishling', which is basically another way of making the design grab the users attention.

Simply put, there are 5 easy ways to get your new website design to look even better. We'll explain these techniques below.

  1. Use of anti aliased text - can often be over looked when designing for the web. Mainly used in your image based text, anti-aliasing is the technique of reducing distortion artifacts. The best way to reduce this distortion is to make use of the ‘Character’ panel in Adobe Photoshop. The options available are None, Sharp, Crisp, Strong and Smooth. Experimenting is usually the best way to find the best results as different fonts and sizes will display different results.
  2. Use of stroked borders - can really add some extra finesse to a website design. It can give some contrast to surrounding elements and in turn provide more depth to the design. In Photoshop you can use the 'Stroke' option in the 'Layer Styles' panel. This technique can easily be applied to large text as well.
  3. Use of gradients - can add some much needed depth to the design. If used correctly on certain elements along with a slight transparency it can help to bring them to life. The 'Blending Options' panel will give you access to these features, but use sparingly as too much of something can be a bad idea!
  4. Use of grids for structure - when designing for websites can be a vital tool. In using the grid feature, alignment and spacing can be setup correctly and more importantly uniformly. You can setup a uniform padding of say 20 pixels for content relates boxes quickly and efficiently by using this method. You can simply drag guidelines from the rulers (sides, top and bottom) to setup your grid before you start laying out the design. Ctrl + R is a great shortcut to turn rulers on/off.
  5. Use of levels, curves & unsharp masking - is a great way to ensure that both the images and icons throughout your design are of the highest quality. By checking the colour balance, sharpness and contrast of each image you can make sure that it displays in harmony with the rest of the design. We would recommend making use of Photoshop’s ‘Levels & Curves‘ & ‘Unsharp Masking‘ tools to help with this aspect of the design. Please use the links to find out more information on those tools.

Hopefully these tips will help you in polishing off your next website design.

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