In the fast-paced world of website design, it’s important to find a few sources that you can completely trust for information on cutting-edge industry news, helpful tutorials, and real advice from the industry pros. You want to be updated on the various aspects of web design, UX, UI, CSS3, HTML5, Responsive Website design, JQuery, Mobile design and so forth. So why NOT pick a credible source that you’ll be relying on for the information you get?
You can easily spot a top player. But when it comes to narrowing down the list you have to credible sub-niches and blogs, the task can be a bit of a challenge, considering some of the most trusted and valued web design blogs aren’t quite established. Plus you have to sift through an overload of information to find out what’s relevant – and much to your dismay, the majority of the content you find online is either irrelevant or of little value to your career as a web developer, digital marketer, or web designer.
With thousands of website design blogs to choose from, an aspiring web designer will surely have a hard time determining which one among them is worth following.
This post digs through the dirt for a compressed list of 20 websites to count on for UX and website design knowledge.
Smashing Magazine (https://www.smashingmagazine.com/)
Founded in 2006, Smashing Magazine offers an in-depth coverage of the latest techniques and trends in web development. Here, you can expect to find all kinds of information relating to web development including coding, graphics, UX design, WordPress, and mobile designs to name a few.
Web designer and developers have loads of useful and innovative web-related content to choke in in order to upgrade their skills. Readers flock the site to be updated on the latest trends, in addition to being supplied with all the materials they need to make progressive steps in their careers as web developers and designers.
Site Point (https://www.sitepoint.com/)
Site point was launched in 1999, and since inception, the site has grown to be one of the most trusted content hubs for both experienced and aspiring web developers and designers. Among the things, the site blogs about are design, programming, product creation, entrepreneurship and SEO among others.
Readers have an option to subscribe on the site for premium membership where they can access a large collection of video tutorials and eBooks.
1st Web Designer (https://1stwebdesigner.com)
1st web designer offers a broad range of tutorials and useful information on graphic design.
You can visit the site for inspiration methods or as a reference point for graphic design work.
For instance, they have a series of brilliant tips and guidelines on how to design professional logos. Also covered are a list of all the common mistakes graphic designers make most of the time, software recommendations, and random articles graphic designers can either refer to or use to upgrade their graphic designing skills.
Learning JQuery (http://www.learningjquery.com/)
JQuery is one of the languages that beginning developers find it hard understanding. But thanks to learning JQuery, everything you need to know about the language has been broken down into digestible chunks for easy learning.
Here, you can expect to find all kinds of tutorials and resources relating to JQuery, contributed by a number of web-savvy web developers and renowned technical writers.
Reader are given the option to filter through the content supplied based on their level of expertise – beginner, intermediate or advanced. Which is to say the site can accommodate all kinds of web developers starting from stark noobs to advanced ones with years of coding experience under their belt.
Creative Bloq (https://www.creativebloq.com/)
Creative bloq strives to strike a balance between inspiration content and creative tips on web designing, 3D, graphics designing and so much more. It does this by exposing their readers to the best of their design work, dishing out invaluable pieces of information on the latest trends in web development and design work.
The blog offers daily design tips and inspiration content that creatives can use to develop a fresh thinking and supercharge their creative skills.
24 ways started about 13 years ago, and since then it’s grown to be one of the places geeks frequent to expand their horizons.
The blog itself is built around a unique idea, where a team of professional developers and designers get together on the December of every year to churn out 24 articles on selected topics that will then be posted on the blog for aspiring and experienced developers and designers to read and learn from.
This comes as an amazing Christmas gift to the internet community that wish to learn something new and valuable in terms of depth and usefulness.
TemplateMonster is a site dedicated to selling design products including WordPress themes and plugin, and even those of other CMSs. In their blog section, the site has a team of experienced writers and bloggers that frequently churn out quality articles on various web development and designing topics.
The site boasts some of the most used WordPress themes, used by thousands of web owners from all across the world.
Awwwards is designed to promote and recognize the effort and talent of the best web developers and designers one is likely to find online.
Their mission is to scour the internet and dig out for the best talent they can find for them to recognize and promote. Their blog section has thousands of well written and exhaustive articles on various web related content including digital marketing, SEO, UX designing and web development in general, to name a few.
Their tutorials and supplied pieces of information come in both text and video form, with scheduled interviews on renowned figures and influencing forces in the online community.
If you’ve been a web developer for quite some time you probably know how resourceful designmodo can be to your career.
Designed for both developers and designers, the content posted on the blog covers coding, WordPress, and digital marketing. Also offered are how-to tutorials on various topics. That goes without mentioning that they also serve as a marketplace for user design packs.
Design Shack (https://designshack.net/)
Design Shack is well known for offering CSS tutorials. This is the blog you visit to learn sound CSS hacks or CSS on a more advanced level.
Other than that, they also offer tutorials on graphics, html, user design, and so much more. Designed to help you grow professionally, their tutorials can accommodate any level of expertise ranging from beginner to the most advanced level there is.
Envato Tuts+ specializes in offering hands-on experience on different web related topics. Besides posting regular content and tutorials, they also help developers and designers apply the creative skills they have acquired in areas such as coding, photography, illustration, web designing, and so much more.
You’re NOT restricted as to how you can follow the tutorials posted. If anything, you’re allowed to come up with your own schedule and pace of digging through the tutorials provided.
With this flexibility, users have an easy time picking on a topic of interest and zoning right into it without losing interest or getting stuck in a rut.
This is the site to sign up for if your plan is to stay updated on the latest trends on web designing, and also happen to be looking for a platform where you’ll be learning on an ongoing basis.
Here, you’ll be provided with a wide range of topics to learn from including tutorials on how to create WordPress themes or how to introduce new CSS elements to a new website or blog.
If you’ve been in the web development business for quite a while, then you’ve probably heard of Hongkiat – considering their articles are ranked pretty high on the search engines.
Think of anything you want to learn; odds are Hongkiat has it. Better, their content comes from a large number of trusted contributors, each offering a unique viewpoint.
As a web designer looking to create an impact in your line of work, Hongkiat remains as one of the most crucial blogs you can’t afford to overlook.
CSS-Tricks is another resourceful web design and development blog run and managed by a renowned blogger going by the name of Chris Coyier.
Launched in 2007, CSS-Tricks started as a CSS learning site, but over the years it has grown to include all kinds of content relating to web development and web design.
In addition to making regular articles and videos on web design, the site features code snippets and an active web design forum where you get to interact with other aspiring web designers for valuable discussions and meaningful inquiries.
From the name, the site is targeted for front-end developers and web designers looking to upgrade their skills and stay updated on the latest trends and industry news.
A List Apart (https://alistapart.com/)
A list apart is all about helping web developers and designers meet industry standards.
They, therefore, focus on churning out really insightful articles, with contributions coming from some of the well-known industry leaders, on a broad range of topics.
First founded in 1998, the site is a leading journal of mobile, web and interaction design, and is famously known for introducing creative innovations including web-centric layout, responsive web design, sliding doors, style switching faux, CSS sprites, faux columns, and many more – including, championing web practices such as semantic markup, content strategy, accessibility, inclusive design, and progressive enhancement.
Web Designer Depot
Web Designer Depot is focused on delivering the latest discoveries, tips, and techniques in web development and design. It also covers the business side of mobile apps, design work, and online freelancing.
As it stands, the site has grown to be one of the most popular website design blogs on the web. In this site, readers can find in-depth coverage of all kinds of articles and tutorials on web development and designing.
Mockplus is one of the most comprehensive web development and design blog on the web. Focused on delivering detailed content on graphic website design, users interface, latest trends, and prototyping, MockPlus has established itself NOT only as a tutorial based blog but a prototyping tool devoted to breaking down web complexities on user interface into simple, easy-to-work-around chunks.
The tool is credited as one of the fastest and simplest prototyping tools. You can use it to make prototypes by simply dragging and dropping. It also allows you to work on a team project with less strain and effort on your part.
The tool has been used by some of the big players in the industries including Simens, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, UBI, Huawei and an upward of 300 global colleges to name a few.
Speckboy started as a personal freelance web designing homepage of none other than Paul Andrew, a renowned web designer and industry influencer in Scotland. Paul would grow the blog and turn it into one of the most influential design blogs in the sphere, driving more than 1.9 million page views every month.
Today, Speckboy is known for offering an array of insightful tutorials, inspirational arts, graphic design, mobile applications, occasional Lego post, and advertising among others.
Invision is another great prototyping, workflow and collaboration platform for web developers and designers.
Their blog section offers invaluable insights on web design trends. They also cover design inspirations, UI/UX design, productivity, and web business development to name a few.
Hacking UI is a front-end development and interaction design magazine. Founded by Sagi Shrieber and David Tintner, their website design includes a blog section offers a mixture of web development and design related articles.
Basically, Hacking UI is a well-established blog, podcast, and newsletter for web developers and designers with entrepreneurial spirit. It’s a community for makers, especially those willing to take an interactive approach in designing.
WPKube focuses on offering WordPress tutorials. The blog has a huge collection of how-to articles and step-by-step guidelines on various WordPress topics.
Readers visit the blog for valuable information on WordPress and its features. From setting up the CMS, to finding your way around a WordPress theme or plugin and fixing some of the common error or integrating an important feature, this is the blog you visit for a comprehensive coverage on any of the topics.
Excellence in web design is achieved when you find a sensible middle point between a friendly user interface and the site’s aesthetic value. You certainly want your website to function just as good as it looks.
Sadly, most web designers tend to fall in the trap of focusing on only one of the two elements, with a blind eye turned on the other. So they end up with sites that appeal to the eye, but are lacking in terms of usability, uniqueness, and originality.
Your visitors want to hang around your site for longer. They want to consume every single bit of content on your site. A great design delights them and gives them more reasons to continue reading or watching what you’ve provided for them.
Dull, soul-sapping websites are not captivating in any way, regardless of how friendly they are. The site needs to standout and, above all, perfectly blend with what you have going on with your brand.
Achieving this is NOT something you wake up and get done. You have to be creative. Stay up the whole night cudgelling your brain for some inspiration on how best you can optimize your site.
And even with this, you’re still NOT guaranteed of coming up with a design that feeds into your site’s user experience, usability, and functionality, besides complimenting both your brand and content.
If the design isn’t coming along, then there’s no need to continue beating your brains out. Instead consider looking into a list of tested web designing ideas to set you off on the right foot.
Here are 16 ideas to get you started:
Interactive in web designing means control. Users need to feel like they’re in control of what they’re seeing and reading. They can scroll down to a section that piques their interest the most or skip whatever they don’t feel like reading or watching.
In other words, your visitors should have an easy time accessing whatever content they feel like reading or watching with a simple click of a first-glance-noticeable button or link.
The idea is to make the experience your visitors have while navigating your site as lively as it’s humanly possible. You want some sort of engagement between them and your site, and the best way to achieve this is to consider incorporating a series of interactive elements on your site.
Where you could have used a typical menu, consider using a lively animation instead. The designs used should also change upon hovering and clicking, rather than remaining static all through.
Use Original Illustrations
Where you could easily use stock images and designs, why NOT hire a graphic designer to specifically work on creating unique illustrations, banners and customised images for your website or blog?
You want the design to match you brand, and NOT come off as if you pulled a canned illustration off another website or recycled one of the overused stock images floating around.
A good graphic designer should help you achieve that. The illustrations made need to be original, and in a position to tell the world about your brand. The pages you have on site should all tie in together — and not randomly patched up as if each one of them represents a different brand.
Use Background Videos
There’s no harm in letting some videos play in the background. There’s a lot this does to a page that you can’t afford to miss, besides enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your website.
These videos can tell a story, which can go a long way to reduce the amount of content you could have otherwise used to explain the same thing.
A background video also acts as a snippet of a full video. Visitors can decide whether or NOT they want to watch the full video with a simple click of a button.
A good background video should be centred around capturing the attention of a visitor the moment they land to your page. They may also be designed such that they also allow visitors to learn about the key points surrounding your company through a single line of text when a visitor lands on it.
Use Hamburger Menus, if possible
This applies if the website you’re designing is set to have an extremely long menu. You don’t want the menu to take up lots of your site’s space. So what do you do?
You create a hamburger or hidden menu.
This form of menu will simply be super compressing your menu options by stacking them horizontally one on top of the other.
This removes the busy navigation, thus leaving a user with a clear path to take and minimal distractions on the way.
Users know how to progress to every section of the website, but until they decide to do so, everything stays out of the way.
Use Larger Product Images
There’s a reason many B2B are now displaying super large product images on their sites. One being these images allow them to highlight different parts or features of their product.
You scroll an image and it automatically expands exposing a large coverage of the selected part and feature. These images tend to be also responsive, and will automatically adjust to fit any screen size.
With a larger product image, you give users an opportunity to zone into a certain feature of a product and meticulously analyse it.
As a web designer, all you have to do is work on making the images scan-friendly. The giant images should respond with scrolls and clicks, allowing visitor to scan through product features at a much deeper level, but only on a whim.
Feature videos allow you to highlight a specific use associated with a product. These videos are great because they’re short enough so as NOT to cut much into a visitor’s time.
At a time when videos are fast becoming the most prominent way to increase conversion rates, this comes as a great way to convert greater amount of the traffic you’re getting into actual sales.
As a B2B company, the point is to come up with a video explaining your products in full details, with a strong aim of influencing buyers’ decision-making process.
One thing about the short videos is that they allow your prospect to completely understand the value of your products within seconds of watching. This saves times, besides allowing you to cut on fluff and get straight to the point.
Choose a Flat Design
There’s a reason Apple decided to switch to a flat design in 2013.
Quite simple, a flat design is a term cutting across all elements that do NOT give a three dimension perception. A good example is shadow.
Flat designs are widely treasured for a number of reasons, one being their simplicity.
They also tend to load more quickly compared to their complex counterpart.
This explains why many organisations are following the apple footstep. You can even decide to throw in your own spin by including a few three-dimension features, and so long as you’re NOT overdoing it, your website should continue to load just fine, in addition to realising all the benefits associating with a flat design.
Among them is the ability to understand your content rather quickly. This might cut into the aesthetic appeal of your website, but it does a great deal of favour to usability and all else.
Large and Unique Typography
Typography plays a major role in branding a company’s web portal. With thousands of different font options to choose from, always aim to settle for the most unique font you can find.
There’s no harm in using the same font type throughout your website. All you have to do is play around with the font sizes to lead users to the various sections of your site.
Your choice of typography can also tell what line of business you’re in. If your business is all about fun, then it’s common knowledge to choose a playful font.
As a designer, it’s also important that you test the font type you choose across all devises before deciding on whether or NOT you’re going to use them. You certainly don’t want your site to be displaying awkwardly in some browsers. So be extra careful while choosing one.
Shift Your Focus to Content
Don’t strain much into layout, menus, widgets and side bars, but instead try channeling all your effort into what really matters — your content.
Strive to make your content more visible and accessible. Make it easy to read and captivating enough to stay hooked all the way through.
Otherwise referred to as content-hub, the idea is to pick as many spots as possible on where you can place your content. Be it at the front or center, your content must be the first thing your visitors see upon visiting your site.
This idea works well with media companies, whose model is for the most part concerned about marketing their content.
Find a Way to Make Your Visitors Want More
Not an understatement — in web designing, less is more. With simplicity in mind, you get to shift your focus to the key features.
You want your visitors to keep scrolling and navigating to every corner of your website. So you decide to get rid of all the fluff. Cut off everything you don’t find useful and instead shift your focus to what really matters — your products and content.
The site can be simple to only include the name of your brand and call to action button. Nothing else, except for a menu option leading to the blog.
Going the minimal way could work for some brands. But for others, the more colourful the site is, the better it works for them.
A good example is a website involved with fashion. There’s no way you can afford to make such as site dull, unless your plan is to scare away some of your visitors.
But be extra careful when choosing colours. If the basic colour scheme doesn’t blend with the idea you have in mind, try looking into the vibrant colours, but take a more careful approach to ensure nothing falls out of place in the end.
You can get someone to design simple whiteboards that you can strategically place at different locations on your website.
These video can also work at the background, with simple illustrations highlighting the various components of your products or website.
It’s important that you make the video subtle enough not to distract your visitors. The video can be followed by a CTA at the end so that visitors can known what to do at the end of it all.
Make the CTA Bold and Conspicuous
Web designing is for the most part concerned with creating an entirely new user experience. But at the end, everything is about getting your visitors into doing something for you.
People have to know what you site is all about, and once done, be able to move to the next stage of your interaction and make a decision.
You want them to buy your product, subscribe, or fill up a form; why NOT make it visible early enough instead of hiding your supposedly good intentions?
Embrace Parallax Scrolling
With parallax, you’re simply increasing the visual appeal of your website by making it change with every scroll you make.
It could be the background that changes or the animations you have on board. Either way, scrolling your website alone should be able to create a memorable experience that will keep users coming for more.
Adopt a Fun Navigation
You don’t have to limit your website theme to only one look. Why NOT let your visitors decide for themselves instead.
Simple, let them pick a version of your site that they prefer best, by offering them a number of options.
The choice they make can be based on their persona. Or something simpler like, choose your area of interest, adventure or preferred way of fun.
Provide a Visual Tour
Pulling this off is bound to be even easier if you’re working with a photographer or happen to also double as one.
Works if your line of business is involved with a physical location. Speaking of which, a restaurant, church, or guest house website should perfectly work with the idea.
Visitors get to interact with images of your brand, location, and the working personnel, exactly as they are while on duty.
It’s a Wrap
As a web developer or designer looking to grow, it’s important that you develop a habit of learning, regardless of your level of expertise. From experience, there’ll always be something new to learn, no matter the amount of knowledge you’ve managed to muster over the years.
The problem comes with finding relevant and up-to-date information for the web design topics you wish to learn. The above list offers a rundown of top-of-the-shelf blogs to consider checking out for web-related articles and comprehensive tutorials on any web designing topic that strikes your fancy.
Just as informative as any of the blogs we’ve mentioned is the MediaOne blog. And just in case you fail to understand any of the topics covered, you can make a point to contact MediaOne today for help or free SEO consultation. We are also the leading providers of website design services in Singapore.