Up until now our focus has been foundation code and information architecture. In explaining information architecture I emphasize storytelling while purposefully deemphasizing design. Here is why:
Firstly, think about what your pages do, not what they look like. Let your design flow from the services which they will provide to your users, rather than from some overarching idea of what you want pages to look like. Let form follow function, rather than trying to take a particular design and make it "work".
- A Dao of Web Design by John Allsopp
By starting with information architecture before design we put functionality and content first, as it should be, and now it's time to design. Like blocks of information, design is part of storytelling, and must communicate the [whatever you are trying to builds] story.
The combination of:
...are the largest contributors to a sites look and feel. Focus on these and you are well on your way to creating website that not only tells your story and accomplishes your goals, but does so with a very unique and story-relevant look and feel.
In my opinion, all of these topics are well within a front end developers reach, albeit branding is by far the hardest and probably best left in the hands of a professional designer. But branding well it's not impossible, and in the next several articles we will explore branding and each of these topics in detail with the following principles in mind:
- Tell a story
- Engage your audience
- Entice action
- KISS (keep it simple stupid)
- Be flexible, don't invest too much ego into a design
- Design for the end-user
- Don't reinvent the wheel
- Revise and release often
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