A designer colleague of mine once joked, “I get paid to color in,” but he and I both know that good design is about a lot more than making something aesthetically attractive (although that’s definitely part of it).
Good design is innovative and puts the user first. We encourage you to go off-piste. Understanding design and implementing best practices into your work will elevate you as a developer.
Here are some trick and tips to incorporate design best practices into your coding:
- Consistency is key
Typography, spacing, layout, and color all need to be used consistently throughout your web app, and, if applicable, across your branding elsewhere.
Luckily, we have CSS classes to help us define and repeat styles across our apps. Repetition helps with usability and readability – both essential aspects of good web app design.
- Optimize images for different platforms
Generate a favicon and implement optimized images so that they look their best on all possible devices. Don’t forget that retina displays require larger sizes.
In HTML use an SVG image format for all graphics. It’s lightweight and scales to all possible sizes.
- Think mobile-first
By now, it’s well known that if you’re developing a web app, it’s imperative for it to be responsive. Since many of your users will be accessing your web app through their smartphones, it makes good sense to write a mobile-first CSS.
Use media queries to separate styles for small and larger screens. Change fonts and image sizes accordingly.
Decide what is the most basic content you need to show to the users in order for them to navigate your app on their mobile phones. Hide unnecessary elements on small screen media queries and only make them visible on larger displays.
- Prioritize readability
When it comes to typography, choose a font size between 16px (1em) and 18px (1.25em) for main body text.
Typefaces with a more open shape are generally more readable choose a font like Roboto or Merriweather for your main text. You can choose to be more adventurous in titles with display fonts.
React Native, Angular and Ionic were built specifically to help create interactive web apps. Of course, a major disadvantage is that you need to invest a fair bit of time to learn how to use them.
Haven’t decided what framework to use? There’s now another option for people looking to develop their own web app. It’s a visual drag & drop app builder system that requires no coding knowledge at all. apprat.io allows you to play around with different styles and designs in an intuitive way. They have a wide range of highly customizable templates for fully responsive apps. Watch this space, it could be a game-changer.
Whatever you decide to go with, we hope that this article has helped you appreciate the importance of design in web app development.