Part FiveLayout

Laying out a website design is where all of the different aspects of web design come into play. From research, information architecture, and user experience design through to the typography, colour and grid systems. Creating a layout combines all of these, but as web designers, we have to factor in other variables such as browser type, screen size and resolution. Do you go fixed width, liquid, or elastic? What about other media types like print? What about other devices such as the iPhone?

Creating layouts for the web can be a headache. With such a bewildering array of choices before us, I've found time and time again that going back to basics – at least initially – helps enormously in designing layouts. By using simple tools of composition, combined with good typography and colour usage, you can achieve a lot with your designs. It's very easy to become distracted by modern web design. The speed at which this medium evolves is sometimes terrifying, and with it, the perceived job of a web designer evolves too. I know sometimes I've felt overwhelmed, confused, and directionless: ‘Should I learn Javascript?’, ‘What about CSS3?’, ‘How do I find time to do all of this?’ Sound familiar? At times like this – and I do find myself asking those questions from time to time – I go back to basics. I go back to composition theory, and colour basics. I refresh myself with the nuances of setting headlines. I get back to what I fell in love with in the first place, and layout is one of those things.

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