Top 10 Front-end Design Principles for Developers

February 28, 2024
Top 10 Front end Design Principles for Developers

Front-end design: what is it? Put simply, it’s the fusion of the user interface and graphic design of a website. Our primary responsibility as front-end developers is to use code to translate designs into reality. Do front-end developers, however, need to be proficient in Photoshop or Sketch and design? Yes, to a certain degree, at least.

Projects produced using a wide range of libraries and frameworks are common due to the dynamic nature of the frontend framework industry. The result of this variation may be inconsistent user experiences between programs and even within one.

During a project for one of my customers, we struggled with scalability problems and inconsistent user experiences. Creating unified themes for white-label partners was particularly difficult because of the complexities arising from using various UI libraries and frameworks in different products.

In this blog post, we have mentioned the top 10 front-end system design principles for you to understand.

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Top 10 Front-End Design Principles

1. Aesthetics

It is quite uncommon to finish a project from beginning to end while preserving every aesthetic change made to the front-end design files. Sadly, designers aren’t always available for a last-minute remedy.

As a result, there usually comes a time in front-end development when you have to make some adjustments for aesthetics. Front-enders typically wind up handling apparently little things like creating the checkmark that appears when you tick a checkbox or creating a page layout that the PSD overlooked. This wouldn’t be the case in an ideal world, of course, but I haven’t found one, so we must be adaptable.

You should always utilize a graphics application for mockups in these kinds of scenarios. Whichever program you select—Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, GIMP, etc.—I don’t care. Don’t try to design only from your code, though. Take a minute to open an actual graphics program and decide on the desired appearance, then modify the code to make it happen. Even if you’re not a skilled designer, your work will nonetheless turn out better.

2. Match the Design

It is your responsibility to integrate your checkbox with the front-end design in website, not to stand out for being exceptionally original.

Individuals lacking extensive design expertise may find it easy to add their personal touch to apparently insignificant things. Leave that to the designers, please.

Rather than inquiring, “Is my checkmark really that amazing?” A better question to ask yourself is, “How well does my checkmark match the design?”

Working with the design should always be your main priority rather than attempting to outdo it.

3. Typography

You might be shocked to learn how much typography affects a front-end design’s final appearance. When you discover how much time designers spend on it, you’ll be equally shocked. This is not a project that can be completed quickly; it requires significant time and effort.

It is advisable to dedicate a reasonable amount of effort to selecting typography if you find yourself in such a predicament. Look up appropriate font pairs online. Take a few hours to experiment with such combinations and make sure the final product has the ideal typography.

If you’re working with a design, be careful to adhere to the typographic selections made by the designer. This extends beyond only selecting a typeface. Take note of the letter and line space, among other things. Remember how crucial it is that the fonts in the design correspond.

Make sure you utilize the appropriate typefaces in the appropriate places as well. You shouldn’t use Georgia for the body and Open Sans for the headers if the designer only used Georgia for the headers. Aesthetics may be easily made or broken by typography. Make sure you are matching the typeface used by your designer by taking your time. The time will be well-used.

4. Tunnel Vision

It’s critical to keep in mind that the components you are creating are only little pieces of a larger front-end design. Make your checks appear as significant as a checkmark ought to, neither more nor less. Avoid tunnel vision on your one small portion and making it into something it isn’t.

Taking a screenshot of the software thus far, or of the design files and design inside it, in the environment in which it will be utilized, is actually an excellent way to accomplish this. In this manner, you can really observe how it interacts with other aspects of the design and whether it fulfills its intended function.

5. Hierarchy and Relationships

Take particular note of how the hierarchy is incorporated into the front-end design. How closely do the titles match the text’s body? What is their distance from the text above them? What is the method by which the designer seems to distinguish between related and unrelated items, titles, and text bodies? These are often accomplished by grouping relevant material together, indicating relationships with different amounts of white space, indicating related and unrelated information with similar or contrasting colors, and so forth.

It is your responsibility to identify the manner in which the design achieves hierarchy and connections and to ensure that those ideas are mirrored in the final output (especially in the case of dynamic or non-designed content). Like typography, this is another area where taking your time and making sure you’re doing a decent job pays off.

Read more: An Introduction to Domain-Driven Design In Java

6. White Space and Alignment

This is a fantastic suggestion for enhancing your front-end designs and/or putting other people’s designs into better practice: Verify that each spacing is a multiple of 20 units if the design appears to be employing spacings of 20, 40, etc.

This is a fairly easy approach for someone who is not good with aesthetics to make a big change rapidly. Ensure that all of your elements are pixel-by-pixel aligned and that there is a consistent amount of space surrounding each element’s edges. Make them precise multiples of the spacing you’re using elsewhere, for example, two times your default to establish some distinction, three times to generate more, and so on, if you can’t do that (for example, in areas where you need more space to demonstrate hierarchy).

7. Do Less

It’s better to have less. You should not add your own front-end design suggestions if your designer has done a fantastic job from the start.

The best course of action if you’re not particularly good at design is to do as little as possible to make that element function. In this manner, you’re influencing the designer’s work as little as possible while introducing less of your own design.

8. Take Time between Versions

Usually, there are several revisions between a blank canvas and a well-designed front-end design. Good work is rarely produced unless one realizes this and accommodates it in their workflow.

Waiting between versions is an essential technique. Work on it until it has the appearance you want, then store it. After a few hours (overnight is best), crack it open once more and have a look. With new eyes, you’ll be astounded at how different things seem. You’ll identify places for development with ease. You’ll question how you could have missed them in the first place because they’ll be so obvious.

9. Pixels are Important

You can’t be flawless in every situation. For instance, you might not have the designer’s level of precision when it comes to letter spacing, and a CSS shadow might not look precisely like one in Photoshop, but you should still try to get as near as you can. You can get pixel-perfect accuracy for a great deal of the design. Making this change can have a significant impact on the outcome. Even while a few random pixels might not seem like much, they build up and have a far bigger impact on the overall appearance than you might imagine. Thus, pay attention to it.

10. Feedback

Developing an “eye for design” is difficult. Attempting it alone is even more difficult. To truly identify where you can develop, you need to ask for other people’s opinions.

Although it requires some boldness, doing so is ultimately one of the most effective things you can do to raise your skill level over time and enhance the project in the short term.

Many are ready to assist you, even if the only thing you need to adjust is a checkbox. Seek out knowledgeable individuals and ask their input, whether it’s via an internet forum or a buddy who works in design.

Wrap Up

While it’s not a must for front-end developers to be master designers or even know how to create a website’s front-end header board or design, they should, at the very least, be capable designers. In order to correctly apply the design to your final product, you must have a sufficient understanding of design ideas to recognize what is happening. If you have a meticulous designer and are detail-oriented enough to replicate every pixel accurately, you may be able to get away with blind copying in some situations.

See also: Popular React UI Frameworks To Build Applications In 2024

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