You’re nearing the end of the development process with your website, but you feel like something is missing. You keep thinking it needs a little extra somethin’ – somethin’ to give it that polished, refined feeling you are so desperately searching for. Sometimes when I get this vibe about a site I’m working on, I immediately start tinkering with things and changing them up. I had to learn the hard way that this method is not always best.

Instead of blindly adding things in and moving content around, here are a few subtle bits of styling you should try first.

  • Adding a subtle gradient, or one pixel stroke to a button will help it stand out from the rest. Especially if your website has that flat design feel, you can easily draw the viewers attention to your call to action with something a little less flat.
  • Making sure your clickable objects have some sort of hover effect so your viewers can clearly see that they are clickable. These hover states are extremely important and even subtle effects can bring a page to life.
  • Adding some very slight drop shadows will give your page more depth.
  • Quality images are very important if you want your website design to stand out and feel complete.
  • Be sure to have the most pixel perfect versions of all of your graphic art. You really want your logos and icons to be clean and crisp!
  • Check the font you are using and possibly do some experimenting with other fonts until you are satisfied.
  • Last but not least, take a look at your overall alignment and spacing. Adjust those margins, make sure all your content has enough breathing room and if something looks a little out of alignment be sure to fix it.

After taking the time to tastefully adjust your website content, step back and look at the whole picture. Another very important facet of a polished website is making sure there is a clear call to action (CTA) for the user, especially on the home page. Have you highlighted the CTA in a way which makes sense and looks nice?

Yes, refinement is a process. It isn’t always about adding more and more stuff. Depending on the amount of content you have on your home page, subtraction may be in order.

Here’s the key, keep your design simple and only add the effects which serve a purpose to provide the of polish you are looking for.