4 Ways Grids Can Improve Your Website
Keep it Simple!
It is a goal of mine to try and create a unique layout every time I start a new project. When designing, I often push myself to explore different ways to break the grid. Creating interesting focal points with typography and other elements is a great way to ensure that a viewer has a positive experience. Whenever I approach a new section on a page I ask myself, how can I make this area stand out? I can spend a good amount of time trying to overachieve and sometimes over design that I forget that design is most effective when it is simple!
Studying web design over the years has taught me how to effectively design using a grid-based approach. From that point, I challenged myself by breaking the standard grid. By making simple changes like incorporating white space and wrapping text, I was able to create layouts that were interesting and more interactive.
Note that before you can start experimenting, you have to learn the basics. Once you are experienced enough with grids, the possibilities are endless.
What are Grids?
Grids are a network of lines that create a series of squares. In web design, grids are used to divide pages vertically and horizontally. They help to create an organized and functional website that is easy to navigate. You are able to guide a viewer throughout the page making your site easily accessible. Designers are able to arrange elements in various ways that are appealing and consistent. Here are 4 reasons why grids should be used in web design and how they can improve your website and experience.
1. Easily collaborate with multiple designers
Before starting my position at Roundpeg, I was a lone wolf when it came to designing. I never had to think about sharing my design strategy and input, or where I thought the text should be displayed.
But now, as part of a team, a grid system helps to provide a guide where certain elements should be placed. I can create an interior page with an amazing layout and a member on my team will be able to follow the same system, ultimately making it easier on everyone. A grid system can help keep the site consistent, limiting miscommunication, stress, and frustration.
2. Get the job done quicker
When a grid system is in place at the beginning of a design, it is generally quicker to lay out content and move on to the styling. Grids can greatly speed up and improve design time in situations where time is of the utmost importance. While your instinct may be to arrange content as you fit and work towards a great composition, using a grid in the very beginning is much less of a hassle.
3. Break the grid for a little extra “Umphhh”
Deliberately breaking the grid can add more depth, emphasis, and impact. If you have already laid out a clean, organized, and well-balanced design, it will be that much easier to start having a little bit of fun and try something interesting and eye-catching. You always want your grid breaking to be intentional. That way design promotes a positive experience and not one where the visitor wants to cringe. Visit secretstache to learn more effective ways to break the grid.
4. Define whitespace to achieve interesting layouts
One of my favorite things to do in design is implement whitespace. A designer can achieve amazing layouts when whitespace is used appropriately, allowing for a more comprehensive design in sections that incorporate text by adjusting line-height and margin. You are able to increase focus and attention on certain parts of the page with images and hierarchy. Think of whitespace as a tool instead of just empty underutilized space. With more practice and experience you can create incredible web composition.