The first thing we pay attention to when redirected to a new website is its design. We often define how convenient and exclusive the website is just at first sight. Thus, no matter if there are lots of entertaining and unique content uploaded, the website will be judged by its cover, namely, its design.
In this article, we’re going to talk about creating a pixel-perfect Mockup which directly leads us to the development of an exclusive website design.
Why website Mockup is important?
Usually, there are four main stages of developing a product:
Wireframe which is a rough draft showing where website elements should be placed.
Mockup, unlike wireframes, has a specific style, includes colors, shapes, buttons, and other style components.
Prototype is a clickable working product developed for testing. It’s similar to the final one but with limited functionality.
Final product combines the completed design and required features.
During the website design phase, it’s better to create a wireframe first, followed by a mockup which is a must and prototype – an optional part.
For us to understand the importance of creating a mockup, let’s review its main advantages:
- Issues detection. When you turn ideas into reality, you often see all the downsides of the design. This way, in case of issues such as incorrectly placed elements or buttons, non-matching colors, etc., designers can edit the mockup at once.
- Variety. Designers and customers may have different views on how a perfect website looks like, so showing a model to the client is a great way of finding a compromise.
- Attracting clients. It’s better to present the idea while having a well-designed draft of it. After all, we often need to see things to believe them.
- Investors’ engagement. Looking for investors with a simple wireframe is often not enough, so try showing a more developed model of your future project to motivate them.
- Reference point. Seeing a mockup is a specific reference point for customers as now they get the full understanding of final product appearance.
- Easy-to-change model. After seeing the full model, customers can easily discover its flaws, for example, the same non-matching colors or misplaced buttons. In turn, the designer can fast and easily correct them.
How to create the right mockup of my website?
Prior to working on the mockup, you should fully understand the main idea of the project, know what features to implement and what services the website will provide. It’s also important to define the target audience and their average age. A well-planned mockup reduces the cost of web app development services and helps to speed the process up. At this stage it’s necessary to define if the design should be:
- responsive (automatically conforms to browsers' sizes),
- adaptive (adjusts to different screen sizes and browsers),
- flat (focuses on functionality, primary colors, and typography, without effects, textures, etc.)
- material (flexible, with grid-based layouts, animations, padding and other elements added)
Finally, carefully consider how the website should look on smartphones or tablets, and on screens with higher or lower resolution.
There are also a few basic rules designers should follow to develop a great product.
- Stick to one style. The use of various color palettes is rather inappropriate as a website design with mixed elements from different palettes is not something customers are glad to see.
- Work on a visible logotype. The logo should be properly adjusted and well-seen from first glance. However, it should not distract the customer and become an eye-sore.
- Implement structure. Well-structured content is always much easier to perceive. Thus, it’s worth organizing it with the help of grids to make the information both loud and simple.
- Call-to-action parts. In order to make users perform a specific action, for example, subscribe to your blog or purchase an item in an online store its button should stand out and draw attention. However, it’s better to think twice before adding something big and neon yellow as the button may distract the customer from website searching.
- Choosing a layout. Currently, there are three main layout types of placing important elements.
Z-pattern uses left-to-right and up-to-down concept for placing vital elements on a webpage. This approach works for landing pages or specific websites, and can also be applied in dashboards.
F-pattern is developed according to the research done on webpage visitors eye-tracking. Website pages with rows of content, for example, Google search results or Facebook are the best examples of F-pattern layouts.
The Gutenberg diagram can be applied in case visitors are interested in reading the entire article or product description. The layout is based on the habit of reading content from left to right, and from top to bottom. When the diagram is applied, the visible content is divided into four quadrants such as primary, strong and other optical areas.
Common mistakes in mockup design
Mockup design should be done in a proper way as it influences the general appearance of the page and makes it much simpler and faster to use. However, there also are some important ‘do nots’ that can completely ruin even the best mockup design.
First, you need to choose how many vital elements are there and which ones to add. When working on a mockup, you can refer to the following golden rule – if you hesitate about adding an element or option, you don’t actually need it. The webpage should include only the required elements in order not to be overloaded and thus become unusable.
Second, when working on a website design make sure to pick only matching shades. For our convenience, a number of mockup creating tools already have color schemes selected.
The last but not least point to remember is being attentive to fonts and background colors. This is especially applicable to the websites where text information, posts or articles are the main content. In such a case you need to make sure the text can be read clearly. Bright fonts and dark backgrounds won’t do any good but rather make text posts unreadable.
Finally, as we’ve already mentioned, website design should adapt to resolution and platform changes. This way, a webpage should be reflected on a mobile device, PC or tablet without any issues with graphics, backgrounds, text information and tables.
As you can see, designing a website requires thorough planning. That’s why a good mockup can serve a few purposes at once, from attracting investors to problems solving at the very beginning of the project development. Mockups help us understand what to add and what to remove, resulting in the delivery of more effective and customer-friendly website design.