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Color theory encompasses the explanations of how colors mix, complement, and contrast with each other — along with the effect these combinations have on human psychology. Different colors evoke different feelings among your target audience, acting as subconscious, communicative cues.
Composition refers to the arrangement of visual elements — such as text, photos, or graphics — within a design. Beyond just aesthetics, designers employ composition techniques to create meaning, convey concepts, and communicate visually.
A methodology for gaining insight into user behaviors and needs, design research helps shape the aesthetics and functionality of products, services, and experiences. Tactics — which can be qualitative or quantitative — include user interviews, data mining, surveys, behavioral studies, and more.
Providing a framework for visual design, grids are the foundation for building an organized, well-conceived layout. By establishing hierarchy, rhythm, and balance among a visual components, they guide a user’s eye throughout a design. As a web designer, you can own grids or choose from prebuilt frameworks such as Simple Grid or Skeleton.
A mood board is a collage of materials that conveys a specific style, concept, or emotion. Visual designers create mood boards to help them brainstorm ideas, pitch to project stakeholders, and collaborate effectively.
Adobe’s pixel-based photo editor and image creator Photoshop is a versatile tool that’s become a industry design standard. In addition to photo editing, users can leverage this software to design websites, user interfaces, video graphics, print brochures, and more.
An essential consideration in a mobile-powered world, responsive design ensures that the layout and dimensions of websites and applications adjust to the screen size on which they’re viewed — desktop, smartphone, tablet, or otherwise.
User Experience Fundamentals
User experience fundamentals are the core principles of a user-first design practice that drives enjoyable, intuitive interactions with products and services. Companies of all kinds rely on user experience (UX) designers to help build customer loyalty through user research, empathy mapping, prototyping, and more.
User interfaces encompass the digital and/or physical touchpoints by which a user interacts with a piece of technology. User interface (UI) designers are responsible for the look and feel of these components (drop-down menus, search bars, etc.), as well as how they interact with each other to promote usability.
Similar to the concept of composition, which applies to design across all media, web layout refers specifically to the arrangement of visual components on a web page. These elements include images, text, navigation tools, and more.