Three Tricks to Get Your Site Design Out of the Weeds

Square Design Guild | Tips and Tricks to Get Your Squarespace Site Design Out of the Weeds | Squarespace Site Design Series

Get Your Design Out of the Weeds. Asap.

We all get sidetracked with little icons, buttons, fun layouts, or even the DIY process that can lead us astray in web design. This happens in particular with Squarespace because of the WYSIWYG method of designing. You are designing right within your site, and see just a small focused region of the design and not the whole picture. So easily if we forget to look at the big picture of design, we get these little design weeds growing here and there. Let's get rid of them shall we?

 

Start with completely new pages/indexes.

The easiest  way to get into the weeds is try and replicate an old template in a new one. Do yourself a favor and re-do all your pages from scratch. This way you design the content you need without distraction from what you were potentially trying to get away from with your new design in the first place. Just don’t forget to rename your URLS. 


Screenshot Your Site

Full Screenshot is one of the best ways to get a full picture of your site. Note, it only works when your site is live (so for this one we suggest making your site live, or page unprotected by password for a few mins to get the screenshot — then just add your password protection back. 

A screenshot will help you see the overall design. Are the images to heavy? Is the site as clean and minimal as you had hoped? What is drawing your eye, is it the same thing you want your audience to see first?

tip: try experiencing your site on others computers! not all of us have a 32 inch retina screen:)

tip: try experiencing your site on others computers! not all of us have a 32 inch retina screen:)

3. Use your Insp. Content to Your Advantage (or try stock!)    

Photos to Help Build Your Site (this one is going to be controversial I know…) But hear me out. A good moodboard/set of insp. photos are used by designers to create a style not emulate. One of the best ways to keep the site “on brand” when you don’t have brand assets yet is to use your insp. Just be sure to delete and replace with content that is INSPIRED not COPIED. This can help so much when you get off color/or can help you realize the type/style of photography that is or is not going to work in the final design.  

 Sometimes even just good free stock photography can do the trick in this case. Try UnSplash — our favorite for free stock, mostly because of the collections. You can easily search “minimal” collections and get great photos to use in place of or in lieu of your client’s work. It will help you keep to your minimalist design when figuring out your layout. Or maybe you know the photos will all be dark/moody… or even colorful and detailed food photography. Giving yourself the ideal photography/content helps you improve the design around it.

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Just remember you need to remove yourself, stand back and most likely simplify your design. In the end, you will most likely realize that your content is just as important as the design, but over-designing is incredibly easy to do, and something you want to be careful about as a designer.