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The Importance of Aesthetic Relevance in Web Design On corners of the web like these, people talk more about the function of web design than of any other aspect. Function is important, and it can even be beautiful. While your friends and relatives might glaze over when you start talking about the more elegant points of your JavaScript code, this doesn\'t mean that they don\'t reap the benefits in a beautifully constructed user experience. And while good code should not be underemphasized, the aesthetic brand of design should also not be neglected.

Label: web design, good code

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Design is a combination of art and functional craft. One without the other is poor design. Many people excel at one or the other. Designers often come to the field from one of two starting points: coding and art. It takes a special person to have a real sense of both, so these hybrid designers are in short supply. It's why so many firms employ both developers and designers. But as many developers also do their own visual design, it's important to make sure that it is as considered a part of the finished product as the code itself.

This can be a challenge for solo freelance designers, or one-person firms. If development is your specialty, but artistic design is required of you, you've got to figure out how to make your stuff look better. There are many ways to do this. Invest some time in this effort every day and your work will steadily improve. While many say that "taste" cannot be learned, there are so many design conventions that make specific pieces of work "relevant" or "irrelevant" that steady observation can reveal ways to make your work more broadly appealing in a visual sense.

The internet makes this a lot easier. Rather than having to dig through trade publications like the designers of yore did when they were trying to bone up on their aesthetics, you can let the internet itself tell you what works and what doesn't. Explore sites and mobile experiences that you admire. Then explore sites and mobile experiences that are popular, but that you don't necessarily like. Take notes. Create a Pinterest board of combinations of fashion and function that you think work particularly well. Spend some time on web design forums and blogs which cater to the more artistic side of design.

Finally, just practice. A lot of knowledge about color and shape and form can only be learned by doing, by trying to figure out what works best, by moving things around until you're satisfied. There's a learning curve, as with all other aspects of design, but if you learn this one, you'll be one of the rare designers who can handle all aspects of complex projects. In some ways, it's profitable to have to rely on oneself for both design and development. Larger firms like WSI have a stable of specialists, each devoted to a specific aspect of design. But most people have a large capacity for learning, and you can increase your skill set and make yourself more marketable in the process, by learning to be aesthetically relevant in your designs.


Phong Thai Phong Thai is a Web Developer, Web Coder for 20 years with PHP, JavaScript, CSS. He is the creator of - provide thousands of free JavaScript code examples, web development tips and tricks, helpful blogging guides.

Follow him on twitter@js_bank or connect with him on facebook@jsbank if you want. His websites for your knowledge:,,
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