So, you know your client, his preferences and the emotion you want a client to feel upon entering the website. You also know how colour and shape works to create an emotional reaction in your target audience. You've picked out the navigation system that best suits your site architecture and your typography is first class.
It's time to polish your web design with one of the most important secrets to great web design.
Know thy grid
Ever notice how some websites can deliver a vast complex of information and products in a way that is somehow perfectly coherent to a visitor? How do they do it?
One of the most important things I learned from graphic design books was the concept of a grid to determine the exact position of every element. Establish your grid at a very early stage in your development. Be as creative as you want with the preliminary design but when it comes to positioning elements within your design such as text, text columns, headers, ads and images, be very precise.
The human eye can see patterns extremely well and can pick out pretty much every deviation from a pattern even if a visitor is not consciously aware of it. So if a column of text is aligning with the left edge of your company logo in the header but is off by a pixel, the human eye will notice that. Take the trouble to make everything perfectly aligned within your design. If one ad is 155 pixels tall and the ad next to it is 154 pixels tall, the eye will pick that difference out. Be absolutely rigorous in the application of mathematically precise positioning and scale. If you do so, the human brain will see the symmetry, be pleasured by it, will more easily navigate between items and will more rapidly process any information contained in the grid.
Remember, the grid can be anything you want so you have complete artistic freedom. However, once established, donâ€™t deviate from it unless you are implementing a strategy to attract attention to a particular place.