What I learned about design at PiCon

My name is Meesha Gerhart and I am the owner of RedTree Web Design. Before I started RedTree I was a part owner of PiCon Web Design. During my time at PiCon the internet went through a huge design transformation from drastic gradients to flat design and boxed layouts to full-width elements. During my 8+ years at PiCon, I studied a lot of design while learning more about development and customer service.

Major lessons I learned about design:

It’s all in the detail

What makes the difference between a good site and a great site is the detail.

  • The right line-height and font-size ratio creates a better user experience
  • Too much space can be bad. Think of it as a long pause while you’re having a conversation with someone.
  • Content is aligned to help create a seamless flow

Stay current

Staying up on the latest design trends so my websites wouldn’t be dated before I even started.

  • That awkward time when buttons switched from gradients to flat. It reminds me of my teenage years. You knew when a website was dated just by their buttons.
  • Boxed design vs full width. This has become more popular due to device compatibility.
  • Less is more. The days of throwing everything plus the kitchen sink on your website is gone. Present limited information with style.

Having a goal

It was my job to transform a whole conversation into a visually appealing design

  • It can’t just look pretty if it not serving a purpose
  • Introducing new elements and colors need have a reason. I couldn’t just throw a new color into the website that didn’t match their branding without an explanation
  • There needs to be a clear message with clear action. No matter how small the design may be, every design should have a next step you are trying to convey to the viewer.

Even though I am no longer a partner of PiCon, the things I learned there will be with me for the rest of my life.


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