Design elements for a website

Interested in learning the hacks of designing clean website layouts and elements? You're at the right place!

Adobe Illustrator provides you a pixel-perfect design environment to create flexible and free-flowing web elements. It offers you everything you need to create a clean and crisp web layout – vector graphics, responsive media icons, scalable components, CSS generation, SVG export, wireframes, and reusable symbols.

Website design

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Adobe XD – Adobe's latest all-in-one vector-based UX/UI solution for designing websites, mobile apps, and more.

5 Principles for effective web layouts

To create a quality web experience, ensure that you pay special attention to the following web design elements:

  • Easy navigation with fewer clicks
  • Optimum and balanced use of screen space, device-independent display
  • Minimal and clean structure - use of grids, tiles, cards
  • Appealing and engaging visual graphics
  • Clear yet artistic typography

Before you start

Any artwork you design in Illustrator typically revolves around the following design themes:

  • Shapes & paths
  • Colors & patterns
  • Text & fonts
  • Images & special effects

Want to learn more? See Essentials components of a website.

Set up a web document

To set up a web document:

  • Choose File – Open. In the New Document dialog box, click the Web tab. From the list of presets, choose a web document type that suits your requirements.
  • Preview and download a sample template. 
Choose a web document
Choose a web document

Design a responsive web page

With the ever-expanding technology, it's important to design a website that responds seamlessly on any OS platform, screen size, and device orientation.

To create a responsive web layout, consider the following elements:

  • Flexible grids and layouts to design a website layout that can be resized to any screen width, such as desktop, tablet, mobile.
  • Scalable media, which includes images, videos, and similar formats.
  • Dynamic media queries to add specific styles for web browsers and devices.

Create a website wireframe or structure

A clean and structured website attracts more visitors. When you design a website layout:

  • Begin with designing the website wireframe to visualize different screen elements and place them in an organized manner on your web page.
    Tip: You can add tiles or cards for easy navigation and modern look.
  • When the first-level user-interface is created, proceed with populating the content and other artistic elements.
Website structure
Some website templates for different screens

Tips & tricks for an organized web layout

  • For smoother look and feel, slice the website into relevant sections. Choose Object Slice.
  • Use rulers, grids, and guides to check and test reference areas and adjust screen elements.
    • Choose View – Guides.
    • Choose View – Show Grid.
    • Choose View – Rulers.
  • To create a precise visual outline, place rectangle objects or text components on the web page to divide the screen into relevant sections.
  • While you focus on the main content of the web page, do not forget to add a creative logo, inspiring hero image, tagline, mission statement, whichever is applicable.
  • To save the website structure, choose Export – Save for Web (Legacy). You can also choose the slices you want to show in the saved file.

See also:

Slices and image maps

Design a web banner

Running a marketing campaign to promote and advertise the products or services on your website? Create an eye-catching banner within minutes!

To create a web banner, do the following:

  • Choose the right document size, typically the A4 document works well for banners.
  • Create a banner outline with the help of the Rectangle tool and specify appropriate dimensions.
  • Add graphics, text, gradient, and be as creative as you want.
Web banner

Related resources

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