Web Design Do's and Don'ts: Day 1 Basics For Beginners
4.3 (255 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
11,419 students enrolled
Wishlisted Wishlist

Please confirm that you want to add Web Design Do's and Don'ts: Day 1 Basics For Beginners to your Wishlist.

Add to Wishlist

Web Design Do's and Don'ts: Day 1 Basics For Beginners

This quick and dirty guide explains through case studies what you need to know to take your web site to the next level.
4.3 (255 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
11,419 students enrolled
Created by Kristen Palana
Last updated 6/2017
Price: Free
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 37 mins on-demand audio
  • 8 Articles
  • 3 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Recognize major Web Design Do's and Don'ts and be able to apply these principles to any existing and new websites.
  • Know exactly where the most important information on your website should go.
  • Get the rundown on navigation strategies that will keep your web audience on your site and actively engaged.
  • Understand the importance of look, feel, color, and vibe in setting the tone of your site.
  • Develop a critical eye so you can be sure your website is performing at the highest level.
View Curriculum
  • No special knowledge or experience is required to take this course.

"Tried and Tested Web Design Insights! There's a lot of articles surfacing on the web concerning this subject, but they often focus on fads and not fundamentals. This course provides insights into the fundamentals and essentials of proper web design. It's a brief, yet impactful look at some timeless do's and don'ts that can help anyone who is just starting out in the web design world or who needs a refresher. Enjoyed it along with the quizzes!" -C. Eliot.


Would you like to be able to improve your existing website, either one you made yourself or one someone made for you, but you don't know where to start? This quick and dirty (and fun) course will teach you through case studies what to look for in a successful website and how you can begin to design the best possible user experience for your audience all in just a little over 30 minutes.

Grab your lunch and in no time you'll be able to recognize what's working and what might not be working in your website so you'll know what can be done to make it better.

This course designed for complete beginners comes from the very first lecture I give my University Web Design students on Day One, right before we begin building websites from scratch using HTML code. The goal of this lecture and this online course is to help build confidence in first time web designers and to teach how to look at websites with a critical eye. 

This course also is the very first section of my full web foundations course, Web Snax: Super Simple Recipes for Easy Website Design that teaches beginners, novices, and beyond how to create and manage beautiful websites from scratch in the most simple and intuitive way possible.

I'm a practicing award-winning multimedia artist and a former tenured Associate Professor of Digital Media and Program Director of Film & Digital Media at The American University of Rome (2006-2016). I'm currently an Associate Professor of Digital Media at the brand new American University of Myanmar in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). 

I have run my own charitable website, Aura's House that has raised over $125K for needy children in developing countries around the world. I also manage my own online portfolio, and have personally worked on the official website for multi-platinum, award-winning rock band, The B-52's and designed and/or contributed to websites for clients and non-profit organizations.

Since 2000 I've been teaching students all over the world using my tried and true custom approach (turning complex information into something simple, memorable, easy-to-understand in as short amount of time as possible) to ensure that you get the most important, relevant, and useful information that can be applied immediately.

Please note that students enrolled in ANY of my courses periodically receive freebies and discounts to my other current and upcoming courses as well.

Click the "Take This Course" button in the upper right corner of this page to enroll now. I look forward to working together with you so you can empower yourself to achieve your web design goals.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for beginners, novices, or anyone who suddenly finds themselves charged with managing a website who would like to have a better understanding of what makes a good website tick.
  • People who already have some web design training may find this course too basic and should NOT take it. This course is the online version of a lecture I give the very first day of class to my Web Design 1 university students and is also the first 30 minutes of my in-depth, 10+ hour web foundations course, Web Snax. It's designed to build confidence and provide a basic but solid foundation for beginning to create one's own first website.
  • This course does NOT get into HTML, CSS, coding, making web images, WordPress, etc. Those are covered in my other more in-depth web design courses.
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
20 Lectures
Welcome to the Course
3 Lectures 03:04

This brief introduction will let you know what's in the course and who it's best suited for.

Introduction and Welcome!

Welcome to the course. Here I'd like to give you a preview of some of the topics we'll cover.

Quick Rundown on What We'll Cover

This is some background information on the intention behind this course, who it's for, and what you can expect to get from it.

What This Course Is (And What It's Not)
Good Web Sites Have These Things In Common: The Do's of Web Design
4 Lectures 19:10

Learn what the most successful websites do and where they almost always put their most important information.

Your Most Important Information Should Always Go Here

Navigation design should never be an afterthought. Here we'll talk about where to put your links, how to display them, and the do's and don'ts of organizing your site's information.

Where to Put the Navigation, Visual Strategies, and other Good Web Design Do's

The best websites always look like they were made by the same person or team. Here we will talk about important design and content considerations.

Good Websites are NOT Schizophrenic and Other Design Strategies

Is your website giving off the vibe or impression that you intended? Here we'll discuss how color, font choices, imagery, even the way you write your sentences can affect the look and feel of your site, and ultimately how people perceive it.

The Importance of Tone and Vibe in Your Website
Don't Do These Things! -Hallmarks of Bad Web Design.
3 Lectures 10:57

Are you ready for some web design no-no's? Sometimes we learn better by seeing what NOT to do.

Don't Do These Things: What Bad Websites Always Get Wrong

In this fun and playful lecture we'll visit a world where bad web design doesn't necessarily get in the way of finding true love.

More Bad Web Design and How It Can Lead to Love (No Joke!)

More Recent Examples of Bad Websites: The Daily Sucker!
Quiz, Resources, and Extras
8 Lectures 59:32
Web Design Do's and Don'ts: Test Your Knowledge
7 questions

Here is a new free tool you can use that will diagnose the performance, SEO, mobile, and security features of your site. It will help you see where there might be problems and give you tips on how to fix them.

Use This Free Tool To Diagnose and Tune-Up Your Website

This PDF is a true classic and a gem from Nathan Shedroff written in 1997. Sounds ancient right? Nope! It's every bit as valid today, with the only exception being that the websites he refers to by name have all changed since the article was first written.

Recipe For a Successful Website -This is my all time favorite handout.

This is a step-by-step diary of the process of completely redesigning my website recently. Use it to help jump-start YOUR process and see what you need to think about before, during, and after giving your website a makeover.

If you are thinking of using the Elegant Theme Divi or any Elegant Theme in Wordpress, it's also loaded with resources and links to tutorials, podcasts, articles and more that you will find helpful.

This is a sample resource from my in-depth web foundations course, Web Snax: Super Simple Recipes For Easy Website Design.

Downloadable Resource: Step By Step Divi Website Redesign Diary
14 pages

This is a case study of how I chose specific colors for my own personal website when I was redesigning it recently.

New Case Study: How to Use Color Psychology to Boost Your Website

This is a sample lesson from my in-depth web foundations course, Web Snax: Super Simple Recipes For Easy Website Design.

Here is a simple, cheap, and easy way to make a slideshow for your website without needing to get into WordPress plugins or anything else. All you need are your images and Photoshop. (*Remember, you can always get 30 day free trial versions of Adobe software at adobe.com.)

Extra: Create an Easy But Beautiful Animated GIF Slideshow (Sample Lesson)

Online Learning Podcast: Episode 121 With Kristen Palana

This interview with top Udemy instructor, John Colley is full of some of my very best secret color tricks for making an impact, getting your content noticed, and boosting engagement online.

The podcast is aimed at other Udemy instructors, but my color tips can be easily used by anyone with a website or someone who uses text and images online, in presentations at work, etc.

From the program notes, we discuss pretty much in this order:

  • Introductions and a brief rundown of some of the courses I teach on Udemy and their descriptions.
  • How imaging and color psychology can impact your business
  • What color psychology can mean across borders
  • How gender can affect color choices
  • How to use color to affect the way people think about you
  • How to use color to make your courses more effective
  • How to use color in your lectures/websites/presentations to have a positive impact
  • Where you should use color in your Udemy lectures or presentations
  • Why you should avoid rainbow colors in your text
  • Why you should NEVER (almost never) use pink in an online course or work presentation.
  • Why red and orange can invigorate your audience in the right doses.
  • The importance of hierarchy in your online text
  • Why you need to avoid lack of contrast on your webpage
  • Why its easier to read black text on a white background
  • How to make course images stand out
  • How to make your images stand out to get promoted by Udemy

Extra Audio MP3: Color Tips For Your Website and Images to Boost Engagement

This list will give you free resources for your creative projects.

75+ Resources to Get Free Images, Music, and Videos For Your Projects

Here are some free and current resources that will help you on your web designing journey including the textbook I use for my own university students

Get free PDF eBooks on Web Design
Conclusion and Goodbye!
1 Lecture 00:35

Thanks so much for visiting my online classroom. Please leave a review if you have a moment, start a discussion, or ask me a question. I'm always happy to help! Thanks and don't be a stranger. -Kristen

Thanks for Visiting My Online Classroom. Please Review and Don't Be a Stranger.
Bonus: Freebies, Discounts, and Special Offers
1 Lecture 01:09
Bonus: Freebies, Discounts, and Special Offers
About the Instructor
Kristen Palana
4.5 Average rating
1,168 Reviews
31,200 Students
20 Courses
Professor, Award-Winning Artist, & Digital Do-Gooder

My goal is to empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

Since 2000 I have been teaching graduate and undergraduate university students and adult learners in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. I currently live and work in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) and am an Associate Professor of Digital Media at American University of Myanmar

I also lead dynamic workshops and master classes locally and internationally. Recent clients include The UN's World Food Programme (Myanmar), Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), Mango Group (Myanmar), and The American University of Rome (Italy).

I'm an American/Portuguese multimedia artist and educator and a former tenured Associate Professor of Digital Media (2006-2016) at The American University of Rome where I also co-founded and directed its Film and Digital Media Program.

Besides teaching tens of thousands of students at Udemy and other online platforms since 2014, I'm also a Course Facilitator for the UN-mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica) through their Centre For Executive Education.

My work is exhibited internationally and online and has received a number of awards. I received my MFA from Pratt Institute in Computer Graphics and Interactive Media and also hold a BFA in Painting from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

I love taking complex topics and making them simple. 

What can I help you with today?