Front end development is a unique space in programming. To be a genuinely creative front end developer, one has to strike the right balance between the creative and analytic sides of the brain. Once you break free from conventional and rigid frontend practices, you can create websites that people will remember.
Visual art capabilities bring much-needed creativity to front end developers. Also, developing an understanding of digital psychology, color theory, graphic patterns, and design is essential. All these disciplines help front-end developers create impactful designs.
Here’s how you can nurture creativity.
There is no alternative to practice. To be more creative at what you do, you need to keep practicing to recreate some of the best front end works. Awwwards is an excellent source to look out for inspiring designs to clone for practice. With the availability of online resources like Freecodecamp and Frontendmentors, you can practice problems that boost your creativity.
A practical way to be more creative is to create a clone of designs you like. For instance, if you want a particular website, take note of the essential elements like color, typography, layout, content, and media. The more creative websites you choose, the better you will get at understanding design concepts.
Pay attention to typography and color theory
Fonts and colors are arguably the essential building blocks of a website design. You can create attention-grabbing designs if you apply color theory and follow guidelines to use fonts. For instance, if you design a website with humor and fun at its core, use playful fonts like Mouse Memoirs and Fruktur. But if you are working on a website that requires a professional-like appearance, use simple fonts like Roboto, Arial, or Open Sans. Modern websites often use two or more fonts on a single page. It would be best if you learn how to pair fonts properly. You can learn more about typography here.
To be a creative front end developer, you need a basic understanding of color theory. For example, when designing corporate websites, light or toned-down colors are appropriate. If you are working on a brand website, keep colors consistent with the logo. To create a vibrant and dramatic experience, you can use contrasting dark colors.
If you haven’t tried guiding your design based on color theory, you can learn about it here.
Utilize negative space in the layout
Negative space is the empty area between page elements. Creativity is more about balance. It’s not about including too many features to clutter the canvas or leaving too much white space. Appealing designs make use of negative spaces to make elements stand out. Furthermore, negative spaces make pages look organized and clean with evenly spaced segments.
Maintain the beginner’s mindset
As you become a more proficient front-end developer, you may spend less time brainstorming ideas. Over the years, as your coding skills have progressed, you might have created a repository of code snippets that you can plug into different projects.
It’s a great way to save time when working on new projects. But it is hindering your curiosity as you are no longer trying new ways to achieve the same functions. It would help if you never lost the beginner’s mindset. It is essential to ensure that you don’t curtail creativity.
When you get a new project, take some time to work on alternative designs. Look around and draw inspiration from non-conventional art pieces, objects, or nature. A simple trick is to come up with three design ideas. Never settle for the first idea you brainstorm. If you find yourself stuck with the first one, flex your creative muscles.
When faced with a challenge, try to find the best solution. Maybe you need to learn a new tool or work with a language you are not pro at but don’t walk away. The harder you force your brain to develop an idea, the more creative juices will start flowing.
You might be aware of Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours rule. It states that to master any skill, we need to spend a minimum of 10,000 hours practicing or developing that skill.
Unfortunately, that’s half the truth, as discovered by Anders Ericsson, an expert scientist who tested Gladwell’s hypothesis and found it incomplete. He argued that for Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours rule to work, good instructions and feedback are needed to make adjustments. This is why you need mentors who can guide your work and help you innovate.
To be a creative front end developer, you can’t just practice in isolation; you need honest feedback and adjustments.
And, if you are looking for a challenging job opportunity to stimulate your creativity, we can help. Talent500 is the platform that connects the best of talent with fast-growing startups and Fortune500 companies. Signup today and discover global opportunities.