What makes for a good website design:
Good web design is the result of constant refinement, practice, and experience. There is no substitute for practice. Even naturally gifted artists must practice to achieve the best results. Have you ever observed a great athlete at the top of his game? He or she moves with finesse and precision that seems effortless. They are efficient, moving and scoring with a grace that makes the game look easy. However, it is not easy. That skill and economy of motion are the results of much hard work and practice.
Great art may look simple. The sketches of Leonardo Da Vinci are made with rudimentary tools of charcoal and paper. Yet, his renderings of simple curves and shading expertly capture the human form. His ability to evoke the personality of his subject is evidence of a masters' touch. That ability was acquired through hard work, repetition and refinement.
How to Become a Good Web Designer
Good web design is the result of much hard work. That simple truth is often not obvious to many individuals who want to become web designers. Six months or a year of education in web design basics will not produce a good designer. It's only the start. Like a good athlete, accomplished web designers are driven to constantly improve their craft. The desire to become better must be matched with continuous effort. A school can only provide the tools. A good student must be driven to master them.
Along with constant effort, continuous observation is essential. What is in good taste? What is appropriate? What communicates best? You derive answers to those critical questions by observing the interplay of people and culture. Studying good design in other disciplines such as architecture and print design will enable you to use the same principles in your work as a web designer. Even nature can be a wonderful teacher. When you see great design, learn to instinctively ask why. The principles behind its' success become obvious with a practiced eye.
“Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated.” Paul Rand, one of the great graphic designers of the twentieth century made that insightful comment. It is true. Simple design is complicated. The complexity lies not in the final product, but in the incremental refinements required to attain it.