Heartmade Blog

Top 20 Web Design Tips from a Web Design Aficionada


Yeap, that’s me, the girl that looks at websites for a living + for leisure too, so much so, that I typically forget which is which. What I do know for sure is that my ultra trained eye can spot a glitch or a spacing error from a mile far + my super sharp genie skills can make split second interpretations about how a site is perceived by it’s “right” audience. It’s wicked + totally true.


But all superhero bragging aside, I’ve come to appreciate how these abilities have saved my virtual butt + also helped my clients revamp + fine tune their online presence – particularly how their brain is packaged + positions on the web.


That’s why, in today’s Friday Video Time episode I’m disclosing my top 20 web design tips. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover so let’s get straight to it, shall we?


I truly hope these prompts help you awesomezine your online presence.


Make sure, before you leave, to add you web design aficionada (or aficionado) secrets in the comments below. I’m always so curious to know what’s on your mind.


Talk to you soon!



Mayi Carles

55 Responses to Top 20 Web Design Tips from a Web Design Aficionada

  • April says:

    Such a good one Mayi!!! We’re thinking on the same page…my video next week will complement this one well!

    I need to know what books are in the background of this video. I see Crazy, Sexy Diet, The Power of Unpopular, and Spirit Junkie. What are the other two?!?! I’m always looking for AWESOME books to read. πŸ™‚

  • Melanie says:

    Thank you – really helpful tips. And it was very easy to see examples of what you were talking about just by looking at your website!

  • Kim Gosney says:

    I totally love 6, 12, 17, 18, + 19 or is that really 1-20? Amazing tips + thanks for keeping us focused on narrowing the sidebars + fonts + colors (that’s oh so tough!) these tips are ones that I have implemented + am using so I really LOVE what it does for you site! I just love how you have your photo on the sidebar of heartmadeblog so I really need to get my photo on the sidebar. I took your advice on the photo being featured on all social media + added a photo + it makes me smile every time I see a little me hugging that orange mailbox on my Facebook + twitter!

    BTW – where are the adorable pencil necklace kits??? I would totally buy a pencil necklace kit from YOU ’cause whenever you wear one…I want one too!

  • Bee says:

    I’m here, was that a shout out to me? Me miss a Friday with you? And great minds think alike since I’m sitting with my pencil necklace around my neck. Excellent, excellent video. You cover so much material that I want to write the list and hand it over to a website designer. Do you do that? I’m gearing up! Nobody can bottle that cheerleader inspiration that you give us each FRIDAY.
    Bye for now β™‘β™‘
    P.S. Love, love your new pads!

  • Licia Dantas says:

    I couldnt agree more with every tip you gave us today. Definitely a guide to follow here. xo, Licia

  • Michelle Ainslie says:

    So super true. You are spot on! So glad we agree – those are some of the things I mention in my website course too. I also used your site as an example of my TOP 10 Creative Bizz sites…because you ROCK IT πŸ™‚
    So great that you’re helping us rocket into orbit too.

    Oh, and ADORE your necklace. I bought pencil earrings last month from Etsy. I am a die-hard creative nerd πŸ™‚

  • mayicarles says:

    April: Can’t wait to see your vid’ (I agree, we are like telepathic sisters hehehe). Books you missed: Freedom Blogging in Your Underwear by Hugh Macleod + Fascinate by Sally Hogshead + Different by Youngme Moon.

  • mayicarles says:

    Melanie: Awwwww thank you sweetie. I do try my hardest to follow my own advice LOL πŸ™‚

  • mayicarles says:

    Kim: I LOVEEEEEE the pic of you with the orange mailbox. SOOOO ADORABLE. It’s perfect… SOOOO PERFECT!

    I got all of my lapicitos necklace from corarazon de galena… here’s the link: http://www.etsy.com/listing/76314326/lapicitos-necklace

  • mayicarles says:

    Bee: Thanks for running in every Friday Bee. I really appreciate it! I’m actually compiling a more comprehensive web design list that looks like it could be a book in the future. So excited to see how everything turns out πŸ™‚

  • mayicarles says:

    Licia: If my web wizard says so then it MUST be true hehehehehe. Thanks for your stamp of approval darling πŸ™‚ Means the WORLD!

  • mayicarles says:

    Michelle: I was top 10? Seriously? OMG I feel like a rockstar now πŸ™‚ hehehehe.

    Like I told Kim, you can get my lapicitos necklace here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/76314326/lapicitos-necklace

    … I know it’s hard to resist πŸ™‚

  • Shannon C says:

    Great post this week, I kept a pen and notebook handy and wrote down everything as I went along. I am in the process of making my own .com and never thought to put my pic on the front page. I will remedy this at baby’s nap time! Thanks Mayi πŸ™‚

  • Marta Costa says:

    Well, Mayi, Because of this post I’ve changed my entire website today! Just kidding πŸ™‚

    Yes, I’ve change everything (using your tips from the session) but for another reason. I even changed the name! Do you like it?

    Thanks for the great tips.

    P.S. I’m not afraid of you white space, not anymore!

  • Barb says:

    Great tips

    What was the site to help with colors?

  • Emma Cossey says:

    My little site has been undergoing some maintenance lately, so this video is perfectly timed! I’ll be checking my site to see if they tick all those boxes.

  • mayicarles says:

    Shannon C: With a notepad + pen? OMG you’re my perfect student hehehehe. YOU GET AN A TRIPLE PLUS πŸ™‚ Cannot wait to see your new .com + beautiful pic πŸ™‚

  • mayicarles says:

    Marta: I think I almost fell from my chair. YOUR NEW SITE IS TO DIE FOR! And the name, simply PERFECTION!

  • mayicarles says:

    Hey Barb… Oppps sorry I meant to include a link below the video. This is the site, it’s called COLOUR LOVERS – perfect for color trends + inspiration: http://www.colourlovers.com/

  • mayicarles says:

    Emma: Love the synchronicity! Hope to see your site really soon πŸ™‚

  • Cupcakes for Clara says:

    Fabulous post Mayi! Really helpful! I had never thought about putting a photo of myself up in the sidebar – I’m so nervous to add one though!

  • amurphy says:

    Thanks so much for this! I took notes and all of your tips were great. I’m revamping one website and about to start another so these were very helpful reminders.

  • Tatiana says:

    Great tips Mayi, I will keep them in mind for when I create my party planning website soon. Thanks so much!

  • kristin says:

    Great post! I took notes on my post its and stuck them right on my desk. Love your Friday videos. You Rock!

  • kristin says:

    One question for ya..How do you get your little comment avatars to change? I have a custom one but I’d love for them to change. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  • Stacey says:

    Perfect timing for this video, Mayi – I’m starting to plan out my site’s redesign & your tips will help a lot πŸ™‚

  • Kelly Ann Taylor says:

    You are adorable…;)

    Building a website right now, and
    it’s scary and exhilirating all at the same time. I like what you said about you are your brand.

    Maybe I need to loosen up a little πŸ˜‰

  • Lea says:

    Mayi, YOU are adorable! Awesome tips too. I love this stuff and you articulate it really well. πŸ™‚

  • Katie Price says:

    Wowza! You just shared a Ton of really spot-on information.

    A few more tips for bloggers going the DIY route would be to make sure the font for the blog post content is neutral in both font & color! Nothing makes me leave more quickly seeing a blog post written entirely in purple swirly writing.

    Actually, I fibbed, having Music playing when I visit your site will definitely make me leave more quickly.

  • lakshmi says:

    This is by far my Favorite post of yours , Mayi πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing such awesome tips. Practical and doable .

    Also, for colour inspiration, I highly recommend Design Seeds – Jessica curates amazing amazing amazing color palettes. I guarantee you will leave feeling so inspired.

  • lisa @StudioJewel says:

    awesome tips Mayi. thank you for sharing. my site is ALMOST ready to go live….so your timing was perfect!


  • Stephenie Zamora says:

    Hahaha, I loved the intro. πŸ™‚ These are FABULOUS tips and so important for people to hear. I love how you were able to cover so many important items in this video.

  • Jenn says:

    It is so ironic that this weekend is when I am installing my new website (to hopefully launch Monday, fingers crossed) and this was your FVT! Thanks for the go ahead on the white space. All of my fav websites have a lot of white space, but I worry that it will look too plain. Thanks for the affirmation!

  • francesca says:

    Thank you Mayi!:)) your advice about http://www.colourlovers.com/ is great^^You’re superpowering like ever;)have a lovely weekend!

  • mayicarles says:

    Cupcakes for Clara: I would LOVE to see a picture of you πŸ™‚ You can even add a little Clara illustrated cupcake to make it mix well with you brand.

  • mayicarles says:

    Amurphy: So glad this was helpful. Thank you for letting me know πŸ™‚

  • mayicarles says:

    Tatiana: Did anyone say party? πŸ™‚ I’m ready to throw the confetti when you gimme the GO!

  • mayicarles says:

    Kristin: YOU! πŸ™‚ You rock for being here + making me feel oh so special!

    PS: I dunno how to make my avatars rotate, I’m sorry. I delegated that technical task to my web master. But I recommend Licia Dantas if you need a coding programing wizard in your life πŸ™‚

  • mayicarles says:

    Stacey: YAYYYY love it when timing is so perfect like that!

  • mayicarles says:

    Kelly Ann Taylor: YESSSS… if your brand makes you cringe + is all uptight you’ll end up resenting it in the near future. Loosen up + PLEASE have TONS of fun!

  • mayicarles says:

    Lea: Awwww thanks Lea… hugs + kisses to you!

  • mayicarles says:

    Katie: YESSSSS. Amen sister. I hate automatic music + fonts that I can’t even read. HELLO! Please make your fonts “readable” πŸ™‚

  • mayicarles says:

    Lakshmi: Really? Fave video? Wooowwww. I was secretly thinking I went too long on this one plus no bloopers :(. But know you loved it makes me oh so happy! BTW thank you so much for your color inspiration recommendation. I’ll go take a look πŸ™‚

  • mayicarles says:

    Lisa@StudioJewel: I want to see + I want to see + I want to see…. SOOOO EXCITED for you my friend!

  • mayicarles says:

    Stephanie Zamora: HAHAHAHA RINGGGG! Hello… calling my lovely friend Stephanie Zamora to let her know I adore her!

  • mayicarles says:

    Jenn: We are totally in sync girl friend πŸ™‚ LOL

  • mayicarles says:

    Francesca: You too my dear πŸ™‚

  • tasselflower (Mervi) says:

    Nice video and good points. I like COLOURlovers myself, it’s a great resource and a warm community. Made some good friends there.

    My main web design pro hint is: If you are not really really really sure what you are doing, keep it simple and keep it calm.

    And there’s no shame (even if you are a designer or other sort of creative type) to leave it to professionals. Not all the web designers can do what you can, so you aren’t expected to know everything about web design. Right? πŸ™‚

  • Michelle Hayes says:

    Mayi! I love that you gave not 5, not 10, but 20 tips!

    It’s so true that your audience may not be ready to purchase the first time on your site and may need to come back a few more times. As a wedding photographer I know clients will want to be absolutely sure I am the right person to shoot their wedding before they throw down the money.

    Also agree 100% that people need to have a beautiful pic of themselves on their site. It’ soooo important to gain that trust! Pictures are so powerful!

    Thanks for the many, many awesome tips!

  • Jacolien says:

    Thank you for all these amazing tips.
    I’ve typed it all out in my own words while listening to you and I’m definetly gonna have to take a look at all of this every once in a while. To make sure that I’m still on track with what I stand for (although I find that hard to determine…).
    Mayi, coudl you link me up with this colourlover thing you’ve mentioned?
    Thnx again!

  • Adelaida says:

    Lately I’ve heard that illustrators make the worst websites’ and blogs’ designs ever – because we love details and plenty-of-stuff too much. I must agree with that, unfortunately. I’m always struggling and struggling to make my blog look tidy but I think it’s just a mess.

    But with your tips (plenty of them, indeed!) I shall try again. And we’ll see what comes out of it ^^

  • Jane says:

    Thank you so much Mayi, that was just great! So are you, just a delight to listen to . You make me smile:) Thank you!

  • Kristy, Life-n-Reflection says:

    Wow, that was awesome – 20 useful tips in under 10 minutes. Thanks Mayi!

  • Adelaida says:

    Used your tips and now my blog looks just fabulous πŸ™‚ I’m in love with it, really!

    Thank you Mayi :*

  • Daphne says:

    Mayi, I LOVE this video! There are so many great tips here! I really liked your point about white space, that’s a big one for me because I am designing my site right now with a ‘beachy/tropical/airy” feel, and it’s great to have permission to leave some white space! I will be using these tools as I put the last touches on my new site, thank you!!

    xo daphne

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