Web design, summed up in a simple sentence, is planning and arranging content on a website to make it functional for users. But there is so much more to it than that. In this blog, we will go over the following:
- What is website design?
- Why is website design important?
- Web design elements that need to be considered when embarking on web design
What is Web Design?
Web design is the designing of the layout, usability, and appearance of a website. A website designer has the responsibility of creating the design and layout of a website. This includes the colors, fonts, graphics, and the general style of the website. For example, using a bubble font and bright colors will make the website appear fun and easygoing, whereas muted darker colors and text that is written in a clear, consistent font will make it appear more serious. There are many design tools that are used when designing a website which will be discussed later in this article.
The terms “website designers” and “website developers” are often intermingled, but they’re not the same. Developers take the ideas of web designers and use them to build the website.
Why is Web Design Important?
Often, the success of a website is contingent on web design. Web design is important because, many times, it’s the first contact that potential leads have with your company. You want your website to make a good impression on users and you want them to have a great experience while interacting with your brand.
The design of a website also has a big impact on the website’s ranking on search engines. Traditionally, the design of a website was created by code but it is becoming more common practice to use tools and plug-ins as alternatives. All of these, however, still need to be SEO-friendly.
There are many helpful tools for use in web design. You can decide to design a website using either a desktop app or a website builder.
Desktop apps allow the designer to create a design and then send it to developers to create the code needed. Popular desktop apps include Adobe Dreamweaver and Sketch. There are many websites that rank desktop apps. This provides a good guide to help you decide which desktop app will most suit your needs and budget.
Website builders take away the need for experience with code to enable you to build the whole website. There are two different types of website builders, offline and online. Offline website builders are downloaded and the website is built on a computer. Online websites are created on the company’s server. Weebly and GoDaddy are two popular website builders. There are many online resources available that review the different types of website builders in detail.
It’s important to think about your needs for a website before embarking on website design. What do you want to get out of your website? What do you want visitors to do on your website? How often will you need to update the site? This will help you decide on the best desktop app or website builder for your specific needs.
What Makes A Great Web Design – Web Design Elements
In order to make a great website, you need to know what the key web design elements are before you begin. After all, website design can make or break your site. Below, we look at the functionality and visual appearance of websites.
Website performance always needs to be considered when designing a website. A well-working website that is easy to navigate is a big draw to users and becomes invaluable to a business. This needs to be at the forefront when designing a great website. Website functionality includes navigation, speed, user interactions, site structure, and adaptive vs responsive design.
Easy navigation is what everyone wants from a website. To effortlessly be able to find information needed across a website and then get on with the rest of the day is what all websites should aim for. This is where navigation menus on the main screen become incredibly useful. For more of an in-depth look at navigation, take a look at Best Practices for Website Navigation.
How long are you willing to wait for a website to load before giving up and going to the next one on the results page? Google has found that “53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than 3 seconds to load.” Think of how many extra conversions there could have been if the website had loaded just a second quicker. There are many tools out there that can help you figure out why a site doesn’t load quickly and there are more tips available in our blog on how to improve the speed of websites.
How someone visiting a website interacts with it is an important aspect of web design. Are there too many videos that play automatically that may become distracting? Are interactions simple so the user feels in control? Also, think about the different types of devices the website can be accessed through – is your site mobile-friendly, for example?
The structure of a site has huge implications for search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience (UX). If a website is cumbersome to use, crawlers won’t be able to index the site very easily, leading to poor ranking and dissatisfied users. A website’s structure should make it easy for high-quality interactions with the user to take place.
Adaptive vs Responsive Design
With 92.1% of people using their cell phones to get on the internet, websites need to be suitable for smaller screens. There are two types of designs that can help you do this, adaptive and responsive.
Adaptive design is where you create different versions of the same website that are customizable and can be adapted to the device type or browser width.
Responsive design uses a flexible grid layout so that the website perfectly fits the screen size regardless of what device it’s being viewed on.
The visual elements are just as important as functionality when designing a website. The visual elements of a website include color schemes, typography, layout, written copy, spacing, and imagery.
An eye-catching color scheme can work wonders for a website. It’s important to think about colors that complement each other as well as the imagery the brand wants to represent. After all, color is a language of its own.
The font used should also complement the color scheme and the tone of the website to reinforce the style of the brand.
How content is arranged on a page can dramatically alter the UX from good to bad. Depending on the message you want to send out and the target audience, your layout can be unique to you. There are some best practices, however, that you should consider.
The written content on a website and the overall look need to harmonize with one another. Consider how the text looks best on the page and whether it complements any images or graphics that are alongside it.
The use of white space on a website can be very effective and appealing. Used in the wrong way, though, it becomes off-putting and awkward to navigate. There’s a fine balance between the two. Also, remember to stay consistent with your use of whitespace throughout your website.
Imagery and Videos
Everyone knows the saying, ‘a picture can paint a thousand words.’ Imagery is a powerful tool in the world of web design. Ensure that any imagery and videos used complement and enhance the brand voice.
Creative Web Design
Innovative, successful web design includes utilizing the latest technology and web design trends to make websites exciting, eye-catching, and relevant to users.
Americaneagle.com is a web design company that offers web design and development services. We have the experience and expertise to create an appealing website that you can be proud of. Contact us today for more information.