Did you ever wonder what is the meaning of web design and what are the techniques involved in this process?
We are used to looking at the internet as a visual medium. Websites, apps, services, games, and so on rely on interfaces to provide appropriate experience to their audiences. However, all that requires good web design to work.
Those who wish to strengthen their digital presence must be aware of the web design’s role in any venture. Such knowledge will help properly prioritize the right steps when creating any product or solution.
In this article, you will learn:
- What is web design?
- Why is web design important?
- What to consider when designing a website?
- What are the worst web design mistakes?
- What are the most important skills for a web designer?
What is web design?
Web design is the field that involves digital interfaces such as websites, apps, and services.
By using HTML code to program websites and CSS to standardize its visual language, web design professionals are responsible for building digital experiences to be used by the public. The aim is to deliver a quality experience to the audience and help the business reach its goals.
As such, a web designer is a professional that acquires the necessary skills to perform this job. Those might be specialized in specific web design fields, ranging from website creation to mobile app development. In all cases, the goal is the same: to materialize the project’s vision.
Web design has a few subdivisions that are detailed below.
Web graphic design
This is web design applied to a website’s visuals. It involves everything from the colors and fonts to the general layout of its pages.
The most important task is to translate the brand’s identity to the website’s design. The visitor must be able to relate to that and properly see the page as part of that business’s presence.
Web design work also refers to interface design. Not only does it apply to traditional websites but it involves mobile apps, games, computer software, and several other products too. After all, an interface is anything that serves as an intermediary between the user and the system.
The idea is to deliver an interface that is simple, intuitive, and adapted to the target audience’s particularities.
User experience design
The look and feel of a digital interface also require a good user experience. Otherwise, your audience will seek other solutions.
A web design professional is tasked with creating a truly worthwhile experience, which means understanding your user’s needs and delivering on them. Interacting with your business should always be a positive moment for its audience, which means having no barriers and always achieving their goals.
Search engine optimization
Last but not least, web design also involves working with search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure that Google and similar sites properly index your content. This helps your content reach better positions on the search results ranking, thus reaching a wider audience that is looking for your solution.
Even though some aspects of SEO are related to content writing, web design also plays a role in making sure your website’s code is clean and that usability does not hinder your experience. All of those factors are decisive in determining your ranking position.
Why is web design important?
Web design is the tool you use to help people perceive your brand the way you want them to. By applying the correct visual marketing strategy and approach, your business will be able to attract the right audience and convert them into customers — see some landing page design examples.
By having contact with a brand that offers consistency and projects trust, users feel more inclined to do business with it. Without a clear web design plan, you lose the potential results that a good online presence can give you.
That is also why it is important to work with qualified web designers. A skilled professional can analyze what your brand needs and use the right tools to translate it visually while staying true to its strategy and goals.
What to consider when designing a website?
As you have already seen, web design can be a part of a powerful business presentation. However, such as any other aspect of your strategy, it needs to be based on correct decisions during your planning and execution stages. Making the wrong choices can have a negative impact on your entire online presence.
Certain factors must be considered when designing a website to guarantee its quality. Below are the most important ones.
Whenever people discuss web design, this is the factor most thought of. Though, it is not the only one that is important.
Your brand’s identity dictates your website’s aesthetics and it must be well condensed by your web design. This means making sure your online presence matches your colors, styles, and feel. Be careful not to exaggerate, as too many elements might bog down your visitor’s experience.
Never forget real people will use your website, so its web design needs to have good usability. However, what does that entail?
Usability means being able to be browsed by an audience of multiple backgrounds, ages, and specialties. Simplicity is one of its most important principles, which requires you to strip down your number of menus and options. Put yourself on your visitor’s shoes and think of what they would consider intuitive.
Even if all the other web design elements work well, they are nothing without good content. On the contrary, why would your visitors even come to you?
That is why so many businesses choose Content Marketing so that they always have quality content that people will want to read and share. This job requires making sure your pages add value to your visitor’s time by offering the right solutions.
Did you know that people might give up on your business if your website does not load quickly? Studies have shown that, if your page load time surpasses 3 seconds, your bounce rate tends to rise by 38%. This is bad.
Another factor in web design relates to load speed. This involves finding a balance between all your elements and the strain they take on your visitor’s browser and internet connection.
According to the latest data, mobile devices account for over 50% of all online traffic. This means that, if your website does not load correctly on smartphones and tablets, you might be scaring off roughly half of your potential audience!
In order to avoid that, your web design strategy should make sure that your content is mobile-friendly. This means having pages that load and adapt appropriately to multiple screen sizes and access conditions.
What are the worst web design mistakes?
Web design is an integral part of a marketing and sales strategy since it helps solidify the brand’s consistency and strength through visuals and quality experiences. However, good results are only at your reach when you avoid mistakes that have the potential of undoing your company’s efforts.
Every strategy is different; however, the effects of poor web design are almost universally negative. If your audience has trouble getting to your solution due to these issues, your results can suffer greatly.
While working with web design, be careful not to make mistakes such as these:
- not consider your target audience when planning and executing your design, as it might hinder your company’s ability to attract the right customers;
- forget to keep your visuals consistent among different channels, both online and offline;
- adding too many elements that distract the user and weaken your brand’s presence;
- lacking a clear call-to-action to direct your potential customers to the next stage of the buyer’s journey;
- not properly documenting your web design decisions so they can be checked and referenced in the future.
What are the most important skills for a web designer?
Considering the importance of web design, it is clear how the professional that plans and executes it needs to have certain skills to bring quality to their work. Otherwise, the entire project might be hindered and unable to reach its goals. Below are the most important soft and hard skills a web designer must-have.
Web design tools
Plenty of web design work is done through special tools that streamline and standardize tasks. Knowing your way around them is essential to delivering quality and speed when working in this field.
The first step involves learning what the job requires so you can pick the right tools. There are several alternatives available with varying capabilities, ranging from Photoshop to Dreamweaver.
There are also specialty tools that focus on specific tasks, such as Sketch, which focuses on vector UI elements, and In Vision, which helps you present your web design work to a client or superior.
It might sound overwhelming, especially if you are a beginner, but the good news is that all web design knowledge might be acquired via online learning — all you need is a laptop and a desire to acquire new skills
A web designer often works in close conjunction with other professionals, so good communication is essential for any project to be completed. This involves the correct understanding of its criteria and being able to be understood by others.
Being a good communicator is valuable in any field. People who work in web design are responsible for a business’s visual presentation, thus they need to be able to explain how their decisions satisfy the project’s goals and particularities.
Programming knowledge is required to work on web design. The main necessary languages are HTML and CSS, with each one performing a different job.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) coordinate how elements are displayed on web pages. A skilled web designer is able to accurately apply the planned design by using the right tags and values when writing in HTML and CSS.
Since web designers work with interfaces, they must be skilled at UX/UI. Despite being commonly used in conjunction, those are different concepts.
UX design involves work related to user experience. It means tying everything together design-wise to make sure your target audience is satisfied with whatever it is you are creating, whether it is a website, an app, and so on.
UI design refers to work on user interfaces. Designers must be skilled at creating structures that are easily understood so people can achieve whatever tasks they need when using your product or service.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Good web design is also able to make sure the content is indexed appropriately by search engines and provides good visibility to its business. That is why designers need to have a grasp of SEO when working in this field.
After all, most assets on a website factor in its ranking, which is something that applies to text, images, and code. This also requires knowledge of how content management systems work and can be optimized.
Another soft skill that is highly important for web design is time management. It means finding ways to achieve your goals within specifications while under the project’s schedule.
This is valuable as it can be quite damaging for a business to have its staff spending an inappropriate amount of time on tasks. Each stage needs to have projected hours considering the budget and deadline. Thus, web designers need to be able to work around that.
Now that you know the web design definition, you are ready to give it the right priority on your projects. Never forget how important this aspect of your brand is, considering how the right approach in digital presence can yield excellent results no matter what field your business is in.
Just remember what you have learned here about how essential it is to build an adequate strategy and work with qualified designers.
As you have seen above, a well-optimized website can make a positive difference in your results. Check out Stage Analyzer to improve your site and identify opportunities to get ahead of the competition.