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Web Design: Your Guide to the Basics

Web design is the process of creating sites that appear on the internet. Without an attractive user interface and aesthetic presentation visitors aren’t likely to appreciate what a company has to offer. Designing a good website requires an artist’s perspective and technical coding skills.

As the name suggests, the design work can’t take place without creativity. A lot of work goes into creating an enjoyable user experience for a visitor as they browse online. That said, here are some of the basics you need to know when it comes to web design.

Designers Vs. Developers

You may have heard the terms web designer and web developer used to mean the same thing; but, this is not the case. Web developers use programming languages to create functionality and structure in websites. But, designers tend to focus on the site’s appearance and user experience.

A full-stack developer can sometimes work on both front and back-end projects. However, front-end designers seldom handle anything on the back end.

What Front End Design Entails

Designers work on three main aspects to create a masterpiece. The elements include the layout, content, and the appearance of the web page.

The layout is all about the structure and categorization of information. Visitors to a website need to find what they are looking for fast. A good design entails visible menus and quick shortcuts to navigate the website.

The website’s appearance has to do with the website’s typography, the colors used, and images. This is where branding comes in. Users connect to a brand that makes use of the right components. A lot of Psychology goes into putting colors, fonts, and images together to build a unique brand.

Sometimes the design work will also include content on the site. This is anything from text to video content to improve a visitor’s experience online.

Catering to these three aspects allows the designer to create a beautiful website. But, most importantly, the website becomes easy to navigate.

Simplicity is Key

A simple approach to web design is essential. End users shouldn’t feel bombarded with a lot of information and functionality. The platform might run complex code in the back end. But, what the user sees and experiences should be simple.

While designing a website, the expert needs to consider the niche or industry of their client. That way, they can spend time looking at the needs of their end-user. It’s never a one-size-fits-all when dealing with websites. Some designs may appear more complicated than others. Regardless of industry, each site should focus on making the user experience simple.

User-Centered

Creating a website is a lot more than code and software. Most websites are places where users come to have a particular problem solved. Whether it’s entertainment or information, the user shouldn’t experience any form of frustration. For designers to create sites that foster a user’s trust, all forms of frustration must go.

Design Methods

Designers use two main techniques when creating platforms for both mobile and desktops. The methods are adaptive and responsive design. Responsive design helps designers create platforms that change on different devices. But with adaptive design, there’s no adaptation of content. Each screen size tends to have unique layouts that only show up depending on the device in use.

The purpose of these models is to help create a consistent layout on any screen and device used. With such consistency, end-users tend to appreciate their experience a lot more. The goal of any designer is to increase the engagement and trust of the user. If the site’s mobile version is buggy and difficult to use, people leave fast. This does more than interfere with user experience; it also affects SEO.

Code Vs. No Code

Designers that understand code are far more flexible on what they can do with their client’s work. But, some designers don’t know much code. That said, this doesn’t stop them from creating beautiful, responsive websites.

Wrapping it Up: Looking at the Bigger Picture

Aristotle was on to something when he said, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Of course, he didn’t know about websites. But today, developers use this concept while considering user experience. Various tiny components go into putting together the finished product. But, the final site is always much more than everything else put together. 

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