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What is web design? Define design.

Define design? The correct use of layout, function and aesthetics to visually attract and convince viewers to stay on. This in my opinion sums up what web design is.

Design is important for an effective website for a few reasons.

  • At the most basic level it is the first impression a viewer gets of your business. Will he be favorably impressed? Will he see what he needs to at first glance? Will he like what he sees?
  • Beyond the first impression it also the lasting impression your viewers get of your site. Just like a badly organized or messy store, does not leave a good impression, so too a poorly designed website. Neatness and clarity, elegance and ease of use are necessary elements for any website.
  • Good website design is also important on a structural level. How is the information positioned on the pages of the site? Will the user find the information he is looking for easily?
  • Lastly, web design is important on a functional level - does the viewer know how to use the site? If you added a shopping cart to your site, does the user know how to use it with ease?

Define Design

These issues are addressed by several aspects of web design - Structure, Interaction and Aesthetics. Together they combine forces to form a well-organized, functional, and attractive website.

From THE WEB DESIGNER’S ROADMAP

Structure

Once the designer has the content for each page it is important to decide how the elements will be positioned on the page. The considerations are clarity, neatness, and ease of access. When the eyes of the viewer focus on the page, which way will they go? What will he see first? Will it be clear to him what your site is about? Will he know what he can do next?

Two questions that make this process easier are:

  • Can you see me? If this is an important element, is it prominent enough to be noticed?
  • Do you need to see me? If this is not an important element, can it be omitted for the sake of clarity?

From Distinctive Design: A practical guide to a useful, beautiful web.

Interaction

Includes elements like Navigational elements such as Vertical Menus , Horizontal menus, Drop-down menus, Tabs, or Shopping carts, Step -by- Step Wizards, any element with which the viewer interacts. A viewer cannot be left wondering as to how the site works, all interactive elements have to be clear and easy to use.

It is important to use tried and tested patterns that most viewers are familiar with. Imagine shopping at an online store and not being able to figure out how the shopping cart works?

Regardless of how the cart looks, there are certain essentials the cart has to accomplish. A shopping cart has to display what items are in the cart, their quantities, the total price (shipping, coupons ...) and allow the buyer to edit it.

From the simplest vertical menu to the most complex element, the problem has been solved successfully, why confuse your viewers? For interactive elements it is best to stick to conventional solutions.

From THE WEB DESIGNER’S ROADMAP

Aesthetics

This includes the color, texture, typography, imagery. The artistic direction depends on the theme of the site, the mood and atmosphere you want to convey, and any previous branding or logo.

The process of reaching an elegant design goes through stages of research, brain-storming and feedback. Creative design can be expressed with phrases like learning, questioning, comparing, and trial and error. By going through the process back and forth a creative and effective design is achieved.

This is the part of web design evokes emotion. It is your viewers first impression and it is also your viewers lasting impression.

A good website design guarantees viewers will stop and take a look. It provides for a more enjoyable and effective website experience.