What is good web design?

A well designed website gives business’s the opportunity to succeed online, especially in the difficult economic climate. The main areas of good web design and what all websites should aim to achieve are the following skills or techniques;

The layout of a websites pages
should be well laid out to improve navigation for the user. A websites page layout should remain consistent on different pages as this is important to directing online visitors through your site, similar to a shop when you first enter you want to be able to find your way around without going down the wrong aisle. When constructing a website, it’s also important to consider page width as this is vital for aligning objects, imagery, and functionality within the design of each page.

User experience or customer journey design
is an important factor as it helps a user, customer, or visitor in understanding how the website works. This plays an important role in web design as it affects a visitors experience with your website. User experience is closely related to layout, clear instructions and labeling on a website. The user must understand how they can interact with the website and clear journey paths and instructions help each visitor, both new and returning. If a user gets confused, lost or there is no clear journey throughout your site then they are less likely to progress or return a later date. Once again a website works very similar to a shop in that visitors are presented with a journey through the store while along the way key products are shown at eye level, no different to online where normally the key products or services are shown on the first few pages of the website. The websites homepage being similar to the window of a shop.

Visual design
done well on a website identifies and works for its target audience. This can be an age group, business sector, or even culture, this is why it is important for a web designer to understand the trends and needs of its audience. Web designers should also understand the type of website they are designing, meaning a business website (B2B or B2C) should not be designed the same as a social media site, fan site, or web blog. Web designers should also understand each website owner or business owner as the website can reflect this to make sure the company or individual is being reflected in the correct way. The aesthetics or overall design of a site should not clash with the content, making it easier for the user to navigate and can find the desired information or products etc. The visuals of a website are very important to a lot of website owners, however at times design over rules substance when it comes to web site design. Working similar to a shop, people still won’t buy from a shop if it looks nice but the products on offer are not up to standard. Although many shops create indulgent environments making you want to purchase and that’s no different to a website.

The typography
of a successful thoughtful web design normally only features a few typefaces formatted to a similar style, instead of using a range of typefaces. Mixing font sizes throughout the website content or copy will create emphasis on particular areas, such as headings, general content, and call to actions. You may see web designers using regular fonts, sometimes referred to as safe fonts which are easily recognisable by most browsers such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. Although not really thought about in the past in regards to web design, a new age of web site designers have discovered that the use of typography in their designs gives to a better user experience while continuing to be creative.

Finally….
When designing a website it is good practice to conform to web standards. This is usually done via a description in the websites code specifying what an element is trying to achieve. It’s important to conform to standards in web design as there are a number of benefits from doing it correctly, these are; making a website more user friendly, search engines can read the website correctly, and the readability of websites content can be seen by all visitors.

What is web design?

Web design is a term that covers many different skills and disciplines that are used in the creation and continual development of websites. Different areas of web design include; web graphic design, website content creation, coding, domain name registration, software, user experience design and SEO (search engine optimisation). It is the norm for a team of designers to normally work on the aspects that cover web design processes, although on occasions some designers will cover all of them. Web design as a term is the description of the design process relating to the customer facing (web pages) design of a website. A good web designer should have experience and awareness of customer usability often referred to as the online customer journey. Some say that a website is the a business’s online shop window, a well designed website can be the difference between surviving online against the competition and your business rivals.