Design is the process of collecting ideas, and aesthetically arranging and implementing them, guided by certain principles for a specific purpose. Web design is a similar process of creation, with the intention of presenting the content on electronic web pages, which the end-users can access through the internet with the help of a web browser.
Elements of Web Design
Web design uses many of the same key visual elements as all types of design such as:
Layout:This is the way the graphics, ads and text are arranged. In the web world, a key goal is to help the view find the information they seek at a glance. This includes maintaining the balance, consistency, and integrity of the design.
Colour: The choice of colours depends on the purpose and clientele; it could be simple black-and-white to multi-coloured design, conveying the personality of a person or the brand of an organization, using web-safe colours.
Graphics: Graphics can include logos, photos, clipart or icons, all of which enhance the web design. For user friendliness, these need to be placed appropriately, working with the colour and content of the web page, while not making it too congested or slow to load.
Fonts: The use of various fonts can enhance a website design. Most web browsers can only read a select number of fonts, known as "web-safe fonts", so your designer will generally work within this widely accepted group.
Content: Content and design can work together to enhance the message of the site through visuals and text. Written text should always be relevant and useful, so as not to confuse the reader and to give them what they want so they will remain on the site. Content should be optimized for search engines and be of a suitable length, incorporating relevant keywords.
Creating User-Friendly Web Design
Besides the basic elements of web design that make a site beautiful and visually compelling, a website must also always consider the end user. User-friendliness can be achieved by paying attention to the following factors.
Navigation:Site architecture, menus and other navigation tools in the web design must be created with consideration of how users browse and search. The goal is to help the user to move around the site with ease, efficiently finding the information they require.
Multimedia: Relevant video and audio stimuli in the design can help users to grasp the information, developing understanding in an easy and quick manner. This can encourage visitors to spend more time on the webpage.
Compatibility: Design the webpage, to perform equally well on different browsers and operating systems, to increase its viewing.
Technology: Advancements in technology give designers the freedom to add movement and innovation, allowing for web design that is always fresh, dynamic and professional.
Interactive: Increase active user participation and involvement, by adding comment boxes and opinion polls in the design. Convert users from visitors to clients with email forms and newsletter sign-ups.
Web Design Has Many Different Roles
When you do web design you can work on entire sites or individual pages and there is a lot to learn to be a well-rounded designer:
- CGI programming
- PHP, ASP, ColdFusion scripting
- Information architecture
- Server management
- Web strategy and marketing
- Ecommerce and conversions
- And so much more.
Principles Of Effective Web Design
In order to use the principles properly we first need to understand how users interact with web-sites, how they think and what are the basic patterns of users’ behavior.
How do users think? Basically, users’ habits on the Web aren’t that different from customers’ habits in a store. Visitors glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing they’re looking for. In fact, there are large parts of the page they don’t even look at.Most users search for something interesting (or useful) and clickable; as soon as some promising candidates are found, users click. If the new page doesn’t meet users’ expectations, the Back button is clicked and the search process is continued.
Users appreciate quality and credibility
a page provides users with high-quality content, they are willing to compromise the content with advertisements and the design of the site. This is the reason why not-that-well-designed web-sites with high-quality content gain a lot of traffic over years. Content is more important than the design which supports it.
Users don’t read, they scan. Analyzing a web-page, users search for some fixed points or anchors which would guide them through the content of the page.
Manage to focus users’ attention
As web-sites provide both static and dynamic content, some aspects of the user interface attract attention more than others do. Obviously, images are more eye-catching than the text — just as the sentences marked as bold are more attractive than plain text.
The human eye is a highly non-linear device, and web-users can instantly recognize edges, patterns and motions. This is why video-based advertisements are extremely annoying and distracting, but from the marketing perspective they perfectly do the job of capturing users’ attention.
Strive for simplicity
The “keep it simple”-principle (KIS) should be the primary goal of site design. Users are rarely on a site to enjoy the design; furthermore, in most cases they are looking for the information despite the design. Strive for simplicity instead of complexity.
Communicate effectively with a “visible language”Organize: provide the user with a clear and consistent conceptual structure. Consistency, screen layout, relationships and navigability are important concepts of organization. The same conventions and rules should be applied to all elements