What is Web Design – The ABCs

 Web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites.

-Web Design Official Wiki

The term has been around since the advent of internet, and points towards the processes, skills, and techniques that are used to create and maintain a webpage; as mentioned in the Wikipedia definition above. Initially, websites used to be very basic, with the early ones consisting of just plain text! Over the years, web design has been through dramatic transitions, evolving from text-based pages, to high-end animated designs, and now back to simple, elegant layouts.

Web Design – The Average Joe Perspectivewhat-is-webdesign

Ask an average Joe what web design is, and you’re bound to get a vague response about how a website looks aesthetically. Fact is, contrary to general opinion of the uninformed masses, web design is so much than how a website appears. The entire process of planning, producing, and maintaining a website is extensive and can be considered a distinctive field of study on its own; designing the appearance and layout of a website is just one part of web design. User experience, marketing and communication design, layout, typography, motion graphics, navigation capabilities and style, compatibility with different browsers and machines, quality of code, e-commerce, server management; all are integral parts of web design today.

The Division of Web Design

In the present era, the creation of a website is generally divided into four major roles:

  • Visual Web Design
  • Web Development
  • Web Content
  • Search Engine Optimization

Design and Development

The web design team focuses on the visual aspects of the web pages, while the web developers concentrate on developing quality code for the website using languages like PHP and JavaScript. The content teams are responsible for all the information that goes onto the website. A company’s sales page, for example, needs strong content that engages the visitor and compels them to make a purchase or avail the company’s services. To do so, the company needs an aesthetically pleasing layout, and efficient error-free code, at first to ensure the visitor doesn’t leave because the site seems unprofessional or counterintuitive.

Content and Search Engine Optimization

Content will, of course, need to compelling and well-formulated to convince a visitor to stay on the website and ultimately avail the provided services. Lastly, the company will need to employ effective Search Engine Optimization techniques to ensure that the right kind of traffic is directed towards the website, comprising of people who are interested in the kind of services that are offered on the website beforehand. All parts are crucial for a potent and successful website.

Can I do it By Myself?

With existing websites numbering in the billions, the popularity of web design has skyrocketed over the last decade. Millions of tutorials on web design are freely available, ranging from beginner courses, to the most advanced techniques currently in use. The question the reader might ask is, ‘can I do it myself for my website?’ Well, yes and no; depending upon the complexity of required design and the time frame available. Web design can be self-taught, but it takes time to gain expertise in the area. For larger corporate websites, even experienced web designers work in teams, dividing tasks according to specialization.

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