Any website’s success depends on how well-knit its web design is. Every business wants a website designed with creativity, graphical elements, and perfection. In this blog, we’ll explore an ultimate guide to what is website design and its various aspects.
In today’s time, a website is the core of any business, and its sole purpose is to turn visitors into potential customers. However, a wrongly designed website can instantly turn visitors off and leave a wrong impression on them. To combat this challenge and make an appealing website, web designing needs to be worked upon correctly.
If you want a website that drives success and looking forward to getting started with web design, you should look for a professional web designer who works on the appearance and layout of a website diligently. But why do you need a robust design for your website? Well, as per Hosting Tribunal, two out of three people prefer to browse through a beautifully designed website; thus, you should consider investing in excellent UX and UI design.
What Is Website Design?
Do you want to create an appealing look and feel of your website and set yourself up to succeed? Nailing the web design from the beginning is what you need. But what is website design? Web design is a process of designing a website by planning and creating the user experience, visuals, graphics, animations, and aesthetics on designing tools.
In other words, web designing is about working with a creative team of people that combines writing and graphical components to build your digital brand identity and persuasive content for online customers.
What Is a Responsive Web Design?
Do you want your website to adjust the layout for different-sized displays automatically? Around 94% of people judge a website based on a responsive design only. As per recent studies, 90% of the people use multiple screens sequentially, and 62% of companies increased their sales by designing responsive mobile platforms for their websites.
Earlier, websites were designed for desktop only, but with the quick rise in mobile internet usage and Google’s mobile-first approach, it has now become mandatory for businesses to have a website that works well for mobile phones and other devices.
Three main approaches are adopted widely to configure websites for mobile devices:
- Responsive web design
- Separate mobile website
- Dynamic serving
A responsive design ensures your website adapts and delivers the best user experience on every screen. It is the best approach to configure your site. In fact, Google suggests responsive web design where URL and HTML of the web pages remain the same for users and crawlers.
In the responsive design, the web pages respond as per the viewport of the screen size. Whether it’s a desktop, mobile, tablet, or any other device, the website’s elements adjust to the display resolution accordingly.
What Makes a Good Website Design?
With over 1.7 billion websites (and counting) worldwide, it can be seemingly hard to stand out. Thus, good web design can be a game-changer for you. A well-designed website builds trust and conveys its specific message while engaging the visitors. Good web design makes your website aesthetic and user-friendly on a 320 px mobile device to 2560 px desktop.
But what makes a website design great? Here are some primary vital components involved in making a good web design:
Usability Over Interface
In web design, usability is all about functionality. The more functional it is, the more visitors will interact with it. Usability and utility determine the success and failure of a website, thus choosing usability over the interface is always advisable as it’s crucial for making a good website design.
If the navigation seems confusing, visitors move on to other websites to find what they need. Thus, you should keep the navigation simple, intuitive, consistent, and useful. Following ‘three-click-rule’ is considered a good practice of web design. Here, all the essential content on the website is reachable within three clicks from the home page.
If your website design doesn’t support all screen sizes, you might lose to your competitors. Good web design is adaptive, effective, and flexible to various screens, thus designing a website compatible for all devices is essential. Turn your website UX/UI into responsive layouts for all screen sizes.
Content placement establishes your business as an industry thought leader. Accurate content placement helps you draw a larger audience, heightened visibility, boost search engine rankings, and whatnot. Placing the significant content piece on the upper left-hand side of the website is considered the wise practice of content placement.
A successful Call-to-action (CTA) gives visitors a clear direction and encourages them to take the required action, thus resulting in more conversion and increased revenue. CTAs are essential to have as they drive your sales funnel, grab visitors’ attention, convert visitors into buyers, and boost digital advertising success.
Web Design vs. Web Development: What’s the Difference?
Despite having some considerable distinction, there’s still much confusion surrounding the difference between web development and website design. A web designer is responsible for the aesthetic design, the looks and feels of a website. While, a full stack web developer takes those designs and turns them into a live, well-functioning, and error-free site. In other words, web design is UX/UI of a website; however, web development is coding it right from scratch.
6 Simple Steps You Need to Follow for an Ideal Website Design Process
A well-designed website offers much more than just aesthetics. A winning site requires a well-thought-out designing process. Thus, adopting a holistic web design process is a must to succeed. Here’s what an ideal website design process includes:
Knowing the reasons for the site’s existence, what goal the website needs to fulfill, i.e., the site’s primary purpose, what problem it has to solve, and others are the first step towards any web design process. The project should have an outlining of the website’s objectives, user intended benefits, and end goals.
The research phase is about gathering as much relevant information as you can about clients’ business, related industry, and more. Researching is one of the critical steps in web designing that helps you understand the target market, including focused audiences and competitors, and lets you conceptualize and act accordingly throughout the process.
Content & Section Planning
Once you’re done with goal identification and the research phase, you should start with content and section planning. Content is what your site will be known for and the reason your potential customers will decide to visit the website. Thus, ensuring the well-planned content placement and sections design combined with an SEO strategy is exemplary for web design.
Wireframing & Prototyping
Wireframing and sitemap are the foundation of a well-designed website. It is where the visual layout of the website begins to take the desired shape. Designers put pencil to paper based on the gathered information and prepare the entire wireframe and architecture of the site that visually entices potential customers and eventually encourages them to engage with the content.
UX/UI design is a very analytical process, designed by keeping users’ perspective and their ease in mind only. UX design is about identifying and solving customers’ problems; while, UI design is all about creating intuitive, aesthetically-appealing, and interactive interfaces. UX/UI in web design, mainly emphasizes navigation, accessibility, ease of understanding the content, funneling users towards goals, and more factors of user-friendliness.
Once you’re done with all the above processes, it’s time to ensure your designed UX/UI is working fine and glitch-free. A thorough UX/UI testing is a critical step in the web design process that helps deliver better user experience by eliminating design issues. The testing process starts before the developers start coding the website, so the end-product does not require many changes later.
What Are Core Elements of a Web Design?
Web design elements help you build a functional and stunning website. Various aspects are taken into consideration and integrated to enhance the performance of your site. Read on to explore!
- Fonts and Typography – The fonts play a significant role within a website. Therefore, choosing easy-to-read and eye-appealing fonts that go well with the overall design is imperative to have, thus making your website stand out from the crowd. Similarly, typography is a fundamental principle of a good web design that helps you balance the site’s visual structure and ensure your viewers engage with your content the way you’ve intended.
- Layout and Visual Appearance – The content arrangement has a drastic impact on your site’s appearance and functionality. That’s why selecting functional website layouts is a critical component for any website design. Using whitespace wisely and utilizing grid-based designs, keep your design items organized, orderly, and enhance your website’s visual appearance.
- Color Scheme – Colors play a vital role in designing a website; hence psychology of colors needs to be understood cautiously. It’s always advisable to focus on aligning colors with your brand, business industry, and the message you’re trying to convey to make a great impression on your ideal customers.
- Shapes – The use of graphical elements in the form of beautiful patterns is as important as design, navigation elements, and framing components. Combining beautiful colors and shapes can draw your ideal customers’ attention to some parts of your site instantly.
- Spacing – Space always exists within your design, be it among images, paragraphs, lines, and even letters. Considering the whitespace concept and a rule of thumb, modern web designers use spacing wisely between every element in your design.
- Graphics – An image or icon can utter thousands of informative words about your site if done rightly. Thus, designing powerful graphics (images and icons) can help you accomplish your website’s desired goal.
- Navigation – Navigation of your site can convert your potential visitors or push them away. Thus you should ensure to use functional and easy-to-understand navigation. A traditional or hamburger menu, interlinking within content sections, right CTAs, breadcrumb, and ‘back to top’ button, including the footer navigation menu, are critical components of effective navigation.
- Animations – Animation is an element used in most of the sites these days. Animation in web design ranges from full-screen moving images, sliders, hover effects, GIF animations, and others to grab users’ attention. It helps in increasing user engagement on the website, which improves session duration and pages per visit, resulting in increased goal conversions.
Importance of Preferring Mobile-First Web Design
In 2010, the entire world moved by when former Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced that web designers should put the mobile-first rule in design.
According to Statista, the number of smartphone users worldwide surpasses three billion and is forecast to grow by several hundred million in the next few years. There is a pretty good chance you are reading this article on a mobile device.
Keeping the trends in mind, designers can no longer get away with designing for desktop users only and must learn to adapt. The mobile-first design ensures the right User Experience (UX) is getting delivered to the right screen.
Key Benefits of Mobile-First Design
- Mobile-First Indexing – Following the mobile-first indexing concept, Google now crawls and indexes the mobile version of a website for ranking. Mobile-friendly has become a ranking factor now; thus, the mobile-first design can increase your website’s ranking on Google search.
- Better Conversions – Even though the conversion on a website is higher via desktop/laptop for many verticals, the mobile conversion is taking over gradually. Today, if your website is not designed for mobile devices, it loses a massive user base. Mobile-first or mobile-optimized design strategy helps businesses to increase their conversion rate significantly. Over 25% of users in the US prefer browsing products/services on mobile devices under their purchase cycle.
- Cost-Effective – Designing the desktop version of a website first and later adjusting the elements and sections for mobile devices consumes much time. Following the mobile-first design approach, saves development time and all the hassles of design requirements.
- Increased Visibility and Reach – Because of simplicity and ease of using the website on smartphones, more users tend to browse on their phones instead of desktop. If the user experience on a website browsed on mobile is satisfying, the users will likely to come back again.
What Are the Top & Essential Web Design Tools for Modern Designers?
The advent of better software, tools, and technologies has eased web designing over the years. With the availability of so many web design tools, you can easily get your website designed the way you want. Let’s explore all the essential tools that work well for modern designers.
Photoshop is a vital web design tool and widely adopted by website designers. It is perfect for creative web designers as it gives them endless color options and gradients to create impressive, authentic, and beautiful designs. With Photoshop, designers can create digital artwork based on their drawings.
Sketch is another popular web design tool that is mainly used for vector-based UI designs. This tool allows you to export your design into a clickable prototype. Its advanced vector tool helps develop interfaces and prototypes collaboratively, making Sketch an ideal web design tool.
InVision Studio web design tool comes with unmatched features and applications, and many web designers consider it the best web designing tool. Its rapid prototyping helps designers create a sophisticated and creative web transition quickly. InVision Studio enables designers to create UI that are user-friendly, responsive, and beautiful.
ProofHub is one of the finest and optimal web designing tools that help designers to check their design before they settle for what is final. It is a tool that allows web designers with hassle-free communication and editing and speeds up the web design project completion.
Figma is popularly known as a collaborative interface design tool that allows designers to collaborate, generate icons seamlessly, and share graphics with other designers in real-time. The best feature of this tool is that it operates on a cross-platform basis. Figma is easily accessible on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
The final thought is to remind you that Web designing is a continually-evolving process and requires effort. Having a convincing and winning website to stay ahead in today’s competitive market is what this century demands.
We hope the shared information in this guide will help you with your web designing project and strengthen your online presence. So, is your business ready to go forth and craft an impressive design?