WEB DESIGN encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites. The different areas of web design include web graphic design; interface design ; authoring, including standardised code and proprietary software ; user experience design ; and search engine optimization . Often many individuals will work in teams covering different aspects of the design process, although some designers will cover them all. The term web design is normally used to describe the design process relating to the front-end (client side) design of a website including writing mark up. Web design partially overlaps web engineering in the broader scope of web development . Web designers are expected to have an awareness of usability and if their role involves creating mark up then they are also expected to be up to date with web accessibility guidelines.
* 1 History
* 1.1 1988—2001
* 1.1.1 The start of the web and web design * 1.1.2 Evolution of web design * 1.1.3 End of the first browser wars
* 1.2 2001—2012
* 2 Tools and technologies
* 3 Skills and techniques
* 3.7 Generated content
* 3.7.1 Static websites * 3.7.2 Dynamic websites
* 4 Homepage design * 5 Occupations
* 6 See also
* 6.1 See also * 6.2 Related disciplines
* 7 Notes * 8 References and further reading * 9 External links
Although web design has a fairly recent history, it can be linked to other areas such as graphic design. However, web design can also be seen from a technological standpoint. It has become a large part of people’s everyday lives. It is hard to imagine the Internet without animated graphics, different styles of typography, background, and music.
The Start Of The Web And Web Design
In 1989, whilst working at
Tim Berners-Lee proposed to create a
global hypertext project, which later became known as the World Wide
Web . During 1991 to 1993 the
World Wide Web was born. Text-only pages
could be viewed using a simple line-mode browser. In 1993 Marc
Eric Bina , created the
Mosaic browser . At the time
there were multiple browsers, however the majority of them were
Unix-based and naturally text heavy. There had been no integrated
approach to graphic design elements such as images or sounds. The
Mosaic browser broke this mould. The
W3C was created in October 1994
to "lead the
World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common
protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability."
This discouraged any one company from monopolizing a propriety
browser and programming language, which could have altered the effect
World Wide Web as a whole. The
W3C continues to set standards,
Communications Corp. that later became known as Netscape
Communications , the
Evolution Of Web Design
End Of The First Browser Wars
Since the start of the 21st century the web has become more and more integrated into peoples lives. As this has happened the technology of the web has also moved on. There have also been significant changes in the way people use and access the web, and this has changed how sites are designed.
Since the end of the browsers wars new browsers have been released. Many of these are open source meaning that they tend to have faster development and are more supportive of new standards. The new options are considered by many to be better than Microsoft's Internet Explorer .
W3C has released new standards for
TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES
Web designers use a variety of different tools depending on what part of the production process they are involved in. These tools are updated over time by newer standards and software but the principles behind them remain the same. Web designers use both vector and raster graphics editors to create web-formatted imagery or design prototypes. Technologies used to create websites include W3C standards like HTML and CSS, which can be hand-coded or generated by WYSIWYG editing software . Other tools web designers might use include mark up validators and other testing tools for usability and accessibility to ensure their websites meet web accessibility guidelines.
SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES
MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION DESIGN
Marketing and communication design on a website may identify what works for its target market. This can be an age group or particular strand of culture; thus the designer may understand the trends of its audience. Designers may also understand the type of website they are designing, meaning, for example, that (B2B) business-to-business website design considerations might differ greatly from a consumer targeted website such as a retail or entertainment website. Careful consideration might be made to ensure that the aesthetics or overall design of a site do not clash with the clarity and accuracy of the content or the ease of web navigation , especially on a B2B website. Designers may also consider the reputation of the owner or business the site is representing to make sure they are portrayed favourably.
USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN AND INTERACTIVE DESIGN
User understanding of the content of a website often depends on user understanding of how the website works. This is part of the user experience design . User experience is related to layout, clear instructions and labeling on a website. How well a user understands how they can interact on a site may also depend on the interactive design of the site. If a user perceives the usefulness of the website, they are more likely to continue using it. Users who are skilled and well versed with website use may find a more distinctive, yet less intuitive or less user-friendly website interface useful nonetheless. However, users with less experience are less likely to see the advantages or usefulness of a less intuitive website interface. This drives the trend for a more universal user experience and ease of access to accommodate as many users as possible regardless of user skill. Much of the user experience design and interactive design are considered in the user interface design .
Advanced interactive functions may require plug-ins if not advanced coding language skills. Choosing whether or not to use interactivity that requires plug-ins is a critical decision in user experience design. If the plug-in doesn't come pre-installed with most browsers, there's a risk that the user will have neither the know how or the patience to install a plug-in just to access the content. If the function requires advanced coding language skills, it may be too costly in either time or money to code compared to the amount of enhancement the function will add to the user experience. There's also a risk that advanced interactivity may be incompatible with older browsers or hardware configurations. Publishing a function that doesn't work reliably is potentially worse for the user experience than making no attempt. It depends on the target audience if it's likely to be needed or worth any risks.
Part of the user interface design is affected by the quality of the page layout . For example, a designer may consider whether the site's page layout should remain consistent on different pages when designing the layout. Page pixel width may also be considered vital for aligning objects in the layout design. The most popular fixed-width websites generally have the same set width to match the current most popular browser window, at the current most popular screen resolution, on the current most popular monitor size. Most pages are also center-aligned for concerns of aesthetics on larger screens.
FLUID LAYOUTS increased in popularity around 2000 as an alternative to HTML-table-based layouts and grid-based design in both page layout design principle and in coding technique, but were very slow to be adopted. This was due to considerations of screen reading devices and varying windows sizes which designers have no control over. Accordingly, a design may be broken down into units (sidebars, content blocks, embedded advertising areas, navigation areas) that are sent to the browser and which will be fitted into the display window by the browser, as best it can. As the browser does recognize the details of the reader's screen (window size, font size relative to window etc.) the browser can make user-specific layout adjustments to fluid layouts, but not fixed-width layouts. Although such a display may often change the relative position of major content units, sidebars may be displaced below body text rather than to the side of it. This is a more flexible display than a hard-coded grid-based layout that doesn't fit the device window. In particular, the relative position of content blocks may change while leaving the content within the block unaffected. This also minimizes the user's need to horizontally scroll the page.
Web designers may choose to limit the variety of website typefaces to only a few which are of a similar style, instead of using a wide range of typefaces or type styles . Most browsers recognize a specific number of safe fonts, which designers mainly use in order to avoid complications.
Font downloading was later included in the CSS3 fonts module and has since been implemented in Safari 3.1, Opera 10 and Mozilla Firefox 3.5. This has subsequently increased interest in web typography , as well as the usage of font downloading.
Most site layouts incorporate negative space to break the text up into paragraphs and also avoid center-aligned text.
The page layout and user interface may also be affected by the use of motion graphics. The choice of whether or not to use motion graphics may depend on the target market for the website. Motion graphics may be expected or at least better received with an entertainment-oriented website. However, a website target audience with a more serious or formal interest (such as business, community, or government) might find animations unnecessary and distracting if only for entertainment or decoration purposes. This doesn't mean that more serious content couldn't be enhanced with animated or video presentations that is relevant to the content. In either case, motion graphic design may make the difference between more effective visuals or distracting visuals.
Motion graphics that are not initiated by the site visitor can produce accessibility issues. The World Wide Web consortium accessibility standards require that site visitors be able to disable the animations.
QUALITY OF CODE
Website designers may consider it to be good practice to conform to standards. This is usually done via a description specifying what the element is doing. Failure to conform to standards may not make a website unusable or error prone, but standards can relate to the correct layout of pages for readability as well making sure coded elements are closed appropriately. This includes errors in code, more organized layout for code, and making sure IDs and classes are identified properly. Poorly-coded pages are sometimes colloquially called tag soup . Validating via W3C can only be done when a correct DOCTYPE declaration is made, which is used to highlight errors in code. The system identifies the errors and areas that do not conform to web design standards. This information can then be corrected by the user.
There are two ways websites are generated: statically or dynamically.
Main article: Static web page
A static website stores a unique file for every page of a static website. Each time that page is requested, the same content is returned. This content is created once, during the design of the website. It is usually manually authored, although some sites use an automated creation process, similar to a dynamic website, whose results are stored long-term as completed pages. These automatically-created static sites became more popular around 2015, with generators such as Jekyll and Adobe Muse .
The benefits of a static website are that they were simpler to host, as their server only needed to serve static content, not execute server-side scripts. This required less server administration and had less chance of exposing security holes. They could also serve pages more quickly, on low-cost server hardware. These advantage became less important as cheap web hosting expanded to also offer dynamic features, and virtual servers offered high performance for short intervals at low cost.
Almost all websites have some static content, as supporting assets such as images and stylesheets are usually static, even on a website with highly dynamic pages.
Main article: Dynamic web page
Dynamic websites are generated on the fly and use server-side technology to generate webpages. They typically extract their content from one or more back-end databases: some are database queries across a relational database to query a catalogue or to summarise numeric information, others may use a document database such as MongoDB or NoSQL to store larger units of content, such as blog posts or wiki articles.
In the design process, dynamic pages are often mocked-up or wireframed using static pages. The skillset needed to develop dynamic web pages is much broader than for a static pages, involving server-side and database coding as well as client-side interface design. Even medium-sized dynamic projects are thus almost always a team effort.
When dynamic web pages first developed, they were typically coded directly in languages such as Perl , PHP or ASP . Some of these, notably PHP and ASP, used a 'template' approach where a server-side page resembled the structure of the completed client-side page and data was inserted into places defined by 'tags'. This was a quicker means of development than coding in a purely procedural coding language such as Perl.
Both of these approaches have now been supplanted for many websites by higher-level application-focused tools such as content management systems . These build on top of general purpose coding platforms and assume that a website exists to offer content according to one of several well recognised models, such as a time-sequenced blog , a thematic magazine or news site, a wiki or a user forum. These tools make the implementation of such a site very easy, and a purely organisational and design-based task, without requiring any coding.
Usability experts, including Jakob Nielsen and Kyle Soucy, have often emphasised homepage design for website success and asserted that the homepage is the most important page on a website. However practitioners into the 2000s were starting to find that a growing number of website traffic was bypassing the homepage, going directly to internal content pages through search engines, e-newsletters and RSS feeds. Leading many practitioners to argue that homepages are less important than most people think. Jared Spool argued in 2007 that a site's homepage was actually the least important page on a website.
In 2012 and 2013, carousels (also called 'sliders' and 'rotating banners') have become an extremely popular design element on homepages, often used to showcase featured or recent content in a confined space. Many practitioners argue that carousels are an ineffective design element and hurt a website's search engine optimisation and usability.
There are two primary jobs involved in creating a website: the web
designer and web developer , who often work closely together on a
website. The web designers are responsible for the visual aspect,
which includes the layout, coloring and typography of a web page. Web
designers will also have a working knowledge of markup languages such
Further jobs which may become involved in the creation of a website include:
* Graphic designers to create visuals for the site such as logos, layouts and buttons * Internet marketing specialists to help maintain web presence through strategic solutions on targeting viewers to the site, by using marketing and promotional techniques on the internet * SEO writers to research and recommend the correct words to be incorporated into a particular website and make the website more accessible and found on numerous search engines * Internet copywriter to create the written content of the page to appeal to the targeted viewers of the site * User experience (UX) designer incorporates aspects of user focused design considerations which include information architecture, user centered design, user testing, interaction design, and occasionally visual design.
Graphic art software
Graphic design occupations
* ^ -based markup and spacer .GIF images
* ^ _A_ _B_ Lester, Georgina. "Different jobs and responsibilities
of various people involved in creating a website". Arts Wales UK.
* ^ "Longer Biography". Retrieved 2012-03-16.
* ^ "Mosaic Browser" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-16.
* ^ Zwicky, E.D, Cooper, S and Chapman, D,B. (2000). _Building
Internet Firewalls_. United States: O’Reily & Associates. p. 804.
ISBN 1-56592-871-7 . CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link )
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ Niederst, Jennifer (2006). _Web
REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING
* Nielsen, Jakob; Tahir, Marie (October 2001), _Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed_, New Riders Publishing, ISBN 978-0735711020