Blog Post - Web Design 101
So many people want to know what's important in web design, and as it turns out, there's no simple, easy answer. But consider this our first installment.
Of course, the most obvious answer is that web design is the creation of a page or a site that is pleasing to the eye. Good, basic design, in other words. But if that’s all it is, why do so many websites that are properly proportioned and laid out look so boring?
Knowing layout basics is good. Knowing color theory - which colors work together and what sort of feelings the colors evoke - is even better.
Making the design functional - that is, using the knowledge of good design principles to create a site that’s easy to navigate - may not seem like much, but bad design and hard-to- navigate sites are quite obvious. You know when you’re on one…because you want to get off it pretty quick. So the next critical element of web design is building easy navigation into the design. (This can mean things like the placement of the nav bar on the page, or the color, size and complexity of the nav buttons.)
Now, depending on the business for which we’re designing, we add elements like color gradients, background patterns, drop shadows, and images. Once again, design knowledge comes into play, because while it’s easy to make a boring website, it’s also easy to design one that’s just too complex or too cute or too busy. It’s a fine balance, and it takes at least several hours of playing with the page elements to come up with a concept that feels right, looks inviting, and is appropriate for the client’s message. We also need to consider the target market: we’re going to use different colors and design elements if we’re helping someone market gemstone jewelry than if we’re helping a rock group build their following.
Sometimes, if a company has a very dominant and attention-getting logo, we may work the page around the logo, using colors and shapes that reflect the logo in some way.
We always design a home page first. Once we’re comfortable with what we have, then we move on to the design for the interior pages. Depending on the amount of web copy needed, and how many photos or videos the business needs, the interior pages may mimic the home page, or appear radically different. There’s no way to know until we’re in process.
Obviously, we design our sites from scratch, not from templates.
So, then, what is web design? For us, it’s the complex process of working with a client, learning his business, reviewing his logo, his art elements and signature colors, understanding his market, and then applying many design criteria to the process to create something we know visitors can enjoy viewing. Yup, I guess that about sums it up for Red Kite.
Call or email us today, and ask how we can design your site to improve your viewer's experience and thus get results for your business.