As anyone who has ever tried to create a website can attest, web design is not always as simple as it looks.
While it is possible to find a bunch of do-it-yourself templates and tools, the results are often less than stellar.
With 50% of consumers claiming website design is essential to a business’s overall brand, you should be invested in finding the right answer to what is web design.
Table of Contents
What is Web Design: Definition
Web design is the process of designing websites. It includes everything from planning and structure to content and navigation.
This includes the site’s appearance, layout, and sometimes, content.
A web designer needs to have a strong understanding of how web users interact with websites and how to create a user-friendly experience.
In addition, web design also involves creating visual elements that are pleasing to look at and easy to navigate.
A well-designed website should be able to communicate its message clearly and effectively, while also providing a positive user experience.
The goal is to make your site look good and be easy to use by you and your audience, but also crawlable for search engines.
Why is Web Design Important?
A good web design helps create a professional and credible online presence for your business.
In today's digital age, with 4.95 billion internet users worldwide, consumers are increasingly turning to the World Wide Web to find information about products and services.
If your website is poorly designed, potential customers may be turned off and opt to do business with your competition instead.
Additionally, good web design helps ensure your website is user-friendly and easy to navigate.
To keep visitors engaged, your website needs to be well-organized.
Moreover, effective web design can help you stand out from the competition.
In a sea of generic-looking websites, a well-designed site will help you make a lasting impression on potential customers.
By taking the time to invest in good web design, you can reap the many benefits it has to offer, including:
Letting customers know you exist and what you do.
Web design offers a good way to get your name out there. Web design is an impactful factor that can make or break your SEO strategy.
No matter how good your content is or how much time you invested in keyword research, if you have a poorly designed website, visitors are going to leave.
The more people leave your site, the higher chances of search engines picking up on the fact that your website doesn’t provide a good user experience. Your ranking will suffer accordingly.
Helping people trust your brand.
Professional-looking websites are guaranteed to earn you major respect points in the eyes of your visitors.
The first step to building trust with your audience is to show them they matter to you — the easiest way to prove to them you really care is to design a site they’ll enjoy visiting.
Enabling visitors to easily find what they want—whether it’s customer service information or product descriptions—without too much text crammed into small spaces.
A well-designed website is easy to navigate and easy on the eyes. This allows customers to effortlessly find what they are looking for, especially if they have never visited your site before.
What Does Good Web Design Look Like: Web Design Do’s
Good web design is all about creating a site that is easy to use, visually appealing, and informative.
As already mentioned, users should be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
The layout has to be clean and organized, and the design must be consistent throughout.
Helpful and accurate information and well-written content relevant to the site's purpose are other aspects you can’t neglect.
To meet these criteria, use our web design checklist to ensure you’re doing the right thing:
- Use fonts that are easy to read and avoid any fancy or decorative letters. Remember, simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.
- Choose contrasting colors to make your text more readable and easier on the eyes.Avoid using similar colors or shades that blend together. Instead, go for a high- contrast look that will really pop. Colors can even help you increase conversions, so you better choose them wisely.
- Keep your design simple to avoid any clutter or confusion on your site. Keep it clean and organized, and only include the elements that are absolutely necessary.
- Ensure your site is responsive so it adjusts to any screen size. With so many people using mobile devices—4.28 billion to be exact—it’s essential you pay attention to mobile-first design. Even more so, 73.1% of web designers agree a non-responsive design is the leading reason why visitors choose to exit a website.
- Use images sparingly as too many images can make your site look messy. Choose only a few high-quality ones that complement your design and add value to your content.
- Optimize your site for speed and your visitors will thank you for it. Decreasing load times by just one-tenth of a second can significantly increase conversion rates—a recent study found that faster load times boosted conversion rates by 8.4% for retail sites.
- Proofread your content before you publish it to avoid looking unprofessional. Just a few typos can give a website a sloppy appearance and turn potential customers away.
Web Design: What Doesn’t Work & Web Design Don'ts
Knowing what to do is not enough to create a winning design.
In order to create a truly successful website, you have to avoid some common design pitfalls, and here’s what you shouldn’t use:
Nobody wants to be greeted by a loud, auto-playing video when they visit a website.
Not only is this incredibly annoying, but it can also be a major drain on your website's bandwidth.
If you must use video on your website, make sure it is muted by default and give visitors the option to play it if they want to.
Flash is a technology that was once popular for creating animated websites.
However, it has since fallen out of favor due to its numerous security vulnerabilities.
Additionally, Flash is not compatible with most mobile devices, which can make your website inaccessible to a large portion of your audience.
If you're looking to add animation to your website, consider using HTML5 instead.
Too Many Pop-Ups
Pop-ups can be extremely nerve-wracking and intrusive, especially if they are triggered by accidental mouse clicks.
Use them sparingly and if you think there’s room for more, make sure they are easily dismissible and do not cover the entire screen.
You can also consider using pop-unders instead of pop-ups, as they are less intrusive and more likely to be seen by visitors.
Clichéd Stock Photos
Nothing screams "generic" like a clichéd stock photo.
If you're going to use photos on your website, they should be high-quality and relevant to your content.
Better yet, take your own photos!
This will give your website a more personal touch and help it stand out from the rest.
Some fonts are just plain hard to read, no matter how well-designed they are.
When choosing a font for your website, pick one that is easy to read in all sizes and on all devices.
A good rule of thumb is to stick with sans serif fonts, as they tend to be more legible than serif fonts.
While it is important to provide visitors with information, long blocks of text are difficult to read and tend to turn people off.
If you have a lot of content you need to include on your website, try breaking it up into smaller paragraphs or even bullet points.
This will make it easier for visitors to scan through your content and find the information they're looking for.
What is Web Design: Takeaway s
By knowing what makes a site look good, you can improve user experience and increase conversions.
Now that we explained what web design is and told you what goes (and what you should shy away from) into a solid foundation for an effective web design strategy, it’s time you get to work!