What is Web Design? Designing a Website Explained

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Author : Minds Metricks

June 16, 2019

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Website is the most important thing when you’re starting a business. When you set out looking for someone to develop a website for you, everything boils down to web design. How well you will be satisfied by the look and the functionality a website, depends on how good your web design team is, including how well they can conceptualize what you want or what your business needs.

What is web design?

 Web design is the art of putting together a website including not only how a website looks but also how it works. It is a form of digital creativity or an artistic process of conceptualizing, planning and building how a website looks and operates.

The look of a website comprises of its overall structure, colors, text styles, web page layouts, images, etc. And how it operates comprises of the navigation from one step to the other, the menus, registration forms, login form, the user path, transition from one web section or one page to the other, the website responsiveness, how the site will interact with the user and currently voice search readiness among other things.

The basics of web design

The basics of web design are the primary component, capabilities and usability a web design should always consider. At Minds Metricks, we consider them the principle of good web design and we always cogitate:

  • The site aesthetic value – a website should be aesthetically appearing
  • Communication – a website should pass the message clearly and precisely.
  • User friendliness of the website – easy to use such that users can find what they are looking for quickly or find their way through easily. Following users natural behavior (“F” Pattern Design) and simplicity is key to achieving user-friendliness.
  • Loading speed – a website should load quickly if possible in less than 2 seconds. The web users are impatient and 47% of the users expect a web page to load within 2 seconds or less. If a web page takes more than 3 seconds to load over 40% of the web visitors abandons the site.
  • Functionality – at least a website should meet its purpose. Users hate websites that crash, freeze on them or give them errors.
  • The moderate use of extras – extras such as heavy 3D graphics and animations should be used in moderation. The extras should not affect the aesthetic value or the loading speed of a website.
  • Mobile friendly – a website should be accessible on diverse devices not only computers. Designing a responsive website is a good way of developing a mobile-friendly website.

Mind Metrics, the leading web design company in UAE, works with the clients when designing a website from the pre-design stage where the idea is conceptualized. With the help of the client, we conceptualize the idea before proceeding to consider all the aspects crucial to the website achieving ROI, such as who is the target market, and how they will access the website. For example, if the target market of the website will access the website using different devices the web design has to be responsive

What is responsive web design?

Responsive web design is a design of a website that adapts to different displays; it “responds to” or “resizes” to fit the screen of the devices the user is viewing the website on.  The responsive websites are designed to be easily and effectively accessible on any device whether laptops, oversize desktop computers, tablets, smartphones, smart-watches, or smart TVs among other devices.

responsive web design example across 3 different devices

A responsive website appearance in devices with different displays (Source: Invision)

Why the need for a responsive website or what is driving websites into developing responsive websites? With the ever-evolving technology where new devices and upgrades of existing devices are invented every day, people are using more and more diverse devices. To accommodate all users on these diverse devices, responsive web design is becoming an integral tool for all businesses with a digital presence.

In 2018, Google introduced and adopted mobile-first indexing following their finding that more people are browsing the internet on mobile devices than from computers as it happened previously. This mobile-first indexing ranks websites based on mobile content and this is forcing websites to adopt mobile-friendly web designs to compete favorably on Google ranking.

Google’s Mobile first-indexing

Google’s Mobile first-indexing is the new push forcing websites to adopt a mobile-friendly design (Source: Papdan)

How responsive web design works?

The responsive website designs have fluid grids that allow a website to flex, shrink, stretch and adjust to fit different display ratios. These designs serve the same HTML for all devices and use CSS media queries only to decide the rendering on every display.

Let’s take a traditional unresponsive website– when viewed from a mobile device the viewer is forced to scroll left and right to read or view the other end of the website. On the other hand, on a responsive website, the content fits the display and user only scrolls upwards and downward.

The traditional website designs are sized in pixels which stay fixed regardless of the size of the display while responsive web design is designed in proportions. Proportions do not specifically state how wide a column, image or other elements of a web page should be rather it states what portion of the display it should take, for example, a fraction or a percentage of a web page.  

Thus, guided by the width of the web browser which is proportionate to the width of a device display, responsive website design determines the amount of display space available and allocates the space proportionately to best display the website.

The responsive web design is also set with breakpoints which are range targeted. These points break up the website into different section pushing some elements that can’t fit without compromising the visibility or aesthetic of the site to the next row.

For example, a column or image that is past the breakpoint of a display is pushed to the next row or section to effectively fit a display that is not wide enough to accommodate all the components of a web page on the same row as it would fate in a computer display.

how responsive design works infographic

How a Responsive Website Design works (Source: Hubspot)

These characteristics also enable the site to respond to device movements such as when a device is rotated vertically, it resizes the content without compromising functionality, loading speed or aesthetics.

responsive sites have to respond to any move you make

Responsive site responding to device movement (Source: Hubspot)

Learn more on how to design and develop a website.

Or

Learn how to develop a website for beginners.

In conclusion

Keep in touch with our Minds Metricks Digital Marketing Blog to keep yourself updated on emerging issues in web design and development. Learn more from experts in web design, development and web design best practices. If you have any question, require any assistance or you seek to have a responsive website designed contact us.  

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