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Web design – complete guide (2023)

Vojtěch Bruk
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Everyone has a different idea of web design. Some people think of web design, some people think of UX, some people think of graphics. In this article, we'll look at what web design actually is, what's important for it, and there will be specific tips you can use on your site. Let's get to it.…

Everyone has a different idea of web design. Some people think of web design, some people think of UX, some people think of graphics.

In this article, we’ll look at what web design actually is, what’s important for it, and there will be specific tips you can use on your site.

Let’s get to it.

What is web design?

Web design is about creating websites that are found by relevant people and accomplish the goals for which they were created.

Web design, then, refers to the UX part of web design (the look and feel and usability) rather than, say, writing code (which is referred to as web development).

Historically, web design was primarily focused on creating websites for desktops, but since 2010, design for mobile, tablets, and other devices has become increasingly important.

What are the goals of web design?

I like the Wikipedia definition, which states that the goal of web design is to create websites that meet the following criteria:

  • Relevant visitors come to the site
  • The website influences/helps them by making them perform a conversion action(s) that is consistent with the intent of the website creator
  • Visitors return to the site and perform the same or other actions
  • The site engages visitors so much that they talk about it on their own with other members of the site’s target audience

Based on this definition, we can then also estimate the work that a web designer does. And also the fact that this work is wide and varied.

Although most of his time is spent in Figma he will probably also encounter SEO tools.Who is a web designer?

A web designer can hold a number of positions. The most common are:

  • graphics
  • UX/UI designer
  • a single web designer

Often, then, a combination of these professions in one person. So you can recognize a web designer primarily by whether and how he or she can help you with what you need.

It is difficult to know a designer formally by his profession.

Web Design Principles

I described the general principles of good web design in my article 5 Principles That Will Improve Your Site, with principled thinking, which constantly emphasizes the interests and requirements of visitors, being essential. I then break down the specific principles in the article.

However, the principles of web design can also include specific tips and best-practices that can be used to achieve the desired result.

From this barrel, I have then written articles such as How to make a landing page or How to make a contact page, and I believe that many of the tips mentioned in the articles will be easily transferable to other pages on your site.

Web design checklists

Web design checklists, then, are probably the best way to make sure that the principles you want to follow and the things that have worked for you on past projects will be present on all future projects.

There are public checklist sites, and I count checklist.design among the best.

However, in my personal experience, nothing compares to the custom checklists you can conveniently create in, say, Notion, and with each successive project (with each successive iteration), you can improve those checklists.

This will in turn improve the output of your work proportionally.

Web Design Tools

There are many web design tools, and the best way to categorize these tools is by the stage of the process in which they are used.

In the preparatory phase of the process, Figma or another design and prototyping tool will be very useful.

Translating web design into the real world can then be done by creating a customized site or using one of the many WordPress builders, such as Elementor or Bricks.

Once the site is finished you’ll be interested in page traffic, which you’ll use various metrics (such as bounce rate) to break down into analyzable parts. If you don’t know which metrics are important on your site, this article on the most important Google metrics will give you some basic tips.Based on this ongoing analysis, you’ll have outputs that you can then incorporate, whether as part of SEO optimization, expanding the site, or just developing existing parts of it.

Web Design Trends

Web design trends are, by definition, changing. That’s why I prefer principles and frameworks (see above) and follow trends rather sporadically.

But if you are interested in trends, there are plenty of relevant articles, for example:

What I find even better than articles in the trend area are videos where you can see just what is “meant” by the trend:

Technical Aspects of the Web

Technical aspects such as avoiding WordPress spam, page url format, adding ReCAPTCHA or implementing Cookie bars are primarily the job of the web developer.

However, if all of these things are to be done well and efficiently, it is almost essential that the web designer and web developer work closely together on them.

For example, in the case of the Cookie Bar, it’s one thing to implement the bar. It’s quite another to implement it in a way that doesn’t get in people’s way, doesn’t drive them away from the site, and doesn’t impede the usability of the site.

It’s for these reasons that a web designer is an extremely useful right hand of a developer, even for all things technical.

Word in conclusion

Web design is a colorful field that encompasses many competencies and skills.

If you’re thinking about creating a website, the field of web design is unavoidable. I hope this article has helped you get a clear understanding of who a web designer is, what the purpose of web design is, and how it differs from, say, the aforementioned web development.

So let me know in the comments how you feel about web design? And do you think a web designer could help your site in any major way?

About author

Vojtech Bruk

I enjoy exploring things in depth. That's why I write this blog. And I also try to make my clients as much money as possible), that's the second reason.

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