The Inherent Importance of Web Design
Today, very few aspects of traditional business are conducted as they were before the invention of the internet. The connectivity that the internet provides between a business owner and his or her clients has reached a level to which there is no historic comparison. Customers can now choose to shop from the comfort of their homes, often selecting retailers or businesses based entirely on a cursory glance of a website. As such, a well designed, thoughtful, and purpose-built internet presence is one of the foundational keys to success in the modern business market.
What is Web Design and Why is it Important?
Web design is a dynamic and fluid profession that has seen consistent rises in employment numbers over the past ten years. In an economy that is questionable at best for some professions, web designers rarely have to worry about where their work will come from. In fact, the importance of web design for successful web pages seems to have risen conversely with the overall economic trends around the world. As the economy has become less stable, entrepreneurs are often forced to mitigate costs however possible. For many, this includes either enhancing their own websites or moving their operations entirely onto the web. This is a trend that is concurrently followed by a large percentage of consumers. Many people choose to do most, if not all, of their shopping online these days. This is due to the fact that economic hard times don't just impact businesses. Online marketplaces often provide consumers with an easily accessible means to discover merchandise and services as very low cost. Recent advancements in online security have helped to turn the internet into an "enhanced" marketplace. As more and more consumers base their shopping choices around the appearance and functionality of a business' website, business owners are starting to take notice.
This ever-increasing use of the internet doesn't simply apply to conventional marketplace businesses. The impact of a well designed website on news, current events, and personal blogging sites cannot be overstressed. Considering that individuals choose to visit these kinds of sites for fun in their free time, a professional design can have a much greater impact on their traffic than on other sites. Many sites with fine content are often unfortunately usurped by more visually appealing and functional ones.
The relationship between business owner and web designer is a new one, but one that is also steadily gaining notoriety every day. In the past large amounts of money were once spent on flashy store fronts, rent, and signage as a default. These days, many entrepreneurs choose to do business solely on the internet due to lower overhead costs. As a result, their entire presence is almost entirely dictated by the professionalism and sleek look of their web pages. Even larger companies use the web to expand the recognition of their brand and to reach new audiences. What this results in is an understanding of the inherent, undeniable importance of web designers in todays business climate. Unless a business owner sees a worldwide collapse of infrastructure on the horizon, there is little doubt that the necessity for skilled web designers will only become greater with time.
The Process of Web Design
When one looks at the specific skills necessary to create an attractive and informational internet presence, it's very easy to see why more and more people are seeing the importance of solid web design. For starters, it is a long and intensive process. First and foremost, certain questions need to be asked. How large of a budget is there to work with? More involved designs will necessitate more involved participation. This can either be an increased time commitment or the use of more advanced software. What kind of time-frame is there for the creation of the design? If an individual is looking for an attractive, well thought out site design, then certain time considerations need to be taken into account. Attempting to push out a specialized design in a limited amount of time often shows itself obviously in the finished product.
So to start off, we can see that a good design starts with an honest appraisal of not only what is needed but also what is possible. High hopes that crash into a low budgetary wall will only end up as a disappointment. Once a realistic assessment of needs versus reality is established, the process of brainstorming can begin. During this process, ideas are thrown out that fit within the boundaries of the understood scope of the project. Writing down every idea for later reference can prove to be extremely important in the future. Generally, the brain storming session is where things such as logos and the branding are discussed. How can these things be optimally realized within the constraints of the budget and time-frame? This is a great way to take those "realistic" goals and see what creative ways exist to realize them. With this brainstorming generally comes an understanding of the overall feel of the design. Some would say this concept grows organically out of a brainstorming session. When the overall feel is established, blanks begin to get filled in. For example: if the client wants to run movie clips or a photo gallery on the site, these will entail the use of different scripts.
Once the overall design is decided upon, steps can be taken toward the manifestation of that design. One of the most important of these steps is the text content. A beautiful, perfectly executed design can end up being completely useless if text looks ugly or is incomprehensible. Intelligent text requires a fluid and eye-catching scheme to reach its full potential. As such, aesthetic considerations are often as important as what exactly the text says. In this sense, it isn't simply enough to know how to make something "look good". The design needs to take certain concepts regarding human behavior into account such as where people are most likely to look first. An intuitive understanding of this is extremely important in the overall presentation.
It is also important to have a solid grasp on how many pages will be necessary for the design. This helps by organizing ideas into manageable components. Perhaps there will be a separate page for company information, shipping costs, a video page, or maybe even a slide show. It is necessary to take the time to place content where it will generate the most traffic and make the most sense. By organizing in this way, a designer is able to understand the complete picture of the design. This aids, of course, in the speedy and efficient implementation of the design from "theoretical" design to actual use.
Once everything is decided upon, the arduous task of writing the code for the design begins. This is an extremely long and specialized process by which a designer will build the design around code that is often incomprehensible to the uninitiated. Depending on what kind of design is being sought, different style sheet languages will be used to describe the presentation semantics that dictate the look and format of the design.
The Qualified Web Designer
Something to bear in mind is that if an individual decides to go at this alone for his or her own website, they are robbing themselves of time that could be spent developing their business. Large amounts of time. The point is that web design is not something that can just be "picked up" on the fly and used to make an attractive site over an afternoon. It is an extensively involved process through which a highly skilled person creates the internet "face" of a company or individual. The time it takes to learn the various languages and how to comprehensibly put them together into a workable design is extraordinary. The work that a person puts into gaining that knowledge is not something to be shrugged off as a simple feat.
As such, the professional that provides web design services charges a fee that corresponds with his or her level of knowledge. When one considers that amount of money that would be spent on contractors in the creation of a traditional storefront, the fee pales in comparison. Throwing in the ridiculously lower price of a year of web hosting compared to a year of property rental, that discrepancy grows even more.
Web Design is Here to Stay
At the end of the day, all of these components come together to create a very specialized consumer interface. This final result is the culmination of the very hard work of a dedicated individual doing large amounts of sometimes tedious and laborious work. A professionally produced web design can enhance not only the aesthetic nature of a site, but also the traffic. This cannot be oversold. When one takes into account the copious amounts of time it takes to brainstorm, design, and implement a solid and professional looking web design it is truly a monumental task. As trends continue to move closer toward a heavily web-based consumer culture, the importance of well designed websites will remain key to sustainable business growth. With that, comes a definitive understanding that web design will only see a growth in demand with each passing year.
Ciara Sawyer is a contributor writer for Web Hosting Search – a web hosting comparison guide with only one objective; bringing you the best web hosting plans possible.