What Is Web Design: Its Main Elements, Stages, and Principles
In this article, we will answer the question “Who is actually a web designer?” Usually, it is thought that this is the person who makes websites. But is it really so? As a result, we decided to clarify this issue and find out what web design is in the broad sense of the term, and who can be called then a web designer. In order to find out, let us look at the steps, principles, and elements of discussed IT area.
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After reading a lot of definitions, we decided on the following one. Web design is the process of producing websites, which includes technical development, information structuring, visual (graphic) design, and network delivery.
Let us consider in more detail what stages the process of creating a website consists of. A detailed understanding of the process of creating a website will give us the opportunity to determine who does what at each stage.
1. Terms of Reference (TOR)
Based on a clear understanding of the purpose for which the website is being created, the volume of the website, its functionality, the main parameters of the visual representation, and structure of the website are set. The stage ends after the approval of the TOR by the customer. The project manager is engaged.
2. Structuring of Information (Usability)
This includes the form and organization of the website content. It includes a wide range of questions from thinking through the logical structure of web pages to the selection of the most convenient forms of information delivery. The designer, the project manager, is engaged.
3. Graphic Design
In the graphic editor, the visual space of the website is compiled with the help of graphic elements as decoration or navigation. The actual design of the page is a graphic file. It is executed by the designer.
4. HTML Coding
At this stage, the graphic picture is sliced into separate elements. Using HTML and CSS technologies, it is transformed into code that can be viewed using a browser. It is executed by the coder, the programmer.
At this stage, actions are taken to facilitate the distribution and effective delivery of the website through the network. It includes hosting and search engine optimization. It is implemented by the administrator, webmaster.
3. Who is a Web Designer?
A web designer is someone who independently runs a website and performs all the steps of creating a website on their own. It should be understood that a web designer can delegate certain steps to other people, but he/she controls the whole process by him/herself. Yes, the web designer should be a generalist and understand all the aspects of the process.
So, we see a significant difference between the concept of a designer and a web designer. The designer is someone who develops the usability and graphical component of the website. These two concepts blended due to the lack of a narrow specialization of performers. And basically, the emphasis is on creating a graphic component of the website, although this is not the only responsibility of them.
Elements of web design are those abstract materials with which the designer has to work. The main elements of design include: space, line, shape, color, texture, font, shape, effects of light and shade, size. It is with them, as with bricks, the whole composition of design is being built. To use them properly, one must know their defining properties, strengths and weaknesses, and behavior in different situations.
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But it is not enough to know the properties of bricks to learn how to build a building. It is the principles of web design that determine the rules for the interaction of all elements. The basic principles of web design are balance, contrast, subordination, the direction of attention, proportions, scale, rhythm, and unity. The fundamental principles of design determine what is good and what is bad among countless combinations of elements.
6. How to Learn
What can one do to learn web design and whether it is possible to learn to design already in adulthood? First of all, you can learn web design at any age. The main thing here is not an age but the presence of desire and patience to study. Secondly, there is almost no difference from any other learning process when it goes about the process of learning web design.
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Therefore, for a start, it is good to get acquainted with the theoretical part. But the main thing in the process of learning web design is practice. You need to start with the easiest lessons for beginners. We need simple lessons because when it turns out well, it gives a strong incentive to move on.
While training during the lessons, the necessary skills are acquired, which in the future must be developed.
At the same time, it is very useful to look at the best samples of design creativity. Then, you can try to do something similar on your own. Furthermore, you always have to believe that you will succeed!