Design is the process of collecting ideas, and aesthetically arranging and implementing them, guided by certain principles for a specific purpose. Web design is a similar process of creation, with the intention of presenting the content in such a way as to foster curiosity and engagement.
Elements of Web Design
Web design uses many of the same key visual elements as all types of design such as:
Layout: This is the way the graphics, and text are arranged. In the web world, a key goal is to help the viewer find the information they seek at a glance. This includes maintaining the balance, consistency, and integrity of the design. Adding interactive elements are very important to engagement as is fresh content on a regular basis to foster loyalty.
Color: The choice of colors depends on the purpose and clientele; it could be simple black-and-white to multi-colored design, conveying the personality of a person or the brand of an organization, using web-safe color palettes.
Graphics: Graphics can include logos, photos, clipart or icons, all of which enhance the web design. For user friendliness, these need to be placed appropriately, working with the color and content of the web page, while not making it too congested or slow to load.
Fonts: The use of various fonts can enhance a website design. Google has developed their fonts to whimsical to very bold. Most all browsers can read these, which was not true five years ago.
Content: Content and design can work together to enhance the message of the site through visuals and text. Written text should always be relevant and useful to the user. Static content is acceptable with the addition of blog posts and News Flashes. Content should be optimized for search engines and be of a suitable length, incorporating relevant keywords, and phrases.
Creating User-Friendly Web Design
Besides the basic elements of web design that make a site beautiful and visually compelling, a website must also always consider the end user. User-friendliness can be achieved by paying attention to the following factors.
Navigation: Site architecture, menus and other navigation tools in the web design must be created with consideration of how users browse and search. The goal is to help the user to move around the site with ease, efficiently finding the information they require. These movements can be tracked and studied to enhance further the construction and content of the website through analytics.
Multimedia: Relevant video and audio interactions in the design can aid users to grasp the information, developing understanding in an easy and quick way. This will encourage visitors to spend more time on the webpage.
Compatibility: Design the webpage, to perform equally well on different browsers and operating systems, to increase its availability to users.
Technology: Advancements in technology give designers the freedom to add movement and innovation, allowing for web design that is always fresh, dynamic and professional.
Interactive: Increase active user participation and involvement, by adding interactive buttons, polls, questionnaires to the design. Convert users from visitors with email forms and newsletter sign-ups.