What is web design?
Web design is the process of strategizing and creating an online user experience that will connect with your target audience. It determines the look and feel of a website as well as the functionality within the experience.
Why is web design important?
Your website is your company’s most valuable digital asset. It’s like a 24/7 storefront advertising on your behalf. And, like a storefront, it can make a positive or negative impression on your users.
Effective web design is crafted with your user in mind and takes into consideration the kind of visuals they will enjoy and respond to, the content they want or need to see, and the type of user journey ideal for them to follow throughout the website.
When done well, web design helps convert prospects into customers. But done poorly, without a focus on the needs of the end-user, web design can turn people off of your brand and cause them to look to a competitor instead.
Common web design pain points
The website looks great, but it isn’t getting results.
You can have a visually stunning web design, but still have high bounce rates and low session duration. You’re not getting the qualified leads and conversions you need.
The website looks terrible, and it’s hurting the brand.
Your website is your 24/7 brand ambassador. An outdated or poorly designed website can have damaging effects on user experience, price expectations, brand trust, and credibility.
A templated website is limiting growth.
Off-the-shelf templates might appear to be less expensive, but they end up costing you in the long run. A slow-loading site. Less effective design. Missed conversions.
Website design vs website development
Although two distinctly separate disciplines, web design, and web development go hand in hand. Developers use coding languages to bring web design to life so that users can see and use it as intended.
Without development, web design would simply be a static picture of what a website could look like. Without design, developers would have no material or direction with which to code.
Web designers and developers must work together to create an aesthetically pleasing, intuitive, and functional website that delivers an exceptional user experience.
Web design elements
Website navigation allows users to move from page to page on your website and easily locate the content they’re looking for. Navigation includes the menu within the page header, sidebar links, and pages listed within the footer.
The layout refers to the organization of design elements on the page. It determines the content hierarchy and placement of images, copy, buttons, etc.
Copy refers to the written words on a page. Effective web design includes compelling copy that is easy for users to read and digest and reflects the brand’s tone of voice.
It’s important to select legible fonts that your audience can read with straining. Font styles should be complementary to each other and help users understand the natural order of your content.
Imagery includes photography, graphics, and illustrations. It should be aligned with copy and help to tell a cohesive story.
Icons help to describe smaller pieces of content. Typically small and more simple than an illustration, they help users easily interpret sections of copy.
Your colour palette should be aligned with your brand guidelines and be used to evoke certain emotions in your users.
Effective web design has a balance of content and white space. White space helps draw users’ attention to what’s most important on the page and prevents them from feeling overwhelmed by your content.
Web design process
A strong, strategic web design process is one that makes every decision with the end-user in mind. At Tiller, our process can be broken down into five stages.
- Strategy and planning – This includes creating a detailed web plan outlining the goals and requirements of the website and creating wireframes or prototypes that depict the user journey.
- Copywriting – Writing copy early in the web design process promotes alignment and collaboration between copywriters and designers, which results in clear and effective storytelling.
- User interface (UI) design – UI design is what the user sees and can click on. UI designers combine all of the design elements we listed above to deliver a positive user experience.
- Development – Once designs have been created, it’s time to bring them to life with code through development.
- Quality assurance – QA testing ensures that everything looks and functions as it is supposed to. It also ensures your site performs optimally on all devices and browsers.