What is Web Design?

What is Web Design Infographic

Web design, also referred to as website design or web page design is the skill of creating visual presentation layouts using different technologies such as hypertext that is delivered to a users web browser through the World Wide Web (www). Good web design should be visually appealing and easy to read, align to the brand, and most importantly appeal to the target audience. The goal is to attain trust from the website visitor and remove any issues that may result in user frustration. 

Website design forms part of the broader web design process and therefore encompasses both the layout and appearance of a website. Appearance for example relates to the images, font and colour used, while layout refers to how the website information is structured and categorised. Most importantly, it refers to the user experience aspects of a website. In addition, website design can also be tailored for users based on their residential location or country such as South Africa.

Website design is also linked to the type of web page being created and different techniques can be applied in these cases. For example, the home and about us pages target different objectives and therefore require the appropriate website design techniques. 

Web browsers are used to interpret and display web design code such as html and java script. The web browser interprets the source code, fonts, images, text and displays this is such a way that its readable for website visitors. 

Website design is similar to traditional graphic design, where design elements are placed on a page with different spacing that produces layouts that are visually appealing to the reader. Various frameworks are used to build, maintain and display information on an end users web browser. 

Varying levels of skills and disciplines are required to enable the creation and maintenance of websites. There are various areas which include interface design; web graphic design; authoring, user experience design; and search engine optimisation. 

Web design partially overlaps web engineering in the broader scope of web development, and website designers are expected to be aware of website usability and up to date with web accessibility guidelines. Web programming is the skill of coding and constructing the server side of a website, while website design uses technologies to construct the front end of a website.

Website design is traditionally performed by a website designer who has a wide variety of design tools and user interface standards to help them along the way. 

Since 2014, website design for mobile devices as become increasingly important when compared to desktops and this has given rise to "responsive web design". As a result, consideration for different display sizes is necessary.

What is good web design?

Good web design means that a website is effective in fulfilling its intended purpose and communicates its message in a clear and engaging manner to the website visitor. In addition, several considerations such as functionality, interaction, imagery, typography and colours contribute to good website design.

A website that is well perceived by users, can help build trust and increase conversion rates by ensuring users take action. A great user experience (UX design), ensures that a website is designed for usability and functionality.

What is responsive web design?

Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design refers to a website with web pages that can dynamically change dimension to accommodate different screen sizes of mobile phones, tablets and desktops. In addition, a combination of HTML and CSS is used to automatically resize the web page. The main advantage of responsive website design is that you no longer require different versions of your website to accommodate various screen sizes.

It's a fact that more people search for your business using their mobile phones than they do using their desktop computer. This all started to shift in 2014 where in the USA, mobile usage exceeded desktop usage. It has therefore become ever-increasingly important to build your website for a variety of mobile devices.

How to check if your website is responsive and mobile friendly

A quick test that you can perform from your desktop web browser involves the following steps: Visit your website on your web browser with the web browser window maximized to full screen. Now drag the window smaller until the window looks like the size of your mobile phone's screen. While doing this, you should notice all the content shift so that it fits into the smaller window without having to scroll to the left or right. If you see scroll bars allowing you to scroll left or right, your website is not responsive or mobile friendly.

What is User Experience (UX) Design?

User experience design (UX design)

User experience design is the ability to design products and services in such a way that they provide the best user experience. When a user interacts with a companies product, they either have a good or bad experience. In other words, the user experience (UX) is the experience a user has while using a product or service.

A UX designer will design products that provide meaningful user experiences that range from the beginning of product usage right through to the end of product usage. Consideration for usability, branding and function are important factors to consider and as a result, the UX designers scope of work is broad and requires the correct approach across the entire UX process. 

Various skills are required to be good at UX design such as interaction design, psychology and user research. In addition, iterative problem solving skills across these disciplines makes for a great UX designer. 

User experience design can be broken down into the following categories:


It's important to use visual techniques that not only align with the user but that also create a sense of credibility and trust. From a users perspective, the design must look great.


When users engage with a product, the experience and interactions with the product need to be as satisfying as possible. Careful consideration to user reactions during product usage should also be taken into account and this feedback should be used for future product iterations.


If a product does not meet a user’s need, its considered un-usable. Therefore, product usability is a critical consideration when applying UX design. A good-looking product that does not meet a user’s expectation and provide useful functionality will undoubtably fail.

What is a web designer?

A web designer is someone who uses their knowledge of traditional web design, web programming and scripting languages to create web pages that display on a clients web browser (front end). Web pages can be designed on a grid system which allows the content on the web page to shift and resize according to the size of the web browser window. They require both creative skills and technical skills to successfully create web pages. Read more

About the author Jason

"I care about creating great websites that not only look good, but also serve a purpose"