Web design refers to the design of websites that are displayed on the internet. It usually refers to the user experience aspects of website development rather than software development. Web design used to be focused on designing websites for desktop browsers; however, since the mid-2010s, design for mobile and tablet browsers has become ever-increasingly important.
A web designer works on the appearance, layout, and, in some cases, content of a website. Appearance, for instance, relates to the colors, font, and images used. Layout refers to how information is structured and categorized. A good web design is easy to use, aesthetically pleasing, and suits the user group and brand of the website. Many webpages are designed with a focus on simplicity, so that no extraneous information and functionality that might distract or confuse users appears. As the keystone of a web designer’s output is a site that wins and fosters the trust of the target audience, removing as many potential points of user’s frustration as possible is a critical consideration.
Two of the most common methods for designing websites that work well both on desktop and mobile are responsive and adaptive design. In responsive design, content size; in adaptive design, the website content is fixed in layout sizes. Preserving a layout that is as consistent as possible between devices is crucial to maintaining users trust and engagement. As responsive design can present difficulties in this regard, designers must be careful in relinquishing control of how their work will appear. If they are responsible for the content as well, while they may need to broaden their skillset, they will enjoy having the advantage of full control of the finished product.
LITERATURE ON WEB DESIGN
Here’s the entire UX literature on Web design by the interaction Design Foundation, collated one place
Web Designer UX Designer
HOW TO Change Your Career from Web Design
Changing careers isn’t as hard as it’s often made out to be, especially if you’ve got the right resources to help you make the change. For many web designers, now is the perfect time to make the switch into UX design .To start with, there’s the monetary boost that comes with the change in career. According to pay scale, Web designers in the US earn an average of $46,000 annually (1), while UX designers on the other hand earn a sizable $74,000(2) secondly, job opportunities for UX designers are booming: CNN reports that a total of 3,426,000 UX design jobs will be crated in the US alone within next 10 years (3)
Furthermore, UX design is a meaningful job, not only because you get to work on a product from the inside out, but also because –as DMI has shown- UX design makes a significant impact on business, with UX design-driven business, outperforming the S&P index by 228 %( 4). So, where do you find the right resources to help you make your career change? Why, you’re reading one right now.
To start with, let’s have a brief introduction to what we mean by “User Experience”. Product users, and the users experience (UX) is simply the experience a user has from using that particular product. So far, so good?
What is User Experience and User Experience Design?
UX design is the art of designing products so that they provide the optimum possible user experience. If this description sounds board, it’s because the nature UX design is pretty broad. Building the optimum UX encompasses an understanding of psychology, interaction designs, user research, and many other disciplines, but on the top of it all is an interactive problems solving process (but more on that later)
Broadly speaking, user experience can be broken down into 3 components
The look of a product is about using visuals to create a sense of harmony with the user’s values, and that creates credibility and trust with the user. It’s about creating a product that no only looks nice, but looks right too.
The feel, then, involves making the experience of using a product as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. It’s built by crafting the interactions between the user and the product, as well as the reactions they have when (and after) suing the product.
Lastly, usability underpins the user experience. Quite simply, if a product isn’t usable, no amount of good looks salvage it, and the only feeling users are going to have is anger and frustration. Ideality, products should be personalized to user’s needs, and deliver functionality in a predictable way.
What Do Web Design and UX Design have in Common?
The title “web designer” has many definitions, and indeed, what a web designer does is largely dependent on what the client or project requires. Some web designer simply create visual designs and or high fidelity interactive prototypes of the website, and leave the coding of the website to front-end back-end developers. The majority of web designers, however, do get involved with both the designing and (front-end) development of the website. Some web designers even regularly do users research and testing as part of their jobs(and if you’re one of them, you’re already almost ready for a job in UX design) but no matter what your jobs as a web designer entails, here are some aspects of web design that can also be found in UX design
Web designer’s look to solve problems for their clients; UX designers look to solve problems of their users. Web designer’s work with a problem solving process: first, they find out the problems their clients have, then design a web solution for them, and then proceed to develop and test the website before releasing it. This iterative problem solving process is similar to the UX design process .UX designer begin with users research; it’s essential to get to know the potential users of a product and find out what their problems are, how to solve them and how to make users want and need that solution. User research is often done via user interviews, observations, demographic studies, drafting user’s stories and personas, etc. if you’ve done user research before as part of you web designer job, you will find it a great advantage when making the switch to UX design.
When designing websites, web designers often make use of typography, color and layout to shape the emotions of users. A sense of credibility could be established, for instance, by using darker colors and serif fonts: similarly, a sense of fun could be created using colorful imagery and playful typography. Wed designers are familiar with emotional design; that is, creating designs that elicit emotions from users UX designers are also concerned with emotional design, but on a large scale- they are concerned with eliciting emotions from users throughout their entire experience of using a product.
To do that, UX designers work with not only typography and color, but also psychology, motion design, content curation and information architecture. Web design in UX entails; they simply need to pick up new knowledge in other areas to augment their ability to do so a bigger picture.
Difference between Web Design and UX design
User-focused vs technology- focused
A large part of your job as a web designer is spent on catching up on the latest developments in HTML, CSS and other coding language-all of which change and improve at a dizzying pace. Which browsers support what versions of CSS? Would CSS animation work in Safari on a Mac? Don’t even get me started on internet Explore! These might be a few questions (and frustration) that are constantly on your mind as a web designer. But UX design isn’t concerned with technology. Instead, its focus is centered squarely on users-technology is only a means for users to get what they need. Only by focusing on users can UX designers create solution that cater to the specific needs they have, and ultimately, that users will be willing to pay for. UX designers do extensive can about their users, most of which the majority of web designers wouldn’t have had the chance to perform
UX is more than the Web
UX design is platform independent. Its principles and process are applied to many diverse areas outside of web browsers: on mobile apps, desktop software, and even hardware products and retail spaces. On the other hand, domain of web design is strictly tied to web browsers. This means that UX designers are able to find job opportunities not only in up and rising field like tech startups, but also in mature and sable industries like car manufacturers. As long as there’s a product, there’s a need for UX- and their really opens up your world of opportunities.
Relevance of web design background
The biggest benefit of moving from web design to UX design is the amount of overlap between the two fields of design. While it’s true that UX design covers more platforms than the web browsers, a sizeable portion of UX design work is the still done on products that are at least partially think social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, web apps like Dropbox, and services like Google.
Being fluent in design and website coding terminologies will also give you a boost that cannot be ignored; after all, UX design is a collaborative process where commination is crucial.
Your ability to create beautiful aesthetics as a web designer will also come in handy when making the switch to UX design. Firstly, aesthetics is a great tool to augment your communication with internal stakeholder.
As a designer you have to constantly present your findings and recommendation to internal stakeholder and your ability to create visually pleasing reports and presentation will maximize the absorption of your key points
Secondly, aesthetics plays a vital role in design. A common myth of design is that great usability true. In fact, a study of more than 2,500 participants by the Stanford Credibility project showed the nearly half of them assessed the credibility of websites based on their visual appeal.