The Beginner’s Guide To Better Understand Web Design
The way businesses operate has changed dramatically since the internet became readily available to everyone. As more people have internet access, it is not surprising that almost every business nowadays has a website with an aesthetically pleasing web design.
Running a business these days, whether big or small, is no longer bound to brick-and-mortar stores. After all, once they have set up a website with excellent web design for their company, they can now reach out to more potential customers as they become connected with them 24/7.
However, the issue is that simply having a website without optimising search engine optimisation (SEO) and web design is insufficient to increase traffic, leads and conversions. At the very least, you have to create a good impression on your potential customers to keep them engaged.
In that case, your website must have an excellent and quality web design.
What Is Web Design?
Web design refers to the entire overall layout of a website. Think of it like the interior design of a brick-and-mortar store. As soon as potential customers land on your business’s website, the first thing they will notice is its web design.
Given that humans by nature are attracted to beauty, a well-designed website can capture their attention, from the colour to font and more. All of these start from the first 0.05 seconds for people to judge, form their opinion, and decide whether to leave or stay to browse the web pages.
Researchers from the survey ‘Trust and Mistrust of Online Health Sites’ also found that 94% of users often mistrust a website due to the looks of its web design, and the remaining 6% is related to content.
Create an aesthetically pleasing web design for your business’s website to earn the trust of your potential customers. Start by learning and understanding how web design works.
Part I: How Does Web Design Work?
Web design works the same way as interior design. It combines various elements not limited to texts, colours, photos, graphics, animations, and videos to form one that represents something, either a business or an individual.
An excellent web design should not only be aesthetically pleasing but should also be easy to navigate. Both can help increase the search engine ranking of a website, maximise its online presence, gain leads, and eventually convert potential customers to paying ones.
Before designing a website, it is vital to know the different types of web design and types of websites. It will help with the conceptualisation of website creation.
The Different Types Of Web Design
For most people, ‘web design’ is the act of designing the entire layout of a website. However, there is more to web design than simply creating a website’s aesthetics and layout.
In reality, web design is an umbrella term that covers a broad spectrum of website development with the use of coding languages to form the elements, add colours, and more. For that reason, it is no surprise that countless companies offer web design services in Singapore, all of which specialise in diverse areas.
Try to understand the different types of web design to figure out which one suits your business the most:
1. Fixed/Static Web Design
Fixed web design, also known as static web design, is one of the oldest types of web design. It has been here ever since the internet became accessible to everyone. Because this web design uses a fixed width in pixels, you will notice it has little to no user interaction.
While fixed web design often does not provide technical problems for desktop users, that is not the case for other mobile device users with different screen sizes.
Mobile device users may find the fixed web design horrifying since they cannot see the text and image as clearly as possible. In most cases, they have to pinch the screen to zoom in on the part that they want to view, which can be frustrating to navigate the website.
2. Responsive Web Design
This type of web design exactly means what it is. A website that has a responsive web design can work flawlessly on gadgets of different screen sizes.
ALSO READ: 4 Benefits Of Responsive Web Design For SEO
Unlike fixed/static web design, the entire structure of this web design adjusts accordingly. Regardless of the device a user uses, be it a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, they will have an excellent experience visiting and browsing through a website since they can see everything without needing to zoom in by pinching the screen.
3. Adaptive Web Design
Adaptive web design is another type of web design that considers screen sizes and mobile devices by creating a web design layout of five to six widths. Some of the web design versions are smaller or larger than others, which improves the loading process of the elements than using a responsive web design.
Depending on the proper size that is accessible, the user’s device will choose a version of your layout design that has or is nearly the same screen size as the device’s screen. You can expect the web design will adapt to fit the screen accordingly if well-implemented.
4. Fluid/Liquid Web Design
Fluid web design, mostly known as liquid web design, is another unique type of web design that derives its name from how it flows smoothly into the available space that a website has once access on a web browser.
While its definition sounds similar to responsive web design, the way it works is different. Fluid/static web design shrinks or stretches the entire website layout, but the sizes of elements remain the same.
Another thing you need to know about this type of web design is that it is substantially less flexible than responsive web design. When viewed on too-small or too-large screens, this might also result in the design’s text, images, and videos looking very small or warped.
The Different Types Of Websites
A high-quality website is the best way to establish an online presence and reach out to many people considering that most online experience begins on search engines. But aside from that, your site’s web design and structure should align well with your objective. Doing so requires you to choose the most suitable type of website based on your goals.
Choosing the appropriate type of website allows you to create, interact, connect, and communicate well with your target audience. Know which kind of website you want to establish first. Here are your options.
1. E-commerce Website
Consider creating a category and subcategories of products so they can quickly find what they are looking for on your e-commerce website. Guarantee to add images, videos, and short descriptions about the product so potential customers will have ideas on what they are about to get and use.
You can also add an internal search bar so they can type what they are looking for and get instant results. With this, your customers will have an easy and smooth purchase journey.
This image is a screenshot from Sephora’s makeup web page.
2. Portfolio Website
LinkedIn may allow anyone to share their professional experience and expertise, but that is not enough to showcase what they can do. That is where a portfolio website would come in.
With a portfolio website, anyone can display their past works, achievements, and even their advocacy. As long as a portfolio website has a clear web design, it can help the viewers learn more about someone.
This image is a screenshot from the actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s portfolio and foundation.
Reviewing someone’s portfolio website helps people who want to hire them to weigh the pros and cons and determine the reason why they should hire or engage with them for a particular project.
For public figures like Leonardo DiCaprio, his fans can check his portfolio to keep up to date with the latest happenings related to him.
3. Membership Website
Another type of website is guaranteed exclusivity. That means only those who pay the membership fee for a particular plan and become a member can access it through the website, see the web design, and browse through the web pages.
Most entities that use a membership website belong to a media publication, screening platforms and those who offer exclusive tools to ease a particular working process.
This image is a screenshot of Netflix’s homepage.
4. Non-profit Organisation Website
Entities that want to spread awareness and encourage others to join their activities use a non-profit organisation website. Its web design mostly involved white surfaces, which signifies transparency of its vision and mission, including its current volunteering campaigns.
This image is a screenshot of Operation Hope Foundation’s homepage, a non-profit organisation in Singapore.
5. Online Forum
An online forum refers to a website that allows anyone to exchange information between people. As more people discuss something and share personal or professional experiences and expertise, it is slowly building a community on a shared topic.
This image is a screenshot from Reddit, the leading online forum in the world.
The Website Design Inspiration Sources
Creating a unique web design for a website is easier said than done, especially for those who lack creativity and do not have any expertise or experience in web design.
The good news is that there are several platforms where you can get website design inspirations, so you are ready when you need to revamp or create a web design of a website for your company.
Below are the platforms where you can get website design inspiration.
When it comes to sources of inspiration, nothing beats Pinterest. After all, Pinterest is a visual discovery platform where people find anything they want or need, whether for personal or business use.
You will see several results of web design inspiration when you search ‘web design’. Click on the images to view the entire web design and layout of web pages.
Unlike Pinterest, Dribble is a platform that focuses on showcasing the design-related work of creative professionals around the world, such as animation, product design, typography, and web design.
Since your concern is ‘web design’, you can either click on it in the suggested category on the home page or type it on the search bar. Regardless of what you choose will work. You will see several results of web design inspiration that can give you a reference of unique web design for your website.
Another popular platform where people can find web design inspiration for a website is Best Website Gallery, previously known as MakeBetterWebsites. It contains over 2000 quality web designs that anyone can use as a source of inspiration for a new project like creating a portfolio or e-commerce website.
Similar to Dribble and Best Website Gallery, Bēhance is another design-focused platform that helps brainstorm web design ideas. To exactly find what you are looking for, filter it by category to narrow down the results and become more familiar with popular web design per country or city.
Part II: Importance Of Web Design
A website is the digital forefront of a business. If its web design looks outdated, it will not make any appeal to potential customers. People visiting the said website will think more than twice before considering browsing the web pages and taking action.
Such a situation is not unexpected, considering that the Stanford Web Credibility Project has found that web design can influence users’ trust levels subconsciously. In the same research survey, 46% of participants said they judged the legitimacy of a website based on its overall web design, from the colour to typography.
The Brief History And Evolution Of Web Design
If you take a look at the history and evolution of web design, you will notice that web design has come a long way. Web design years ago was nothing but a combination of black and green text-only interfaces.
This image is a screenshot of Line Mode Browser from WebDesignMuseum.
Try comparing it now with the current status of web design and see how the evolution of web design and development has gone through to reach where it is now. Thanks to today’s web design, user navigation has become easier since people can now use a mouse and other web design elements like a search bar to ease their browsing experience.
Here is a recap to show you what has happened with web design throughout the years:
As long as more people have internet access to watch movies, listen to music, shop for products, and more keep themselves entertained online, the evolution and development of web design continue to evolve.
If you plan to revamp or create a web design for your company’s website, guarantee that you are updated with the latest web design trends. Doing so should help keep your website looking more relevant and aesthetically pleasing to your potential customers.
The Most Important Elements Of An Excellent Web Design
Besides knowing the latest web design trends, it will be futile if you do not know the important elements of an excellent web design. Comprehending the importance of web design elements allows you to create an aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-navigate website.
Below are some of the most important elements of an excellent web design you can implement on your website.
1. Easy Navigation
When it comes to web design, it should not only be aesthetically pleasing but should also be easy to navigate. After all, how would your potential customers browse through the web pages if they had to click many buttons to reach their desired web page?
To guarantee that your customers will have a good user experience, consider adding the following to the internal search functions of your website.
- Search Bar
This image is a screenshot of Unsplash’s homepage.
- Autocomplete Feature In The Search Bar
This image is a screenshot of Merriam Webster’s website, an online English dictionary platform.
- Filtering Feature For Product Categories
This image is a screenshot of Mega Furniture, an online furniture shop in Singapore.
- Error Search Tolerance
This image is a screenshot that shows that YouTube has an error search tolerance. The results show ‘mac pro review’ instead of the mistype search intent ‘mac pto review’.
2. Responsive Web Design
Since more than half of the global web traffic comes from mobile devices, the web design of your website should be responsive. Otherwise, mobile device users cannot access your website properly when they stumble upon search engine result pages (SERPs).
Even if your potential customers were able to land on your website, you should expect that they cannot see the text and image clearly due to its fixed/static web design.
3. Visual Elements
While people in the late 1980s were okay with black and green text-only interfaces, no one wants that kind of web design today. Not only does it strain the eye, but it also makes a website look like it is not credible to purchase from or hire for a project.
Prevent that from happening by using purposeful visual elements of web design such as:
- Stylish Typography
It refers to how the text was written. For example, is it printed or scripted? When creating a web design for your website, you should choose stylish typography that matches your brand image.
Retrieved this image from the Interaction Design Foundation’s article titled ‘What is Type?’.
- Appropriate Colour Scheme
Apart from the style of text, the colour scheme you use on your web design also matters. After all, every colour symbolises something from a human’s perspective and knowing what they can help with your website creation.
Here are some of the colours and the meaning behind them.
Using an appropriate colour scheme that matches your company’s corporate colour helps improve its branding. More potential customers can recognise your brand if you use the same colour scheme across your platforms, not just on the web design of your website.
- More Negative Space
Negative space refers to the white space of a website. Instead of using every space on your website, leave it as it is. Having less cluttered text, images, and videos helps visitors focus on important points. Your website visitors can further appreciate the other parts of web design and easily navigate the web pages.
4. Compelling Copy
Another important element of an excellent web design is a compelling copy. They are words or phrases that help persuade potential customers to learn more about the products or services of a company.
5. Call To Action Buttons
Besides writing persuasive and compelling copy, you should add a call to action (CTA) button. Including the CTA, this web design element will help encourage potential customers to reach out to you.
When adding a call to action button, be concise and guarantee it is clickable that can direct users to the right web page. Doing so should help create an impactful impression.
6. Page Loading Time
No matter how aesthetically pleasing the web design of a website is, if the elements load longer than three seconds, you can expect potential customers to leave right away.
To prevent that, improve the loading time of the web design elements on your website. Consider testing the user experience on various devices to see how fast or low your website loads.
Even though there are several things to remember to understand web design, doing so will help you once you decide to create a web design for your company’s website.
Ensure that your web design is aesthetically pleasing since 94% of first impressions come from that as soon as potential customers land on a website.
If you need help creating web design for the website of a company, consider engaging with one of the top web design companies in Singapore. With their years of experience and web design expertise, they can help you create an aesthetically pleasing and well-functioning web design.
Contact OOm, a leading web design agency in Singapore, at +65 6391 0930 or leave a message on their website if you need help with website creation.