What is Web Design? A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

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What is Web Design? A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

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Web design: The process that encompasses the skills and disciplines necessary to produce and maintain a website.

Good web design should ensure a positive user experience and reflect a company’s brand in an instant. This means that web design is more than just pretty visuals; it’s an intricate craft that combines aesthetics, functionality, and a dose of psychology. Let’s break down what web design really is and why it’s more important than ever in 2024.

Web design basics

Web design is a blend of elements like colour schemes, typography, images, and overall layout. The goal is to create a site that not only looks fantastic but is also easy to navigate and delivers the message clearly.

What is CMS in web design?

A content management system (CMS) is a type of software that allows you to build, manage and edit a website without coding. To put it simply, a CMS allows anyone to create a website from scratch with no need for technical knowledge.

Common functions of a CMS are:

  • In-site editors that allow the user to modify their website without coding
  • Content creation tools that simplify the creation and format of new content with a drag and drop style
  • Publishing abilities to get content live on the website
  • Optimisation capabilities are becoming more accessible within CMS, showing users where their site could be improved
  • User management which means multiple people can have back-end access to a website with differing permissions (such as author, admin, or editor)
  • Content storage to store all the website content in one neat package

CMS come in all different shapes, sizes, and prices. Depending upon budget and the capabilities you require, there are lots of options. For example, CMS that offer hosting, domain names and maintenance will be more costly than those that offer less premium features. Popular CMSs include:

  • Webflow (we are the experts here)
  • Drupal
  • Wordpress
  • Wix
  • Squarespace

Other platforms which could be considered CMS but have different functionalities that are tailored towards eCommerce are:

  • Shopify
  • Adobe Commerce
  • Optimizely Monetize

The difference between a website and a CMS is that a website is a collection of web pages that a user can browse, whereas a CMS is the software platform that the website runs on, basically the foundation of the website.

The role of user experience (ux)

User experience (UX): How easy and pleasing it is to use a website or application.

UX has an integral role in the success of a website. The ease with which you can navigate a website, find information, or complete an action is all part of the user experience. Good UX is what turns casual visitors into committed customers.

If Web design is the Milky Way, user experience is the atmosphere that surrounds every single aspect. UX informs every choice a web design will make when producing and maintaining a website. Degrading user experience to make room for dramatic animation, invasive pop ups and fancy fonts means users will just stay away.

Responsive design

2024 web design is a completely different ball game compared to past decades. Before web designers would focus solely on the way their website looked and responded on desktop. These days, people are scrolling on smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, even fridges!

That’s basically what responsive design is, ensuring that a website can successfully respond to any device. Not only is this important for UX, but SEO (search engine optimisation). Google now penalises websites that do not offer a seamless mobile experience; ultimately if a website isn’t responsive, you won’t find it on Google’s top search results.

A responsive design ensures that your website looks and works well, no matter what screen it’s viewed on.

Web design vs. web development: what’s the difference?

While web design is all about the look and feel, web development is the engine under the hood. It’s the code that brings the designer’s vision to life. Web development used a range of coding languages and techniques and is just as important to UX as web design.

Trending in web design in 2024

Web design is like fashion; it evolves. In 2024 we’re expecting to see a surge in dark mode, 3D elements, and even AI-generated layouts. Keeping up with the latest design trends ensures your website won’t get lost in the digital shuffle.

Why quality web design matters

Ever heard the saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover?" Well, online, people do. Your website is often the first interaction a potential customer has with your business. A well-designed site can boost your credibility, enhance user engagement, and help your SEO efforts. In short, good design is good business.

Conclusion

Ultimately, web design is not a must-have for any serious business. From aesthetics to functionality, understanding the basics of web design is crucial for anyone looking to make their mark online.

If you haven’t yet invested in quality web design, now’s the time to make it a priority.