The 21st century has revolutionized the way human beings conduct businesses. There are hundreds, or even thousands of business transactions that happen every minute across the globe. A website is one of the most important assets for any business or organization.
The web design and development industry has been experiencing a growth for the last two decades. There are many reasons why most businesses own a website. Studies show that a large part of the population is spending more time on the internet.
What does that mean? That if you want to reach out to the target audience, or your customers, you have to establish an online presence. Website designers are tasked with the responsibility of building a virtual representation of your business.
Keep in mind that a website can make or break your business. If you embark on building a website for your company, ensure that it is a good one.
What exactly does web design and development entail?
Design of a website
The act of designing a website simply means creating or planning the overall appearance of a website. It involves creating the type of website that would suit a particular audience. There are various elements of website design. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Colours are not just colours-they hold different meanings and each trigger a particular feeling in a human being. For many years, people have used colours to signify certain emotions, objects or groups. Red for instance, usually signals danger while the white colour is a sign of peace. Green signifies nature/abundance.
Website design involves the use of various colours in such a way that they please the person who opens the website. Many companies usually have specific colours that represent them. In their websites, they try as much as possible to include these colours because it symbolizes their brand.
Great web designers have an eye for colour and will mix and match colours to produce a website that is visually appealing. If colours in a website don’t complement each other, you can be sure most visitors won’t be at it for long.
Fonts, icons and Imagery
Companies/individuals design websites with the hope that people who visit the site will gain valuable information and eventually end up purchasing a product.
When someone searches and clicks on the link to your website, it’s like they are looking at many physical shops in a street selling the same commodities. For them to enjoy your site, the fonts should complement the site. It is advisable to use bold/different fonts for titles and subtitles.
Icons and imagery should also be used as much as possible through the website pages. All these is meant to make the visitor read the content of the website smoothly.
Consistency is paramount!
If you’re building a personal brand, you will want people to identify you with some qualities. It is no different when you are designing a personal or company website.
If you decide to work with a certain set of colours or fonts, use them throughout the website pages. It makes your brand unique and enables your company to stand out.
When you are done with the design part of a website creation you still have a long way to go. Remember the goal is to build a website that will stand the test of time and also help you achieve success. Consider the following factors when developing your website.
Web design isn’t as complicated as some people think. After watching a couple of tutorial videos on YouTube, you can easily set up your site. But then your site may face some problems and you won’t know how to solve them.
A good web designer should be well versed with web development terminologies such as:
- CSS-deals with the visual appearance of website pages.
- HTML-how web pages are structured.
- Information architecture-this is how information content appears in any website.
Type of website
Before embarking on web design and development, web designers usually determine what type of website they are building. There are three types of website that you can build:
- Company/corporate website.
- Portals and forums.
- Business/E-commerce websites.
These three types of websites are designed and developed differently. An e-commerce site is basically used to sell your products/services to the online community. The main purpose of a company site is to provide information.
There are specific templates that are used to design these websites. Although the structures of these websites may be different, the web development process is meant to enable them function properly.
The benefits if a good website to an individual/organization cannot be understated. Web designers usually have the target audience in mind when creating the website.
Let’s take an e-commerce site as an example. The e-commerce industry has continued to experience exponential growth in the past few years. This means that many businesses are creating websites and trying to establish a solid online presence.
When people open an e-commerce site, they expect to access its various pages/categories. They must be able to navigate from one part of the website to another with ease.
Websites which don’t allow a smooth movement between point A and B usually perform poorly because many people will avoid them. Speed is another factor that differentiates a good website from a bad one.
How do you feel when a website is taking too long to load pages? It’s usually annoying an you immediately move on to another website that loads faster. When building a website it is important to test and ensure that it doesn’t take too long to load pages.
Is Your Web Mobile Friendliness?
Singapore is one of the leading countries in terms of mobile penetration. On top of this, studies show that Singaporeans are accessing the internet via their smartphones than on computers.
With that said, a mobile-friendly website is one of Google’s most important ranking factors. This makes it necessary that you make your website mobile friendly.
10 Ways to Make Your Website Design Mobile Friendly
Creating Mobile Versions of Your Website
When smartphones and tablets started becoming popular, the standard practice was to create a mobile version of the website. However, this increased the website design and development costs, and there was a need for an easier and cheaper way of creating mobile-friendly websites. This brought about the creation of responsive website design and development.
Responsive Website Design and Development
With mobile devices taking precedence in accessing the internet, it is much cheaper to create a responsive website than having a website that catered to mobile and desktop users. The benefit of having a responsive website is that they improve onsite navigation and the user experience as well as being cheaper.
However, mobile friendliness today is moving from smartphones and tablets. Recent trends in website design and development have evolved to include the creation of responsive websites for wearable devices such as smartwatches.
2018 saw an increase in the inclusion of subtle animations, and have become one of the major fundamentals of website design and development in 2019. Studies show that animations can increase website traffic by as much as 78%.
There is also an increased array of website design and development tools that have influenced the use of animations on Singaporean websites. On top of this, designers and developers are adding animation deliberately in websites design. However, instead of the animations taking up the whole screen, they should be small and subtle.
Big animations will increase your page loading speeds. For this reason, animation needs to be subtle in a solitary section of the website. On top of this, subtle animations allow for a less distracting website design.
Mixing 2D And 3D Elements
3D animation has had a huge influence on web design and development, and there is an increase in tools such as Cinema 4D and Blender. AR, VR, and 3D printing are championing the production of 3D digital website content.
On top of this, CSS animations are imitating 3D effects and the basic idea here is to impose 3D elements over flat colours and contrast.
Editorial Style Layouts
The progressive standardisation of flexbox and CSS grid has allowed website designers to implement freer layouts. The layouts are not confined to a restructured grid in different columns, especially for their responsive breakpoints.
These editorial layouts are revolutionising responsive website design, as we know it today. Editorial styled layouts allow for more flexibility in the number of devices that can access the website without any glitches in navigation.
Progressive Web Apps
Progressive web apps are improving a website’s UX that resemble the UX of native smartphone applications, which make websites more user-friendly. PWAs offer the functionality available in native apps such as hardware access, push notifications, offline access.
PWAs can troubleshoot common problems that users face, such as lack of offline access, poor user experience, and website slowness.
The chances are that you might have potential clients outside of Singapore and in different time zones. This makes it virtually impossible to offer good customer service. If you were to have an actual customer care representative, customer service would be very expensive.
This is where AI-powered chatbots come in. They are a fundamental aspect of website design, and coupled with machine learning; they can answer FAQs, take an order, and connect the client with a human client assistant.
There is a variety of open-source bot building tools from renowned technology giants such as Facebook Bot Engine, and Engine, among others.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
Google is focused on enhancing the mobile browsing experience, and since 2015, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) has become one of the fundamentals of web development. AMP was created to the building of fast loading websites that work smoothly to these devices.
AMP pages can load in 2 seconds or less compared to non-AMP pages that can take up to 22 seconds. AMP is good for your SEO and can increase your website’s visibility and click-through rates since it will rank higher on SERPs.
It takes an AMP HTML open framework to build accelerated pages. On top of this, Google’s accelerated mobile pages website has detailed information, tutorials, and guides which offer everything you need for introducing AMP technology to your website.
Single Page Applications
Single page applications are a fundamental aspect of developing responsive websites. The latest trends in SPA are based on the React and Angular frameworks, which make it suitable and practical for hybrid apps.
Interactive web design is gaining traction and motion user interface is a fundamental aspect of website design and development. Motion UI has amazing animations, dynamic graphics, and it has a real impact on website usability.
Motion UI shows the developer’s ability to tell a captivating and visual story while using techniques and tools to communicate the message to the viewer. These libraries allows website designers to apply transition effects for a seamlessly UI.
Building a great website is not something you will complete in a few days. When you are done designing and checking that the site functions properly, there is still some work to do to ensure that your site performs exceptionally.
Your may need to partner with people offering services such as photography in order to ensure that the content in your site of high quality. Marketing and advertising your site is also vital, for instance, most webmasters use SEO to ensure that they ran higher on search engines.
Website design and development is a process that requires patience and dedication. Webmasters can only succeed when they endeavor to build a site that is user-friendly and offers value to the target audience.
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