Web designers are responsible for the looks of a website or web application. Web design is the process of designing the visual side of website components in a way that complements the functionality of the website, doesn’t obstruct User Experience, and catches the user’s attention.
Designing for the web requires a particular skillset. The responsibilities of website designers usually include preparation of detailed design plans, style books, key branding elements, building page layouts with specialised design software, testing and troubleshooting the website front-end.
The key aspects of website design are similar to those of visual design. Above all, the layout is the most important aspect of design. The layout is an arrangement of text, graphic, video, and ad content on a web page. The goal is to help users notice the most important information quickly.
Another important aspect of design is the color palette. Plenty of research has gone into how human eye perceives colors, and how colors correspond with emotions. Designers benefit from that research, and implement findings from research to make conscious, calculated design decisions.
Graphics are an important part of every website – photos, drawings, logos, icons, etc. Web designers need to strike the right balance between visual flourish, and functionality, as adding too many graphical elements can slow down website performance.
Fonts and typography have become hugely important in the recent years. With websites and apps being created as cross-platform from the ground-up, designers have had to get rid of a lot of traditional website design practices.
Apart from that, websites are very often created with popular toolsets which force designers to stick to the set of interface elements provided by a framework or library. This has caused a switch in web design, where typography has become as important an element of unique website branding, as beautiful CSS design.
Web designers have to consider what type of content is going to be published on the website. They need to understand website architectures, in order to design navigation tools that aren’t in conflict with the underlying website and browser code.
Overall, planning is a huge part of designing websites. Designers find a lot of use in style guides, wireframing software, and mood boards. It’s a creative job that requires great work organisation, deep analysis of project requirements, and extensive preparation before any designing is done.
Web design is influenced by trends and new tools, so designers should stay up to date on important industry news, and keep in touch with other designers, in order not to fall behind what is fashionable at the moment of designing.