What is Web Design? – A Beginner’s Guide

laptop with web design

The Basics of Web Design

If you find yourself wondering what goes on behind the scenes of the web pages that leave you in awe, you may be asking yourself, 'what is web design?'. We took the liberty to create a complete guide to help you answer this question, because there is more to it than meets the eye.

Let's start at the very beginning and examine the concepts of web design from the foundation up. It combines various skills and disciplines to create websites. This involves coding languages which sit at the heart of web development. If you’ve ever looked at the back-end of a website, the gibberish letters, symbols, and numbers are the code that translate into the page you see. 

There are nine commonly used coding languages and most designers will use the one that is familiar and comfortable for them. Website design involves a broad range of skill set including graphic design, communication, problem solving, team collaboration and much more. Oftentimes, the finished product is the result of a carefully coordinated team effort.

What a Web Designer Does 

Now that you understand what the job is, let’s take a look at what the position involves. A web designer and web developer will do more than just create websites. They also maintain and update the site regularly, to ensure it remains user-friendly.

Part of maintaining the website is a component that involves Google search results, after all, what’s the point of a website no one will see? The pages need to drive traffic and bring in the right type of customers, this involves search engine optimization (SEO), and social media efforts.

Websites also need to cater to various web browsers and mobile or tablet devices, as most of us browse online using cell phones. This is important because 50 per cent of internet traffic now comes from mobile devices, which means the user experience of your website needs to accommodate this traffic.

Another important component of web design is Conversion Optimization. This is the area that ensures a website functions for its owner - again, what is the point of having a website that doesn't bring you new customers or enhance your business in some way? A web designer must ensure the designs they use will help encourage users to complete the desired goals of a website - AKA, convert.

How to Get Started

To work in the web design industry, you will need a Web Design & Development Diploma or university degree in a related field. This combined with work experience and a portfolio showcasing your skills and abilities, will help you achieve your career goals.

Web design is a rewarding career path full of opportunities to freelance, and work for companies in various industries around the globe. You don't have to stick to local brands and can travel to where ever websites work takes you.

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