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The A-Z of Web Design

Web design is different from traditional forms of design, having design being incorporated into the web and the internet. Here are some tips on how to have better and more optimized web design, starting from A-Z.

Accessibility

In a web design, it is important that the website is easy to navigate to and easily accessible from many platforms and devices. This can help especially when the website is accessed from other websites, or older devices. It can also allow users to view the website with ease.


Browser compatibility

This is very important, as it is crucial to ensure that the website is compatible with multiple browsers. Although there are many browsers that exist, it is most important that your website is compatible with the following browsers: Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Opera.


Clean Design

While designs are subjective to each website, it is still important to ensure that your website has a clean design. Clean designs are versatile, and can allow the user to read with ease and find what they need easily. 


Design for all resolutions

One thing that all web designers must remember is to make their website mobile responsive! In the current world where most people access the internet through smaller and portable devices, it is good to ensure that your website can be viewed in the best possible way in different sizes, so as to allow users on smaller devices to have a smooth navigation on your website and have an experience as good as they would have on the computer.


Exclamation

While trying to bring your point across about sales, or important deals or trying to highlight portions of your website that users should bring their attention to, it is important to not use many exclamations. For example, 1 or 2 exclamation points would be enough to let the user know that something is important and that they should take a look at it. However, too many exclamation marks are not as professional, and does not increase the importance of the statement.


Frameworks should not be used

A mistake that many web designers do is to follow a particular framework to build their website, but this is a huge mistake, as it brings problems, especially when you try to link a page. Page linking will be hard as the address does not change, which will make it very hard for others to link your page in articles or features.


Graphics

Graphics are one of the most important parts of your website’s outlook, as it helps to improve the look of the website and bring more life to it! No one wants to visit a website that only consists of words, but it is also professional to include some photos that are relevant to your website, as well as brand logos and products.


Hotlinking

If you have images or music, it should be hosted on your own server. Do not hotlink any images or music from other websites, as your website would be penalised and it may cause u to violate copyright laws. It is considered theft to hotlink any of such things to your website.


Interaction Design

Many websites sometimes miss this part out, but interaction design is a very important part of the website design process. This is because now, more users are interested in the experience when browsing a website. Having an interactive website that can respond to the user’s interaction or complement the user journey can greatly help users to be engaged and return.


Javascript

Javascript, along with HTML and CSS make up the important core components of a website. While HTML helps to create a structure and CSS gives it color and personality, Javascript is important to enhance user experience, adding functionality to the website when users interact with it to improve interaction tasks.


Keep Learning

Continue to keep reinventing, and don’t confine yourself to just one way of making a website. Every website design is unique and different, design is meant to be expressive and websites should reflect the purpose that it was made to serve. This means opening yourself up to other learning opportunities and finding ways to improve your web design.


Load Time

First impressions matter, and this is the first impression that would determine if the user would continue on your website. With everything on the internet fast and efficient, it is important for the website to load quickly. Too long, and they would leave before the page even loads. You wouldn’t want to lose visitors only due to the slow load time on your website, so it is best to optimise the loading speed of your website.


Metadata

This is something that can be easily overlooked, but is important. Metadata describes and gives information about other kinds of data. Things like meta-tags and Meta-description help to allow Google to crawl the article and improve the search results ranking.


Navigation

Website navigation is very important, as it helps users to be able to find information on the website and easily look for what they need. If the website is too complicated and confusing, users might not want to visit the website as much and take longer to find an item which leads to frustration.


Objectivity

When designing a website, it is very important to understand the whys and what of the website. Why the website is created, and what its purpose is for. With that in mind, it would be easier to create a website that reflects the purpose and also the thing that it is representing. Web designs should not be designed with an influence, but with the end user and purpose in mind.


Psychology (color or design)

It is good to understand and look into color psychology or design psychology, as this can allow you to design better, knowing how users think or react when they see certain colors or when the website is designed in a certain manner.


Quality

The quality of a website is absolutely important when doing web design. Make a website that will let visitors revisit and remember because the website content and design is held to a high standard. One should be consistent with the design and outlook of the website, and maintain the quality of the website, instead of just focusing on quantity.


Readability

This is an important thing to note, to ensure that users can understand what is on your website and are able to find what they need. Information design is important, as the font, layout of the information, size of text and buttons, as well as color affect the readability of the website. 


SEO

It is important for your website to have awareness of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In order for your website to increase leads and start seeing higher lead generation from search engines, it requires the website to be well optimised for various web browsers. Keywords, content and many other factors are important to ensure your website ranks high in search results for more visitors to come to your website.



Typography

This is very important to take note of if your website has any form of text. The choice of font, as well as its thickness and color is going to affect the outlook of the website, as well as the impression it gives. Choose fonts that reflect the purpose and go together with the brand on the website, and keep it consistent by not using too many different fonts in a website.


Usability

This relates to the user experience, as websites need to be user friendly, and it can be difficult to create a user centered website. However, this is just as important as it can give users what they want instead of creating more problems. Keeping the website experience smooth and user centric can improve its usability.


Validity

It is important to validate your website. It correlates to the quality of the website, and is affected by factors such as the organisation, layout and reliability of the webpage.


Web Standards

With all different coding languages, they each have their own set of specifications and guidelines that talks about the recommendations and best practices to improve the use of the language. It is important for web designers to understand the technical specifications of various languages in order to create a quality website.


XHTML

XHTML is similar to HTML, but it subsets and extends HTML functions, from its latest version. It has rules which codes must adhere to, but it allows it to be flexible and relevant in future versions of browsers as well as the latest browser versions of today.


Yes! Just do it

Creating web designs can be daunting and there are many choices and decisions to make. It is important to note when or when not to say yes and no, but sometimes it is all a matter of trying it out to see if it works. You will never know what the outcome may be.


Z - we are at the end of the list!

While designing a website, it is important to think of context - for example, if we are making a website to cater to Singaporeans, or those in Britain, we should eliminate the use of ‘Z’s in our words as we are using British English. Language and grammar is important. If there are too many mistakes in the website’s text, it can be seen as unreliable and unprofessional.


With that, here are your ABCs - all the way till Z! There are many other important details to take note of when doing web design, but these are some that are extremely crucial and make the foundation of creating a quality website.