Web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites. The different areas of web design include web graphic design; interface design; authoring, including standardized code and proprietary software; user experience design; and search engine optimization. Often many individuals will work in teams covering different aspects of the design process, although some designers will cover them all. The term “web design” is normally used to describe the design process relating to the front-end (client-side) design of a website including writing markup. Web design partially overlaps web engineering in the broader scope of web development. Web designers are expected to have an awareness of usability and if their role involves creating markup then they are also expected to be up to date with web accessibility guidelines.
The start of the web and web design
In 1989, whilst working at CERN Tim Berners-Lee proposed to create a global hypertext project, which later became known as the World Wide Web. From 1991 to 1993 the World Wide Web was born. Text-only pages could be viewed using a simple line-mode browser. In 1993 Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina created the Mosaic browser. At the time there were multiple browsers, however, the majority of them! were Unix-based and naturally text heavy.
There had been no integrated approach to graphic design elements such as images or sounds. The Mosaic browser broke this mold. The W3C was created in October 1994 to “lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability.” This discouraged any one company from monopolizing a propriety browser and programming language, which could have altered the effect of the World Wide Web as a whole.
Evolution of web design
In 1996, Microsoft released its first competitive browser, which was complete with its own features and HTML tags. It was also the first browser to support style sheets, which at the time was seen as an obscure authoring technique and is today an important aspect of web design. The HTML markup for tables was originally intended for displaying tabular data. However, designers quickly realized the potential of using HTML tables for creating the complex, multi-column layouts that were otherwise not possible.
At this time, design and good aesthetics seemed to take precedence over good mark-up structure, and little attention was paid to semantics and web accessibility. HTML sites were limited in their design options, even more so with earlier versions of HTML.
To create complex designs, many web designers had to use complicated table structures or even use blank spacer .GIF images to stop empty table cells from collapsing. CSS was introduced in December 1996 by the W3C to support presentation and layout. This allowed HTML code to be semantic rather than both semantic and presentational, and improved web accessibility, see tableless web design.
- Understanding Web Design
- Understand the basic principles of web design through analyzing websites
- Learn to identify purpose and audience to use design principles
- Managing a Design Project
- Learn the art of project planning, management, and teamwork
- Learn how to research and write content for theme, purpose, and audience
- Planning Design and layout
- Creating prototype, storyboard, wireframes, and design comps
- Creating Assets
- Learn Adobe Tools – Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe XD to develop site assets