Web design is a broad term used to encompass the way that content (usually hypertext or hypermedia) is delivered to an end-user through the World Wide Web, using a web browser or other web-enabled software is displayed. The intent of web design is to create a website—a collection of online content including documents and applications that reside on a web server/servers. A website may include text, images, sounds and other content, and may be interactive.
Web design involves the structure of the website including the information architecture (navigation schemes and naming conventions), the layout or the pages (wireframes or page schematics are created to show consistent placement of items including functional features), and the conceptual design with branding. All websites should begin with a clear strategy so that it is apparent what they are trying to achieve. The strategy then enables the design to fulfill defined goals.
Such elements as text, forms, images (GIFs, JPEGs, Portable Network Graphics) and video can be placed on the page using HTML/XHTML/XML tags. Older browsers may require Plug-ins such as Adobe Flash, QuickTime, Java run-time environment, etc. to display some media, which are embedded into web page by using HTML/XHTML tags. Improvements in browsers’ compliance with W3C standards prompted a widespread acceptance and usage of XHTML/XML in conjunction with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to position and manipulate web page elements and objects.
Typically web pages are classified as static or dynamic:
- Static pages don’t change content and layout with every request unless a human (web master/programmer) manually updates the page. A simple HTML page is an example of static content.
With growing specialization in the information technology field there is a strong tendency to distinguish between web design and web development. Web design is a kind of graphic design intended for the development and styling of objects of the Internet’s information environment to provide them with high-end consumer features and aesthetic qualities.
This definition separates web design from web programming, emphasizing the functional features of a web site, as well as positioning web design as a kind of graphic design. The process of designing web pages, web sites, web applications or multimedia for the Web may utilize multiple disciplines, such as animation, authoring, communication design, corporate identity, graphic design, human-computer interaction, information architecture, interaction design, marketing, photography, search engine optimization and typography.
- Markup languages (such as HTML, XHTML and XML)
- Style sheet languages (such as CSS and XSL)
- Server-side scripting (such as PHP and ASP)
- Database technologies (such as MySQL and PostgreSQL)
- Multimedia technologies (such as Flash and Silverlight)
Web pages and websites can be static pages, or can be programmed to be dynamic pages that automatically adapt content or visual appearance depending on a variety of factors, such as input from the end-user, input from the webmaster or changes in the computing environment (such as the site’s associated database having been modified).
View Other Creative Staffing Skill Sets:
- 3D Artists
- 3DS Max
- Creative Directors
- Flash Developers
- Graphic Designers
- Interactive Designers
- Interactive Media Specialists
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media Marketing
- Visual Designers
- Web Design
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