Web Design | Stectech.com
Web design is a combination of various skills, techniques and areas of knowledge in the building and upkeep of websites. It draws from areas such as user interface and user experience design, graphics design, wire framing, content management and even search engine optimization. This is usually done by various people in a development team each one specializing in one area of the process. Web design is usually targeted at the front end of the website that the users get to see and interact with. The members of the web design team are always expected to follow the quality guidelines and standards laid down.
The history of web design is fairly recent as compared to other areas such as engineering and art. However, it has become deeply rooted into mans every day activities and it would not be possible to have the internet we have today were it not for web design.
The Start of the Web and Web Design
Tim Berners Lee started the initial project that led to the birth web design in 1989. This project led to the creation of the World Wide Web. It started in the early days of 1991 to 1993. At first, the Internet was only made up of text and having images at the time was pretty much beyond the imagination of the people at that time. At this moment, there was no single method that had been formulated to add elements such as graphics and multimedia into web design.
The Mosaic browser was the first browser to ever have images and text in a web page. In order to ensure the compatibility and universality of the Internet in terms of web design, the WWW consortium popularly known as W3C was formed in 1994. Even as you read this, the W3C is the body responsible for setting standards for the web. Netscape Communications, a company founded by Andresen in 1994, became the first to start thinking outside the box with regards to web design. With the Netscape browser, they created their own markup tags for web pages regardless of the standard procedures. These tags could perform functions such as changing colors and text formatting.
The Evolution of Web Design
The first web browser from Microsoft was released in 1996. This had its own markup tags and inbuilt features. It was also the first browser to support CSS although at the time it was not known by that name and was very difficult to use. Tables began to be used to lay out the content of web pages and there was more attention being paid by web designers to a good user interface. However, the design options were painfully limited with earlier version of html. In 1996, CSS was introduced by W3C to help in the presentation of web pages. With this accessibility of web pages and the level user experience was greatly improved. Flash was also introduced as a tool for layouts and a timeline.
End of the Browser Wars
In 1998, the code for Netscape was released to the open source community. This allowed many people to look at the code and improve it greatly. The Web Standards Project was formed as a result in order to ensure compliance of the browsers that came out as a variant of the code released. This was done by using acid tests. These were merely tests for html and CSS standards at the time. In 2000, Microsoft released a version of Internet explorer that was the first to support html 4.01 and css1. This raised up the standards for compliance a notch higher. Microsoft emerged the victor in the browser war after Netscape was sold out to AOL.
What web design was like from 2001 - 2012?
Since the turn of the century the web has become more and more embedded into the lives of everyone. The ways in which people use the web has also evolved and so have the means of accessing the Internet. As a result, web design at Stectech has also evolved to meet these needs.
Since the old browser wars with Netscape and Internet explorer, there have been several new browsers being introduced into the web scene. A majority of these new browsers are open source making the release cycles shorter and increasing compliance with new web standards.
Tools and technologies
Various stages of web design require different tools. These tools keep getting updated over time and it is upon the web designers to make sure they are using the best tools for the job. These tools may include graphic design packages, code editing software, SEO tools and browser plug-ins for running tests and optimizations. In addition, markup validators and usability and accessibility testing tools are essential to ensure that websites measure up to the guidelines and standards set.
Skills and Techniques
Web designers need to be always at the forefront of the web picking up new skills and techniques quickly and applying these skills into their workflow in order to produce the highest quality of work. The skills are covered in the sections below. These are the same skills that Stectech designers incorporate into their daily activities.
Marketing and Communication Design
The way in which a website is designed depends on the target market or audience. It is very essential that the designer has knowledge of the trends of the targeted audience of a website in order to come up with the best design for it. The brand of a business or company for which a website is being built should be brought out clearly in the design and outlook of the site. At Stectech, this is very important and is always taken into consideration before even the design process begins in order to ensure the success of the website and the brand.
User Experience Design & Interactive Design
From a user's perspective, a website has to be easy to use and navigate. This affects their experience with the site. A good user experience is one that is intuitive and self-explanatory. It can be ensured by having the correct layout on the site, proper instructions and naming on the website. The user should be able to use the website easily regardless of whether they have been using it for a long time or a short time. This form of easy interaction is very important for the visitors of a site and at Stectech; it is one of the key pillars of web design. Talented UX engineers ensure that the content on a site is laid out in such a way that even most unskilled of users can use the site easily without needing any guidance from outside.
The ways in which web pages are arranged help a user in navigating through the site. The buttons or links for navigating through the website should be consistent in their arrangement and their look and feel. Newer techniques in page layout have also been introduced such as responsive design and fluid design. With fluid layouts, the web pages are broken down into smaller elements which can rearrange themselves automatically to fit the browser or the device which the user is accessing the website from.
This refers to the font types, colors and sizes being used on a website. It is better to use a few related fonts on a website rather than using an entire range of fonts which will leave the user confused and render one site unusable. Web designers are required to make use of the specified safe fonts in order to avoid running into trouble when a web page renders differently on the users browser that it was meant to. Stectech web designers always ensure they use the right combination of fonts on the web pages they build to ensure that the user experience is uniform across all platforms and browsers.
Internet speeds are growing with each new day. With the increased speed and bandwidth, it is now possible to include multimedia into a web page such as videos and motion graphics. This has to be just right, however, for it to be usable. Videos are now embedded into web pages and can be played right from the browser without the need for plugins. New video compression formats have also reduced the size of the video being transferred over the Internet hence improving the user experience. Having motion graphics on a site can be very helpful and it is therefore important to make sure that the video compression, rendering, and embedding is done by professional to avoid making mistakes. Stectech has just the right people for the job with an awesome multimedia team, which ensure that all kind of media on a web page is optimized for the web and renders correctly across all platforms.
Quality of Code
During web design, it is always important to ensure that the code used is of the highest standards. This makes the website readable and even easily discoverable by search engines. With proper code, changes can be made very easily and in case of upgrades; only a few changes in code will be required. Code for a website should be validated to ensure that it conforms to the laid down web standards. At Stectech, the highest standards of code are met and assured. Every code has to be validated before it can be approved.
There are various people who take part in web design. This includes the web developer and the web designer. The web designer is responsible for the layout of the web page. On the other hand, the web developer is responsible for coding the Webpages and bringing in the various elements together in order to create the site designed by the designer.
Other people involved in web design include graphic designers, SEO writers, content writers, and user experience engineers. These people work together to ensure that a website is of the highest quality in every aspect. At Stectech, there is the best kind of every one of the above-motioned people who will be responsible with every aspect of web design from start to finish.
In conclusion, Stectech is the solution for all web design needs as they have the best in the field and they also work using the latest tools and technologies. With Stectech, web design is now a breeze. Contact them for further information on how your website can be build by the best there is in the web design field.
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