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When we hear or read the words “Web Design”, we immediately associate them with the graphic design of a website; with its colors and style. The way it looks. These images and ideas we get in our minds are not wrong. However, they are incomplete. Web design does not only mean esthetic design. It is not only the outside look of a website. Web design is the complete development process of a website, from its outstanding outside designs full of colors and details, to its non-visible design.

The outside design is the graphic design of the website. It is the work a graphic designer will do to give this virtual space a specific appearance, depending on what is wanted. The success of a website will highly depend on the quality of the graphic design. Graphic design means the design of buttons -links to other pages or websites or parts of a text-, the design of typography –in the case of headlines, for example- the design of images, the selection of colors, photographs and the typography for the written content, etc.

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But, graphic design is only one face of what we call Web design. As we said before, there is also a non-visible design. A website would not exist without these two important parts. What do we mean with “non-visible design”? This is a design that is as important as the visible one. It is the skeleton of the website; the design that will support the graphic one. Without this, it would be impossible to put a website graphic design on the Internet. How do we work with this type of design? By means of a language formed with a code called HTML language. The person in charge of the HTML work of a Web site will translate the graphic design of the site into a HTML code for it to be seen on the Web.

In fact, coding work goes beyond the translation of a graphic design work. Some pages are created to carry out specific functions. Internet users are permanently in front of these functions without even being aware of them. Take Web-Mail sites, like Hotmail or YahooMail, for example. When you want to sign in, you are required to write your user name and password. The Web-Mail site will immediately recognize both entries. This occurs thanks to codes. There are other functionalities, such as filling forms, links, navigation menus, which can be only executed with a code language. All these code work or design is another face of Web design.

But there are other tools that make up this Web design process. The graphic and coding design are fundamental elements of a website. Only a graphic designer will be able to translate all your ideas, messages and feelings into a graphic piece that embodies your company. In the same way, only a programmer will make it possible for a website to carry out certain functions. As the main aim of having a website is to promote a product, inform about a specific matter, etc, a graphic and code design is not enough. There are other elements that will help accomplish this aim. A particular message can be conveyed with images and certain typographies, but a good written content is of high important so that users do not get confused.

This specific written content may be large or short. For example, a tourist information website is created to give information on a specific country to people who want to travel there. This site, of course, will be rich in photographs but also, and especially, in written content since this is the only way to inform them about cars rental, hotels, resorts, pubs, etc. A well written content is necessary so as not to confuse the reader. If the reader gets confused he will immediately turn to other websites to look for clearer information. This is how copywriters become fundamental elements for websites, and so, part of their development process.

But all this work becomes useless if the final website is not positioned in search engines. What do we mean with a badly positioned website? If someone googles specific information and your website does have this info but it does not appear in the first positions of the results, then your website is not positioned, or, if it is, it was left in the last positions of the search string. You may be wondering how you can do this. There are professionals who are in charge of doing this job: they are Search Engine Optimization consultants (SEOs) who also take part of the Web design process.

In conclusion, Web design is the work graphic designer, Web programmers, copywriters –sometimes translators-, and SEOs do to develop a high quality website that will catch the attention of viewers immediately, that will carry out automatic functionalities to make it easier for the user to buy or do other tasks, and that appear in the first positions of search strings.


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