How to Design For Web

By Alyssa Wyngard, Interactive Designer

Published: October 7, 2016

Many people just assume that the design process is the same for print and web — that assumption is wrong. Designing for web requires not only basic design knowledge, but knowledge on user experience, usability and understanding the digital space inside and out.

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Step 1: Developing the Designs

Coming up with a concept for a web design means that the designer will need to think of many different aspects that a print designer wouldn’t have to worry about. Web designers always have to keep in mind that users will view the design through a screen rather than being able to physically hold it.

Facing the disconnect of having the design live in a digital space is something that designers need to be wary of. Different screen sizes mean designers must keep the fluidity of the dimensions in mind when they are laying out a design. There are no physical boundaries for web.

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Step 2: Creating Engagement

Both print and web design share the visual quality that is needed to draw users in. Print design offers a tactile experience that web cannot do, but print is static and web is interactive.

Web design engages users with the use of audio, video and ever-changing content. With the increasing need to be mobile friendly and new technologies, like curved touchscreens, coming out every day, interactive designers need to be aware and adaptable to create a positive user experience across all platforms.

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Step 3: Making Designs User-Friendly

It’s pretty self-explanatory for print what warrants a user-friendly design; most people know how to look at a magazine or a flyer. Web design gets a little more complicated — site navigation, readability and load time are three factors that can make or break a design.

Make sure your website is easy to understand — confusing site structure or designs that are non-intuitive can leave a user feeling frustrated. Keeping your audience in mind will help when designing for web — think about the kind of information that users would search for and the steps it would take to gain that information. Easy-to-read content and simplistic graphics will help users find what they are looking for quickly.

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