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24web Design Studio
Table View
Cape Town
South Africa
Cell: 0836267902

Web Design

The term web design is normally used to describe the design process relating to the front-end (client-side) or in other words; “what you see on the website”, but web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of a website.

The Web design process includes (but is not limited to) the following:
    Web Designer: The web designers are responsible for the visual aspect, which includes the layout, coloring and typography of a web page. Web designers have a working knowledge of a variety of languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and Flash to create a site, although the extent of their knowledge will differ from that of the Web Developer. In smaller organizations one person may fill both these roles, while in larger organizations web designer are responsible for the visual aspect only.

    The web designer is normally the first to communicate with the client and will establish their website requirements.  The web designer guides the client, where needed, to ensure that the end product will meet the clients expectations. This entails the visual layout, look and feel, usability and accessibility of the proposed website. Once the designer has all the requirements from the client they will do an initial site layout using various tools.

    This initial layout will be presented to the client, either via a web based sandbox or directly. Once the client is satisfied with the layout, the designer will do a final layout and find or create (utilizing the services of a web graphic designer) all the various elements required to realize the website.
    Web Coder: The web coder will do the actual coding and the creation of the website for display on a web browser. Most of the coding is done using the latest standards in HTML markup, java scripting, Jquiry and CSS. In many companies, like in 24web, this role is combined with that of the web designer as it achieves the best results by ensuring nothing is lost in translation between the client's expectation and the final product.
    Web graphic designer: All graphics and graphic related elements such as logos, images, buttons, motion elements, on a website have to be either created or enhanced and optimized to ensure efficient browser performance in displaying such elements. They mostly use vectoring and raster graphic compression techniques to achieve this high level of optimization. The graphic designer and web designer work together on most projects. In some projects users may supply some elements of the design and the graphic designer will ensure that they meet the standards required for web deployment.
    Web Developer: The web developer is not required for all websites, only for websites that use dynamic information also known as information or database driven websites. If needed the web developer will create the software components that allow a website to communicate with a back-end server or other information websites for the bi-directional transfer of dynamic information. This also includes the development of components that allow this dynamic information to be made available for display on the client's website. The developer will mostly do all the required programming needed for a website. They will use various languages such as PHP, Db, MySql Query, Java Scripting and many more to achieve this. The web developer is also required for the development and deployment of customized non-template based content management systems (CMS) that allow users to manage their own website content.
    Web copywriter: The copywriter, although not essential, can ensure that the client's text content is phrased in such a way as to appeal to the client's target market.  This can be important to ensure that your website will achieve a good ranking with the various search engines and because of this, more and more clients are using copywriters to assist them in creating the text required for their websites.
    Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Working closely with the web designer and copywriter, the SEO will ensure that the text you use on your website includes various key phrases and words to make sure that search engines correctly identify the content of your website. The better your website content can be read by the search engines the better it will be indexed which will ensure that potential clients can find your website with ease.
    The SEO, if required by the client, will also promote the website to potential clients via various avenues such as social media, web media, radio, television, directory listing, and write-ups est. to name a few. As this is an ongoing process it is normally charged for separately by the SEO. Most website design companies will only include the basic SEO with their websites. It is recommended that the client contact the SEO directly for additional ongoing SEO work.
Marketing and communication design
Marketing and communication design on a website may identify what works for its target market. This can be an age group or particular strand of culture; thus the designer may understand the trends of its audience. Designers must also understand the type of website they are designing, for example, a business-to-business websites design considerations will be very different from a consumer targeted website such as a retail or entertainment website.

Careful consideration must be made to ensure that the aesthetics or overall design of a site do not clash with the clarity and accuracy of the content or the ease of web navigation for its intended user base.
User experience design and interactive design
It is important that visitors to your website understanding how the website works. This is part of the
user experience design. User experience is related to layout, clear instructions and labeling on a website. How well a user understands how they can interact on a site may also depend on the interactive design of the site. If a user perceives the usefulness of a website, they are more likely to continue using it. It is important to ensure that skilled and non-skilled web surfers visiting your website have a high rating in both these aspects to ensure that they will return on a regular basis.

It is important to ensure that when making the user experience of your website a pleasant one by utilizing advanced interactivity, that such interactivity, does not inadvertently cause a bad experience for the user. Advanced interactive functions may require
plug-ins and choosing whether or not to use these types of interactivity is a critical decision in user experience design. If a chosen plug-in doesn't come pre-installed with the browsers, there's a risk that the user will have neither the know-how, nor the patience to install the required plug-in just to access the website’s content. There's also a risk that advanced interactivity may be incompatible with older browsers or hardware configurations. Utilizing interactive design elements that do not work reliably is potentially worse for the user experience than making no attempt at interactivity. It mostly depends on the target audience if it's likely to be needed or worth the risks to gain the higher user experience.
Page layout
There are many layout types, four of the most important being:
    Fixed-Width Layouts
      In fixed-width layouts, the width of the site is bound to a certain number of pixels. Generally, the measure chosen is 960 pixels. This is because with the passing of time, developers have found 960 pixels to be the best size for grid layouts.
      Fixed-width layouts are among the most commonly used layout on the web. This layout provides rigidity of the layout, stability and control. If you know the width of your site across all browsers and devices, you can create graphics with precise, complete control over the result thereby ensuring that you deliver the website the way the user expects it to look.
      Designers who want to create a fixed-width website have to keep in mind that every aspect of their work has to be usable and clearly visible to a large number of screens, browsers, and devices. The wide variety of devices on the market at this time, as well as the consequently great variability of screen sizes can cause the website to look “too small” or “too large” on extremely small or large screens.
    Liquid Layouts
      The basic difference between fixed-width layout and liquid layout is the measurements of their size. The fixed-width layouts are measured in pixels, but for liquid or fluid layouts, dimensions are defined in percentages.
      Setting size by percentage has the major advantage that the designer won't have to think about device size or screen width, and consequently, you can find a reasonable solution for each case because your designs size will adapt to the size of the device used.
      This method does however, open the real possibility that what was created by the designer will not be rendered to the end user in the way intended. In some situations the website may even look as though it is broken or completely unfriendly due to the inherent flaws of this layout method.
    Elastic Layouts
      Elastic layouts are somewhat similar to liquid layouts. The main difference is once again the unit of measurement for size. The size indicator for elastic layouts is neither in pixels or percentages, its measured in ems.
      This type of layout gives the developer strong typographic control. Since the vast majority of layouts are predominantly populated with text, the precision of type treatments makes elastic layouts a strong contender for many projects.
      However, even with this type of solution, like with the fixed layout method, there is a risk of an unpleasant and unaesthetic horizontal scroll bar in some rare cases.
    Hybrid Layouts
      The hybrid layout combines the characteristics of several layouts methods. This allows the designer the freedom to decide to make certain parts of the design fixed size (in pixels) to certain elements of the page while for others choosing a variable width (in percentages or ems).
      Obviously, this approach has its own set of limitations and disadvantages that can be the result of inherited disadvantages of the layout methods used. It is therefore critical that the designer ensure to steer clear of these types of inheritance when deciding on which layout method to use on which part of the website.
    There is currently a large selection of layout methods available to designers. What is critical is that the designer must choose the layout method or combination of methods that will provide the best “responsive” website while maintaining the intended design layout specification as far as possible.

    Each layout type has its advantages and disadvantages. It all depends on the needs you want to fulfill and the characteristics of the intended website and its audience.

    It would be easy to make a knee-jerk, reactionary declaration that one of these layout options is universally superior to the others, but that would be a fools call. These layout methods shouldn't be considered mutually-exclusive options or competitors; they should rather be considered techniques that can be used in conjunction with each other to deliver a superior product in a way that will satisfy the client's end users.
Motion graphics
The page layout and user interface may also be affected by the use of motion graphics. The choice of whether or not to use motion graphics may depend on the target market for the website. Motion graphics may be expected or at least better received with an entertainment-oriented website. However, a website target audience with a more serious or formal interest (such as business, community, or government) might find animations unnecessary and distracting if only for entertainment or decoration purposes. This doesn't mean that more serious content couldn't be enhanced with animated or video presentations that are relevant to the content. In either case,
motion graphic design may make the difference between more effective visuals or distracting visuals.


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