After having seen the web design trends for 2010, let’s look at this great question that haunts us all (almost): what is the function of web design? To answer this question, we will have to define what web design is and what its objectives are.

Web design is the association of two words, web and design, which literally mean “web” and “draw”, so it is the action of drawing for the web. However, we need to look further into the definition of design, also called graphic design to better define web design.

Graphic design aims to highlight information in the form of visual content (colours, images, text but also sounds and videos) in order to attract, transmit and make this information understood.

Web design therefore consists in transmitting information on the Internet medium. To do this, it must meet several objectives.

Set up an aestheticism

Very often for neophytes and the general public, aesthetics can be summed up as “Ha it is pretty! Ah it’s ugly!” or “I don’t like green with blue!”. However, the aesthetics of a site is not limited to its simple subjective remarks; it consists above all in setting up a harmony:

– Balance of spaces and texts,

– Consistency of colours and typography,

– Relevance of the iconography,

– Prioritization of information,

All these elements will improve the user experience.

Improve the user experience

All these images, these colours will transmit non-verbal information and provide the user with visual, sometimes auditory sensations (with the use of sounds or music) and emotions that allow him to live an experience. These emotions and sensations will make him/her adhere or not to the proposed universe. This type of experience is widely used by major brand sites to create emotional and transmit values between the brand and the Internet user.

Strengthen ergonomics

The ergonomics of a site will be enhanced by its graphics to improve its use. The use of icons or graphic buttons (the famous action buttons) intuitively link to site functions and facilitate interaction with the user. In the same way, the choice of colours, typographies and font sizes allows the prioritisation of information and guarantees a better flow between the interface and the Internet user.

Provide added value

The quality and finishes of a well-structured graphical interface convey a positive impression and a feeling of reliability. We are very sensitive to the appearance of things and we make a first judgment from the first seconds when the page is displayed, not on the basis of content (text, features) but on the container (web design).

Thus, the reliability of the form (the container) has an immediate impact on the reliability of the substance (the content). Taking care of the web design, especially on the home page, conveys a professional image that reassures the user and captures his confidence.

The non-verbal language of web design provides valuable added value and a professional image to the company or product.

Transmit the message

Marketing is made to ensure that the sales of a product or service are sustainable sets up a strategy to differentiate it from the competition and to meet the needs of the market. From this marketing strategy, a brand or a company defines a message also called advertising that the design must communicate clearly.

The argument of an advertising message is built on three axes (who or what, why and how?):

– Who or what is the information (What are the product and/or service?),

– Why, it is the argumentation and the benefits for the consumer,

– How is it the commitment to action (buy the product or service)?

To attract our attention, advertisers will use emotional stimuli (humour, mismatch, eroticism, imagination, dreams, questioning, and shock) to seduce us and establish an anchoring in memory.

The design will have to unify the elements of the message to create a graphic tone in adequacy with it to:

– Attract attention and arouse our interest,

– highlight it and distinguish it from others,

– make it powerful, effective and memorable.

To conclude

We have seen that web design is not just a simple graphic design. It is a true communication tool that facilitates the user experience through user-friendly ergonomics, clearly and in the most relevant way conveys the marketing message. It gives real added value to information by professionalizing the image.