Most of us think that web designers are some of the most creative and innovative professionals in the Internet industry. It seems like an impossible task to take a blank page and turn it into something beautiful, functional, and unique. However, you might be surprised to know that web design agencies are following relatively strict set of rules when they design a website – and that without these rules, their jobs become much more difficult.
Web Design is Like All Art
Just like anything else, you need to have rules and limitations in order to have any kind of structure. In art, you cannot begin work on a piece without any limitations. For instance, you have to know what medium you’re going to work in, or the types of color palettes you’re going to use. Without these steadfast rules, most art would look like blobs of color on a page, with nothing to differentiate them between other pieces of art. The same is true in web design. Because we are designing for specific medium already, the limitation of medium has already been set. However, there are rules and regulations that govern the way that websites are designed.
Web design is unique because it is a functional art form. That is, you are not creating a sculpture for people to simply admire. You’re creating a living, breathing entity that users from all around the world will end up interacting with. That means that you need to take into consideration not only your structure, colors, and design themes, but you also have to think about user experience and user interface. There is an entirely new branch of web design that is focused much less on the creative aspect as much more on the ability of a user to successfully navigate the site.
Focusing on User Experience
Web design agencies in Los Angeles are leading the charge with this type of innovation. While they still create amazingly gorgeous websites that look much better than the competition, the focus is on interaction. Forums, comments, FAQs, and other features are much more prominent on these types of websites than the websites of the past. In the past, simply having a flash intro on your website was enough. It was as if this flash intro was communicating everything that the website was about, when it really was just a flashy intro that most people clicked the “skip” button on anyways.
This shift in thinking is what has driven the creation of many new Web services. For instance, the new website Quora, a question and answers driven website similar to Yahoo! Answers, has one of the most simplistic designs you could ever imagine. The web designers behind Quora stated that it was their intention to create a website that didn’t interfere with the experience. What an interesting phrase! “A website that does not interfere with the experience of using it.”
As the web evolves, we’re going to see much more interesting and exciting revolutions in web design. Web designers and web developers may experience a new shift in methodology, one that is less based on creative instinct and more based on tried and true proven methods.
For instance, there are a couple design patterns that, if broken, would result in a dramatic drop in the ability to use website.
The “F” layout is one of the most basic patterns when designing a webpage. It plays on the fact that the human eye starts the left side of the screen and scroll to the right. After it is finished, they moved back to the left and a little bit lower. This process repeats itself until it is done consuming all the information on the page. As luck would have it, the letter F has this exact same shape, so it makes for a good pattern when starting out a new web design. If the designer decided to try out the “A layout”, they might find themselves with an extremely creative looking website…but no one would be able to use it. It is these types of considerations that make a good web designer not only one who is creative, but one who understands the intent of a viewer and can create a website that helps them achieve that intent.