Welcome to the World of Web Design

Many people assume that Web Design and Web Development are essentially the same thing (similarly to me), but after researching and gaining knowledge on the topics, I understood the key differences between the two. While Web Design allows for an aesthetically pleasing look and feel to a website, it also focuses on the user experience and uses design features and color choices that allow various users to generate a positive experience through the site. On the other hand, Web Development works towards creating the website, but focuses on the functions and usage of the site’s tools. These include having well integrated security and working function buttons such as a buy or coupon entry buttons on an online shopping site. In addition to these differences, generally the code used for the two vary between mark up and programming languages. A programming language (Java, C, C++, C#, Python, Ruby, .NET, SQL, PHP etc.) is mainly used by Web Developers in that these build the basic architecture of a website while a mark-up language (HTML, XML, XHTML, etc.) is mainly used by Web Designers for editing the appearance and form of a website.

In addition to the creation of a website with Web Design and Web Development combined, the site needs to generate a sense of trust within users to be successful. Simply put, no matter how beautiful a website looks, no one will use it if it doesn’t display all the information they’re looking for easily. This means that sites should be up-front about costs and fees, shouldn’t ask for too much user information to access the site, and the website data shouldn’t be cluttered or have errors within it. A website must follow the 4 factors of trustworthiness: design quality, up-front disclosure, comprehensive and current content, and connection to the rest of the web. These factors define the basics of how users look for design quality initially when they land on the webpage, up-front disclosure when they are making online purchases, comprehensive and current content for up-to-date information that is easy to understand, and a connection to the rest of the web through hyperlinked pages that define a webpage better. When visiting a site that doesn’t connect with the rest of the web, users may feel that the site is still starting out or that it is an untrustworthy website.

Lastly, web design has changed over the past years for various types of users such as younger teens and older baby boomers. In the past, both groups of users used the web differently and this was because of the knowledge they grew up with about technology. Many younger users multitask and juggle multiple tabs while older users focus on a single tab; however recently studies have shown that both groups of users linearly view pages rather than viewing all the tabs in parallel. Data from “Young Adults/Millennials as Web Users (Ages 18–25)” shows that most users are looking for simple pages that display clear and condensed information and the pages should be easy to navigate.

Overall, these topics introduced me to web design and web development and I hope to further learn and understand the subject in more detail.